“If you are busy pleasing everyone, you are not being true to yourself.” – Jocelyn Murray
Do you find yourself “conforming” in order to feel a part of something?
Do you do things for others, not because you want to, but because you don’t want to rock the boat?
Do you find that you’re not being you in fear that you will turn people off?
If you answered “yes” to any of these questions you’re not alone.
As a recovering people pleaser of the highest order, I get it. I know what it feels like to lose yourself and your identity in an effort to make others happy just to fit in. And I’m here to tell you; it’s not your fault. It isn’t. Being a people-pleasing conformist is learned behavior.
Think about it…
“Good little children are seen and not heard.”
“If you can’t beat them, join them.”
“If Momma ain’t happy, nobody’s happy.”
“Idle hands are the devil’s workshop.”
Many of us learned early on that in order to belong we had to be someone we weren’t, dampen down our accomplishments, and find ways to make others happy in order to fit somewhere, anywhere.
BUT in conforming and people pleasing what we were saying to the world (and ourselves) is that who we are as our most authentic selves has never been good enough or worthy enough of those authentic, long-lasting connections.
Again, I get it. I used to feel that if I showed up as me, the real me, that people wouldn’t like me.
So, I did what I thought I needed to do; I hid behind the people pleasing and the conforming. I hid my intuitive abilities. I stuffed my feelings and even my tears. I put on that positive face regardless of what kind of day I was having. I said “yes” A LOT to things I didn’t want to do. I made others a priority and myself an option. And guess what?
I was surrounded by people that I thought I fit in with! Yes! But… I WAS MISERABLE!
To make a very long story short, I got tired of being miserable so I made it my commitment to stop the people pleasing conformist behavior. In doing so I began to feel so much better, better about my relationships and most importantly, better about me.
That is what I want for you. I want for you to be true to you so that you’re no longer hiding your amazing, gorgeous, fantastic, kick-ass self behind behaviors that don’t suit you and never have.
Please don’t misunderstand me; it feels good to do nice things for other people, but not at the cost of our own well-being or identity. With that said, I’d like to offer you the following as a way to identify people pleasing and conforming behaviors.
You know you’re people pleasing or conforming when you’re…
1. Doing things or saying things in order to be accepted.
2. Saying “yes” when you really want to say “no.”
3. Putting other people’s needs and desires before your own ALL THE TIME (not just once in awhile).
4. Always cleaning up after other people’s messes… emotionally and physically.
5. Keeping quiet or stuffing your feelings when you are upset or hurt, in fear that you will upset someone else.
Ways to stop conforming or people pleasing:
Part of changing any behavior is being aware of it first. Since the list above isn’t exhaustive, I encourage you to add your own triggers or alerts. That way you know when you’re people pleasing or conforming so that you can choose a different course of action. Actions like the following:
In closing, I share this song with the hope that it inspires you to be you… knowing that you’re loved and supported just as you are. Always.