As with most things, 𝙞𝙩’𝙨 𝙘𝙤𝙢𝙥𝙡𝙞𝙘𝙖𝙩𝙚𝙙 𝙖𝙣𝙙 𝙞𝙩 𝙙𝙚𝙥𝙚𝙣𝙙𝙨. I’ve been seeing a lot of information recently about people pleasing being a trauma response, and while it CAN be, it can also develop from any number of situations and factors.
When talking about people pleasing as a trauma response, it’s also known as “fawning“. The fight-flight-freeze trauma response has been expanded to include “fawn”. Fawn is immediately appeasing someone to avoid conflict and as a way of keeping safe. Essentially doing anything you can to keep the peace.
EMDR therapy (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) can help you heal from past trauma and create new patterns to establish safety and create healthy boundaries in relationships.
People pleasing is often a way to seek approval from others, which could come from a lack of support or validation from family, friends or society.
People pleasing also tends to be more common with women, as we are so often socialized to engage with pleasing others.
People pleasing can also be more common with certain personalities and conflict styles (Hello 👋 fellow 9’s on the Enneagram),
If you struggle with perfectionism or codependency, you may find yourself people pleasing, 𝘢𝘴 a 𝘸𝘢𝘺 𝘵𝘰 𝘭𝘰𝘰𝘬 𝘰𝘶𝘵𝘴𝘪𝘥𝘦 𝘺𝘰𝘶𝘳𝘴𝘦𝘭𝘧 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘢𝘱𝘱𝘳𝘰𝘷𝘢𝘭, 𝘷𝘢𝘭𝘪𝘥𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯 𝘰𝘳 𝘢𝘤𝘤𝘦𝘱𝘵𝘢𝘯𝘤𝘦.
In sum, it’s about 𝗹𝗼𝘀𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝘁𝗼𝘂𝗰𝗵 𝘄𝗶𝘁𝗵 𝘆𝗼𝘂𝗿𝘀𝗲𝗹𝗳 𝗮𝘀 𝘆𝗼𝘂 𝗵𝗮𝗯𝗶𝘁𝘂𝗮𝗹𝗹𝘆 𝗴𝗶𝘃𝗲 𝗽𝗿𝗶𝗼𝗿𝗶𝘁𝘆 𝘁𝗼 𝗼𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗿 𝗽𝗲𝗼𝗽𝗹𝗲𝘀 𝗻𝗲𝗲𝗱𝘀 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗳𝗲𝗲𝗹𝗶𝗻𝗴𝘀 𝗼𝘃𝗲𝗿 𝘆𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝗼𝘄𝗻.
𝙊𝙤𝙤𝙛. That can hit close to home.
There’s nothing “wrong” with you if this is a pattern of yours and you can work to change it (if you want to!!).
You are not alone.
𝐘𝐨𝐮 𝐜𝐚𝐧 𝐥𝐞𝐚𝐫𝐧 𝐭𝐨 𝐯𝐚𝐥𝐢𝐝𝐚𝐭𝐞 𝐲𝐨𝐮𝐫𝐬𝐞𝐥𝐟, 𝐭𝐫𝐮𝐬𝐭 𝐲𝐨𝐮𝐫𝐬𝐞𝐥𝐟 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐮𝐥𝐭𝐢𝐦𝐚𝐭𝐞𝐥𝐲 𝐩𝐮𝐭 𝐲𝐨𝐮𝐫𝐬𝐞𝐥𝐟 𝐟𝐢𝐫𝐬𝐭. ✨
SIGNS OF A PEOPLE PLEASER:
– Seeking constant validation from others
– overly concerned with other people’s opinions and their feelings while neglecting your own needs and feelings
– saying yes to things you don’t want to do
– over apologizing
– difficulty expressing your own point of view
– looking to others for validation when making decisions
– difficulty dealing with conflict
– feeling guilty when you say no to others request
HOW TO LET GO OF PEOPLE PLEASING:
– Start to offer yourself validation for your opinions and feelings
– Take space for yourself to journal and reflect on your own values and opinions
– Allow yourself to pause before saying yes and agreeing to things. You can even come up with phrases to say beforehand, such as “Let me think on that and get back to you.”
– Practice affirmations such as “It’s okay to say no.” “Your feelings are valid”. “My voice matters”.
– Practice self-compassion when difficult feelings come up as you start work on breaking the pattern of people-pleasing, which may involve setting boundaries or saying no to people. While others may have reactions or feelings to you saying no, it’s not your job to take care of other people’s feelings.
– Seek help from a licensed therapist. Book a free 15 minute consult with me today.