Are you a people pleaser? Do you live to impact others? Does that drive you? That has been me, and my path my whole life. When I look at photos from my childhood you can see the deep desire to please. I think I equated happy with healthy or actually, probably safe. No wonder I am a therapist and coach. I home schooled too. And I bake. Ha! And for so many healers this is the call that drives us.
You can see it! The need to show Mom,
“You are funny! I love you!” It was my 5th birthday. I don’t remember the party or the kids. I only remember seeing my Mom smile. That was my birthday present!
Jasmine Star said it amazingly well: “I’m addicted to helping. I love helping. I binge on helping. (I might’ve been Santa’s favorite elf in a past life…THAT’S how much I like helping.)”
And why does this happen? Part is the focus from our world. We are told:
You need to help others.
You need to be the best.
You need validation/approval. So this then boosts our ego when others express their gratitude in how we are or our skill.
It draws us into the challenge of wanting to be “perfect” or “the best”. However, when our main focus is how we are viewed in a relationship or in a conversation, then we no longer can truly be helpful to others as we lose our authenticity in needing to win approval. We perform. I remember as a kid loving to see the circus. But it’s not just the bearded lady or giant man, it’s you and me. We too perform from under our big top. This also cultivates imposter syndrome. We know we are being fake, performing, or saying what we think others want us to say. And then, once again, we are not helping.
Of of the best books I have ever read in People Pleasing is:
Beatty’s Co-Dependency No More and Beyond Co-Dependency. If you struggle with people pleasing, I highly recommend it!