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People-pleasing: The deeper understanding and shifting the root cause

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People-pleasing: The deeper understanding and shifting the root cause

03 August 2022

A quick googling on “how to stop people pleasing” gives you lists of things to do in order to stop being a people-pleaser. In my experience, very few of them will make an actual shift to your inner world and address the root cause. If you’re looking for a more sustainable way to shift the patterns of people-pleasing, you’re in the right place.

If you grew up learning that having needs and wantings comes with bad consequences, chances are that suggestions like “listen to your inner voice” and “learn to be assertive and stand up for yourself” won’t do much. Truly shifting a people-pleaser role can instead take you on an incredible inner journey where you learn to get in touch with your body, feel more, honor your needs, release shame and inventory your fears. You might even end up feeling grateful for your people-pleaser pattern, for teaching you valuable life skills, and bringing you closer to the true you.

In this episode of the Uncover YOU podcast, I talk about different versions of people-pleasing and the two systems you need to address to shift them. I also cover the inner archetype characters and why they have found pleasing to be the best solution. Most importantly, I break down the main ingredient to get in touch with your real needs and desires.

If you like what you hear, you’re also welcome to practice connecting with your body so you can get in touch with your real needs and desires in my weeklong training Feeling Me.

Listen to episode 57, on shifting people-pleasing patterns here:

A summary of what I talk about in this episode:

Versions of people-pleasing

People pleasing can show up in obvious ways that are well-known to us, but it can also be hiding in your unconscious beliefs and affect your relationship with yourself and others in subtle ways. Let’s look at some versions of the people-pleaser.

Responsibility for people’s emotions state

The conscious or unconscious part of us that enters a room and scans the moods of others. That keeps everyone in the work meeting or family happy, understood, and not disappointed with us. This part often bridges people’s different perspectives and makes sure to bring others what they need. This can be an awesome superpower, but when it’s done out of fear of conflict, a sense of responsibility, and the consequence that you’re abandonging your own needs – it becomes a problem and a self-betrayal.

Your wants are always the last priority

First are other people’s needs, then their wants. After that comes your needs. And finally when everyone’s fed, the house remodeled, kids off to college, and dogs have been walked, you might start thinking about what you want for yourself. Chances are though, since you don’t practice getting in touch with what you want and navigate your life from there, it will feel difficult knowing what you want.

“I don’t need anything”

Some of us (like yours truly) develop denial about our own needs by embodying a persona that seemingly has no needs. Being chill, low-maintenance, flexible, and easy-going are seen as desirable and a way to have people appreciate us. This is of course stemming from an underlying belief we’ve formed that having needs is bad. A misunderstanding, since tending to our needs is fundamentally an act of self-love.

Apologizing for having needs (Fawn)

When you deny your own needs, they don’t actually go away but usually build up inside. It’s likely they come out sideways in form of resentment, bitterness, aggression, or martyrship instead. The pressure builds up and finally, we explode. After releasing the built-up emotions there’s often a calmness AND… we might feel intense emotions of shame and guilt for releasing. Instead of apologizing for HOW we did it and start taking different action in meeting our own needs, we commonly fawn and apologize for having needs and for who we are. “I’m so stupid, please forgive me.” And then we start the cycle over again.

Listen to the full episode to hear me talk about how we can shift the different versions of people-pleasing:

Common people-pleaser archetypes

  • prostitute
  • hero/fixer
  • but also understanding all the characters as pleasers

Two systems you need to address to shift your people-pleasing patterns

  • Your belief system
  • Your nervous system

The way out of people-pleasing patterns and tending to your own needs

  • Connect with the archetypes doing the people pleasing
  • Connect with the child inside that hasn’t had its needs met
  • Connect with your true needs and desires

To be able to connect with these parts of yourself and your needs, chances are you’ve been missing the key ingredient:

Connect with your body and learn to feel more deeply.

That’s exactly what we’re doing together in the weeklong training Feeling Me, and you’re welcome to join.

Subscribe to the Uncover YOU podcast

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