The Source Of People-Pleasing

Many people will spend their entire lives knowing that they are people-pleasers and inauthentic (disconnected from their core) while also doing what they can to avoid confronting that knowing.

Being a people-pleaser is not shameful. It’s literally a survival strategy.

It usually is a result of caregivers who instead of a sense of security instilled a sense of danger to which the child had to adapt by developing survival strategies – one of which is people-pleasing.

(Raw admission with zero shame and 100 percent power: To this day I am a father-pleaser because I don’t want to “unsettle” my father, which will remind me in painful ways of my childhood – but I am aware of this… And, just to be clear, I love my father – he did the best he could with the resources he had at the time.)

The way this goes in the emotional brain is: “I must do whatever I can to prevent the anger or wrath of my caregiver”.

The problem is that the child survived (hopefully). And she/he is no longer a child.

But she/he is still surviving. Every single day. With almost everyone.

And, here is where it gets even more interesting…

This child – now an adult – is still looking for the bond, love, acceptance, nurturing, care that they didn’t receive way back then.

And, they rarely if ever get it in a way that makes them feel fully safe.

And, there is a void

And nobody can fill that void today…

But they themselves!

I’ll say it differently:

Nobody can provide the love, acceptance, and nurturing you crave until you fully and unconditionally offer and provide those to yourself.

You hold the key, not others. You.

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