In part 1, we looked at rescuing and care-taking. In this article, we are going to be looking at people pleasing. This is a behaviour that is deeply entrenched in a vast majority of our population, and is quite a tough habit to crack.

When a child learns that it gets attention for being good, clean, tidy, or doing well at school, for example, the message it receives is that it is only lovable when it is doing what others want. The more it hears this, the more it learns to put aside its' wants and needs, and to adopt the behaviours necessary to gain the approval/ attention it needs.

As these children grow into adulthood, this character trait, people pleasing, becomes detrimental to their ability to form close relationships or friendships. The reason for this is that they have completely lost who they are- they have been so busy trying to please everyone else.

The behaviour of a co dependent, can be frustrating. They are unable to make a decision, they never know what they want to do, and they usually say yes to anything because they want to please. On the receiving end of this, you can usually tell when the other person is actually choosing the activity or doing it because they didn't know how to say no to you.

A people pleaser also has issues around their identity. They are like social chameleons, and often admit to liking different things in different company. This is because they were conditioned to please their care-givers, and so they continue this into later life with each group of people.

Of course, for the people pleaser it is exhausting. You are so busy anticipating everybody's needs, and fulfilling them that you burn out very quickly. You often find that it is difficult to say no to people and you also always go the extra mile. Unfortunately, this makes you a prime target for people to take advantage of you and unscrupulous characters will surround themselves with people pleasers so that they do not have to lift a finger.

Recovery from people pleasing is also packed full of challenges. Firstly, you need to learn which behaviours you are displaying are the ones that are people pleasing. They are second nature to you, and also tied into survival, so you may not be able to see them for yourself.

Secondly, you will need to spend some time learning what your likes and dislikes are. Up until now, you have liked whatever everybody else has shown a preference for- now it is time to learn what you like or dislike. For some co dependents, this can be as basic as what their favourite colour is, or food, for example.

And thirdly, you will need to learn to stop doing things that will please others. If you do something for someone else that they can do for themselves, then you are depriving them of a chance to grow. Learn to be authentic- learn to say what you mean and mean what you say.

These are just three ways to recover from people pleasing. The most important point is that you recognise your behaviour and decide to change it.

Written by Caroline Nettle

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Author's Bio: 

Caroline Nettle is passionate about healing, recovery, and assisting others to grow. Her website Spiritual Growth Tools is the culmination of many years of seeking answers about her own health and well-being, and studying the human condition. She writes articles, is a healer and gives talks about subjects relating to spiritual growth and personal development.
Spiritual Growth Tools is an online resources dedicated to spiritual growth and personal development. It aims to provide resources and information to assist others on their journey to inner peace, vitality, and a happier, healthier lifestyle!
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