For many years I worked really, really hard to be likable…
I was polite to adults, super agreeable with my friends, and I was proficient in staying under the radar…or at least so I thought. I’d fully committed myself to doing whatever I had to do in order to be the girl that the other girls didn’t gossip about and to ensure that I was not rejected. Typically this meant doing nothing at all, but I was under this illusion that as long as I didn’t ruffle any feathers and I blended in perfectly, then I would automatically be accepted.
What I didn’t realize until many years later was that even under this exhausting paradigm, the other girls still judged me and gossiped about me. I was judged for being too nice, too boring, and even for being spineless! The actions I used intending to keep myself safe from gossip and rejection were the very same actions that brought it upon me after all. And while all my efforts went towards maintaining relationships with those I sought approval from, I had actually eroded the most important relationship of them all 🡪 🡪 🡪 the relationship with myself.
When you are a chronic people-pleaser, you are adept at putting other people’s needs and desires above your own.
This might look like:
- Saying ‘Yes’ when you really mean ‘No’
- Agreeing on the outside when really deep down inside, you don’t
- Often doing things that are not aligned to your goals and desires.
This equates to a terrible relationship with yourself and misaligned overall positioning of yourself in the world.
Often people-pleasers struggle to stick up for other people, policies, or politics that they truly are passionate about for fear of being judged. Again, this does nothing but eat away at the truth of who we are and what we stand for.
When I started my online business, I knew I had to shift this pattern and move towards telling the truth. Not only to other people but to myself.
I started making a habit of pausing in the moment and taking time to ask myself one important question:
“If I knew that no one would be mad at me what would I really want to do?”
Asking myself this simple question gave me clarity about what I truly wanted. But clarity is not enough! Once I had that clarity, I then had to muster the courage to do the hard work of saying my truth, setting boundaries, and understanding this would mean that some people would not like me.
Overcoming people-pleasing means being honest – with others and with yourself – and living your truth. Let me tell you, this isn’t easy! But it is SO much more gratifying. This shift has helped me deepen my relationship with myself, and it has allowed me to help countless clients improve their relationship with themselves while living with integrity, clarity, and in alignment with what they truly desire.
If you or someone you love struggles with chronic people-pleasing and would like help pivoting to living their truth, please reach out. I am resuming “Living My Truth, Always”, my 6-week individual people-pleasing recovery program for anyone who is committed to changing this pattern.
Have a Great Week and Mind Your Strength,
Melanie Shmois, MSSA, LISW-S, is a licensed social worker, holding a Master’s Degree (MSSA) from Case Western Reserve University and a B.A. in Sociology with a minor in Spanish. After spending 2 decades helping others achieve their mental and personal goals, Melanie worked with Master Coach Instructor, Brooke Castillo, and became a certified Life and Weight Coach through the Life Coach School.
Is health and fitness top of mind for you? I’m teaming up with Laura Thomas, Personal Trainer and Founder of Thomas Fitness Consulting for the Well Wonder Woman Challenge, and you can join us! During the challenge, we’ll cover the basics on exercise, nutrition, and mindset to help you kickstart your journey. Plus get access to community support via the private Facebook group! What’s even better? It’s FREE! We get started on July 13th so don’t delay! Join us here!