Updated: Jan 5
People pleasing is lying. What? Ouch? Read that again.... Yup. Lying. "Everyone raves about your organizational skills. Will you be in charge of the auction?" Inside you are filled with dread. You already have so much on your plate, but it's your child's school for goodness sakes and you want the PTA president to think highly of you. You say Sure, I'd be honored. You lie. And then you feel resentment. "Sorry for the last minute ask, but I need you to finish this report tonight. Can you make that work?" Inside you are filled with dread. You had plans for tonight, but it's your career for goodness sakes and you want your boss to think highly of you. You say Sure, I can make that work. You lie. And then you feel resentment. "I forgot my violin. Do you mind bringing it to school?" Inside you are filled with dread. You were already running late to work, but it's your child for goodness sakes and you don't want to disappoint him, or him to disappoint his teacher. You say Sure, I'd be happy to. You lie. And then you feel resentment. "I know I said I'd get my mom her birthday gift, but I ran out of time. Can you take care of it today?" Inside you are filled with dread. You have a full day and would not have waited to the last minute had you known you were to take care of this, but it's your husband and your dear mother-in-law and for goodness sakes. Your husband is a good guy and you don't want to sound like a bitch. You say Sure, I've got time. You lie. And then you feel resentment. Do any of these resonate? Or, can you think of a different scenario in your life? I get it. You get a dopamine hit when you are the solution to someone else's problem. It feels good to serve. It feels good to get others' approval... until it doesn't. Until chasing other's approval creates exhaustion, obligation, an emptiness and distance between who you say you are and who you reallly are. People pleasing looks like showing love, from the outside. But, it's not. This is a theme that runs through all of my coaching. Most of my clients are people pleasers. They pleased their parents. They pleased their teachers. And then they brought this habit into their adult life. Now, they please their bosses, their partner, children, neighbors. They are exhausted. Drained. Living out of obligation more than choice. And often, not even sure of what they most want, they just know it is not spending their days seeking everyone else's approval. People pleasers are very kind. They are the dependable one, the good girl, the easy to get along with gal, the go-to person. They mean well. They have servant hearts. But, they are still lying. They are my people and I can spot them a mile away. You know why? Because I got a 5 on the People Pleaser AP. And it has taken me years to come clean. When you get clear on what you actually want to do you are game to set expectations out of love for what you will and won't do:
If you forget your violin, I will not bring it to school....
I'm flattered and love this school, but no....
I have plans for tonight but am happy to come to work an hour early tomorrow and see what I can knock out...
I'll take care of this gift, but in the future please let me know which birthdays you want me to take care of so I can allow myself more time.
You are being honest. You are living in integrity. You are getting your own approval instead of seeking someone else's. Initially saying these tings may feel like you are rocking the boat, but the upside is so worth the discomfort. And, hear me out--- there are things I do or have done that I don't love doing, but I do because I choose to do them (pay the bills, manage our home, errand running, etc... ) not to please anyone, but because I am game for them to be my roles in my home. There is no resentment because I am doing them out of love. And that feels amazing. Where might you be lying to yourself or others? What is no longer true for you? When I answered these questions I quickly made some choices:
I resigned from clubs.
I didn't renew some volunteer roles.
I quit a job.
I started a business.
I outsourced some of my house roles to make room for roles that were more in alignment. Ex. now I order our groceries and Lewis picks them up.
I assemble dinners instead of cooking (lots of bagged salads!).
I ask more of our girls (errands, cleaning up, etc...).
I spend most nights lounging on a sofa reading a non-fiction book instead of faking that I like to watch movies.
And guess what happened? My happiness grew. (which spilled over into every area of my life.) My productivity grew without exhaustion. My integrity with myself grew. My energy levels grew without needing more sleep. My relationships got more honest. Did I disappoint others? Maybe. Did I surprise others? Maybe. Did it feel uncomfortable sometimes? Sure. But when I stopped saying Yes to things I no longer wanted to do, it made room for others to learn more independence, organization, accountability, We all won! I cannot think of a more powerful transformation in my life and one that will have huge impact for years and years to come. It made room for my goals. It made room for more integrity. It made room for conversations. I still love people and I love to serve. But now when i say yes it is a Hell Yes, not a meek Yes. And, damn that feels good! Your "I'll teach you how to say I love you, and no" coach, Kristin P.S. If you are ready to invite this transformation into your life give me a ring!