You’ve heard this countless times.
Put your needs first. You can’t make everyone happy. So you must put yourself first.
You know all this.
Would you describe yourself as a people-pleaser?
Do you over-stretch yourself for others because you want to make them happy?
So, how to live a life true to yourself? How to set healthy boundaries with ease and confidence?
The problem is that you don’t know the difference between being nice and being a people-pleaser.
Here’s the truth about people-pleasing!
I learned people-pleasing behaviour in childhood in order to get my needs met.
It was a valid strategy because I was dependent on my parents at that time.
But when I grew up and became independent people-pleasing behaviour started to weigh me down.
My people-pleasing behaviour manifested in being breathlessly busy, taking on too many obligations at work, not asking for help, helping everyone else first, and completely forgetting about my needs and desires.
I was highly reliable, hardworking, nice Romana, who helped everyone and was there for everyone. I was a yes girl who didn’t mind working long hours and taking on work from co-workers.
I remember what my boss once said to me. “If you don’t do this work, then who will?”
On the outside, I was nice. But, I grew more and more angry and resentful on the inside. I felt a victim of the situation. I was tired of being nice.
Do you see the problem?
People-pleasers believe that making other people happy is their responsibility. We want to feel accepted and loved. Our worst fear is to disappoint someone.
Listen, it’s not your responsibility to make other people happy.
It’s their responsibility.
Luckily our intuition equipped us with alarm bells that tell us where we need to set boundaries and protect ourselves.
Did you know healthy boundaries are one aspect of self-compassion?
If you prioritise the needs of others over your own, you are not aware of your alarm bells.
What are the alarm bells?
It’s your anger telling you that your boundaries have been violated.
What has anger to do with people-pleasing?
Maybe you are a people-pleaser through and through and suppress the anger in every possible shape and form.
You are not comfortable with your anger. You shove anger down with your boundaries. You feel anger, and you shame yourself for experiencing it.
Anger is the most misunderstood emotion.
When cultural programming doesn’t align with what we feel, we believe that’s something wrong with us, and we feel stuck and confused.
The truth is, nothing is wrong with you. Therefore, you don’t need to fix yourself.
It’s that no one showed you what healthy anger management is. That’s all.
You need to unlearn how you deal with anger and learn how to have the right relationship with anger.
What would’ve happened if you met anger with acceptance and compassion?
What would’ve happened if you accepted yourself with love when you were angry?
We were taught that anger is a negative emotion, and it needs to be avoided for any cost.
Our culture has complicated the relationship with anger. Anger makes us uncomfortable. We don’t know how to deal with anger other than suppressing it.
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