By Katie & Gay Hendricks
How much time do you spend thinking or worrying about other people’s problems and how you can fix them?
Maybe you have a friend who has you on speed dial, because she knows you’ll listen to every detail of her latest drama.
Are you known as the person who always helps out or comes through at the last minute? People know they can count on you at work to pull through the tough projects – sometimes the ones nobody else wants to do.
Are you a “yes” person? Do you usually go along with what other people want? Maybe you’re even the last one to speak up about a group decision.
What about the people closest to you? Do you bend over backwards to be the perfect partner, spouse, or parent?
Does this sound familiar?
If you’ve been nodding your head to any or all of the above, we have news for you: you’re a chronic people pleaser.
You probably are of two minds about being a people pleaser. On the one hand, it makes you look good and agreeable. You feel a certain pride in being that person who always thinks about others first.
On the other hand, as much as you feel good about caring for others, there’s another aspect to this dynamic that often stays below the surface:
When you respond primarily from your people pleaser, you are probably simmering (or seething) with anger and resentment, and you likely don’t even know it.
Here’s what I mean:
When you constantly put other people’s wellbeing and desires ahead of your own, you start an internal cascade of negative feelings.
Instead of feeling good about pleasing others, you start feeling worn down and taken for granted.
I’m always here when she needs me. How come when I call her for help, she’s always too busy?
I’ve driven the kids to school for my neighbor three times this month. When is it his turn?
I’m tired of working late when there’s an urgent project. Why can’t someone else step up to the plate?
My husband signed up for golf lessons – again. When am I ever going to get a break?
But being the people pleaser that you are, you think it’s wrong to feel these feelings. So you start to override your feelings or repress them.
But feelings ALWAYS get expressed somehow. Your repressed feelings show up as chronic pain, illness, irritability, and subtle sabotage.
You’ll find yourself snapping at your partner over something trivial, or blowing up at the customer-service representative on the other end of the line.
You might have a hard time admitting it to yourself, but you’re angry. And that anger is trying to tell you something.
Chronic people pleasing – though it looks nice on the surface – is really a way to avoid facing the unresolved issues in yourself.
In essence, people pleasing keeps your attention focused outward and away from the awareness that will bring true growth.
Ask yourself: “What would I be doing if I weren’t trying to fix someone else’s problem?”
Chances are, having loosened the grip of people-pleasing, you’ll have buckets of time open up to you. And a whole lot of uncomfortable feelings to go along with it.
Without having to fret about someone else, you might feel restless and unmoored. You don’t know what to do with yourself. Like many of my clients, you might have been out of touch with your true desires for so long that you don’t even know what you really want.
Chronic people pleasing is an easy way to not face what needs facing: you’re dissatisfied with your life. It’s a perfect distraction – as long as you stay focused on others, you don’t have to face the pain, emptiness, or disappointment inside.
Attention! Listen UP! You can change that. You can stop living for other people and create a life that pleases YOU.
Of course, this is the toughest question for a diehard people pleaser to answer, because you’ve been externally focused for so long.
After going through the rigors of getting my PhD – and getting ready to train other therapists – I realized I had no idea what I truly wanted.
That is, until somebody asked me that question, “What do I really want?”
It launched me into a profound soul-searching process that ultimately led to my creating the blissful relationship and successful career I have today. And guess what? Because I’m being true to what I want, I end up pleasing a lot of other people in the process – such as my wife Katie, the clients who come to me for counseling, and readers like you who have been transformed by my advice.
You can solve a lot of the problems you’re experiencing in life if you just learn to love yourself.
You don’t have to run yourself ragged anymore. You don’t have to feel inadequate in any area of life, or wonder if you’ll ever be loved the way you deserve.
You just need to learn how to tap into who you really are, and then accept yourself fully.
After over four decades counseling couples, singles, CEOs, celebrities and everything in between, I can say without a shadow of a doubt that plague of self-hatred affects us all.
It affected me too, until I learned the secret to true self-love and acceptance, and completely transformed my life.
I can teach you the secret too, along with other critical skills that are needed to live a fully realized life, with a wonderful partner, and contributing your best potential to the world.
My free newsletter, Hearts In Harmony, will teach you how to be at harmony with yourself, with your loved ones, and the world.
I’ve partnered with my life partner, Katie Hendricks, to give you the transformative tools you need to radically change your life.
We’ll teach you all the proven advice, body intelligence, beliefs and commitments to allow you to fully open yourself up to the miracle of love, and the secret to making it last… forever.
You’ll also learn:
“What do you want?” Has been the turning point for many of my therapy clients – the moment they really began to change. It’s such a powerful question, and one that you should ask yourself right now.
You may be surprised by what you learn.