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.