Are You A People Pleaser? How To Tell & What To Do


Messages from your early childhood could be why.

This article is written for women and anyone who loves/interacts with women. If you read my article about your "Love Stories," you know that I spend a lot of time teaching people to uncover their often unconscious beliefs formed in childhood about how they see themselves. A very common one I've been working with on women lately is "I am bad." I have male clients with the same issue, but I think there is a different kind of pressure on girls to be good than there is on boys. There's often a subtle acceptance of bad boys because of the notion that boys will be boys.

So I'm addressing bad girls here, but it's totally applicable to you if you are male and got similar messages in childhood!

These messages tend to be strongest and have the most impact when you are raised by a mother who had difficulty handling her own emotional world. The daughter takes on a lot of pressure to be good to please her mother and to ease her mother's burdens. The good girl knows that the more I am good, the less mom or dad will be upset and the safer I feel in the world. In many instances, the good girl ends up confused because no matter how good she is, the parent still gets very upset and acts out their own personal drama.

As a child, the good girl doesn't really understand that it's not about her. That it's about stress over money or work or the marriage or substance abuse or other family dynamics, but the child thinks that she must do better to be good. So she grows up with poor boundaries. She learns to take responsibility for everyone and everything ... especially her spouse and her children! Then she doesn't understand why people think she is controlling. 6 Ways to Handle Frustrations, Stresses, and Set-Backs

You can probably imagine the toll this takes on her. Two things will likely happen. One, she will be completely drained by the pressure she feels for all these other lives.  She will neglect her own needs because she is so busy focusing on theirs. She may find herself being tired and depressed.

The second thing that will probably happen as she starts awakening and getting healthier is that she will encounter some need of her own that puts her in direct conflict with the needs of her loved one. This will be a breaking point because she will ignore her need, telling herself that she is responsible to her spouse (or child, friend, co-worker, relative) first. But eventually, there will be so much internal pressure because her need simply will not stop pressing against her. If she listens to her need, she will tell herself that she is a very bad girl because she is betraying the other person and this is intolerable. /node/58804

The key to her freedom is to understand the meaning she gave to "being bad" in childhood. Once she can see that this pressure to be a good girl came from the mindset of a young child who did not have the capacity to understand the reality of her parents' experiences, she can begin to free herself from this pressure. This requires her to be very centered and anchored in her "adult self." From this place, she can find clarity about balancing our own healthy needs with those of others in an adult manner. But as long as she automatically defaults to her "child self" when triggered emotionally, she gets stuck in those painful emotions, as if she were seven years old.

If you'd like to learn more about your "Love Stories", listen to my one hour teleseminar here, or contact me to learn more about how to shift into your "adult self" and develop healthy boundaries in all of your relationships.  I also teach an 8-week course called Finding the Love of My Life by becoming it first!