People pleasing – somehow being pleasant, kind, courteous, forgiving, thoughtful and generous (sharing pleasure) became an unpleasant label. And I see more and more people trying to be against being people-pleasers thus abandoning the qualities that distinguish us as human beings. How did this happen? How did having these amazing heartfelt human qualities of generosity, care for another human being, thinking about other people’s needs became a trauma symptom to never embody again? Here is my full take on different cycles of people pleasing that I have been through, and how I returned to being pleasant.
When I was first labeled as a people pleaser, I felt ashamed. My once appreciated fundamental ingredients that make up characteristics ofpeople – pleasing were now being used against me to express displeasure. I doubted my own qualities of compassion, kindness, service, when you have nothing good to say – stay silent, care, generosity. I started becoming more anxious than ever before, worried, hyper vigilant on whether my actions are to please someone (because that was now a crime), ironically all in an attempt to please some unpleasable personalities. Ever come across those – that are never happy no matter what you do, discontent, chasing more, expecting you to be better than who you are, who feel they know what’s better for you than your own inner guidance. It takes a while to recognize the dynamic, sometimes months, sometimes years. (if you want to know the two sure shot red flags of these dynamics, check out my YouTube video on what not to tolerate. That is my guiding post these days before progressing in any relationship).
So, in order to cure my people pleasing to please unpleasable people, I stopped pleasing all other people by stop being pleasant. That was a tongue twister to read, lol. It was that simple, wasn’t it? I started eroding care, generosity, kindness, forgiveness, became miserly with sharing my love, and endless other elements that made up my essence from childhood. I also started affirming that I wanted to be a God-pleaser not a People-pleaser. It just started making things worse as the influence of people with God-complex became stronger. It’s like boiling a frog, you don’t put a frog in boiling water – it will jump out, you put it in room temperature and slowly raise the heat. That’s what it felt like. It took a long-winded road of feeling frustrated, alone, self-doubt, empty, emotionally, mentally and spiritually violated to find the truth as I know it today.
In order for people to be pleasant, I had forgotten an essential counterpart of pleasing, and that was thankfulness. One of the foremost lessons of interaction with other people we learn as kids is ask for your needs with a “please” and if your need is met i.e. if you are “pleased” or if you can acknowledge the thoughtfulness of the other person, say “Thank You” to the person responsible for that. These are even labeled as “Pleasantries”. The exploitation of people-pleasing exists because there is no reciprocation or even worse, sometimes there is extreme criticism, entitlement, privileged behavior and self-assigned pedestals on the other end. The reverse exploitation also exists as please can be used as ‘pretty-please’ – a persuasion technique beyond the inherent courteous nature – which is to invoke humility when asking for what you want. There is also a spiritual loophole that makes this condition worse, where we are further taught that don’t expect a “Thank You” for every deed. But just because you don’t expect a Thank You, doesn’t mean you continue with tolerating rude behaviors. If you have experienced attachment trauma injury in early childhood (I will talk about this in another blog), then you are prone to be wired neurologically to tolerate unacceptable behavior. This is more prevalent in cultures and communities that went through the worsened consequence of imperialism and colonialism.
I also feel it is relevant to remind here that there is no ideal person on this earth, however, there are degrees of emotional violence that is tolerated in the name of, ‘we are all imperfect’, victims feel ashamed to speak about their experiences, fear of being called ‘you are playing the victim card’. And I am ever so thankful to the few significant friends who extended empathetic inquiry in a safe space. Their courteous mindfulness allowed me to face what was happening. Once I started voicing my thoughts and anxieties in the safe privacy (which I call transmuting through sound from your throat chakra), I was able to see things more clearly and shift back to my natural pleasantness and each of those ingredients were restored. I had to water it consciously for allow the growth to take place, with self-compassion and kindness. In the end, I realized I didn’t have the worst case of people pleasing, I can remember a few times where I have said no to people. I was just trying to please some very discontent unpleasable people, and it was like banging my head on a brick wall. Once my environment was re-arranged with reciprocated pleasantries, I blossomed back to my smiling, optimistic self but with an awareness and balance.
This message is for all the people pleasers who feel ashamed or beat themselves up for this beautiful quality that is intended for the world around you to be more joyous, more pleasant, more light – Please nourish yourself with the same qualities, evaluate your environment to see if there is reciprocation, do a gentle inquiry if all your relationships feel as equal partnerships filled with respect and love. Continue to maintain the respect, the ones that cannot handle the mutual equality will eventually wither and fall away. The outer environment affects the inner environment, and vice-versa. At the end, we all need a pleasant environment to blossom to our fullest potential.
Thank you for staying pleasant and authentic.
I was born in a Sindhi family that migrated from pre-partition present day Pakistan and was brought up in Mumbai, India. Through my years, I have always valued freedom but struggled with feeling binded by systematic beliefs and personal fears. Today, I can honestly say that I am equipped to be pursuing everything I cherish with complete joy as I have persistently worked through my personal development and spiritual connection. I struggled years with self – esteem and only recently have felt liberated from this burden that I was carrying to being unfolding my true authentic self and I truly have fallen in love with myself. And from this place of self – acceptance and self – love, I offer my gifts and talents to those who seek the answers that I am chosen to bring forth. You can sign up for the weekly donation reiki or schedule a healing event with me. I look forward to our rendezvous.
My journey with Reiki started as a kid when my aunt would Reiki my tummy for when I was nervous for exams. Years later I was guided to be attuned to self reiki after a heart wrenching breakup. At this point I was already aware of Law of Attraction and Abraham Hicks. It was as if everything made sense. I continued my Reiki studies at Pause in Joy from 2011 to being a Reiki Master Teacher in 2014. The first person I attuned was my mother and although she has passed away, it was our connection via Reiki that helped me deconstruct and build our relationship in a new light. It is one of the blessings I always cherish. Along the way, I learned tools such as Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT Tapping), Access Consciousness and Ho’oponopono. I am also tuned into Astrological events and providing birth-chart analysis as that is the primary map in time space co-ordinates of your existence. I have always been open to learning which recently led me uncover the 12 steps for Codependency Anonymous and has given me a more compassionate understanding of healing childhood traumas, beliefs and unraveling stuck patterns with an expanded vocabulary. To me spiritual growth is in harmony with growing in many areas simultaneously.
All my healing events are intended for your highest good. I don’t know what is in your highest good but by just trusting this intention I am guided to information from a neutral filter as it is. Healing Events are made up of applying EFT and other times it will be a combination of various modalities as I am being guided by higher powers.
Enjoyed what you read?
Support with a one off tip or just well wishes.