People pleasing is the opposite of real love

Fotolia_58308190_S-660x346

People pleasing is a strategy; it’s not love.

Love is genuine; people pleasing is manipulation.

I was having lunch with a friend the other day and she told me, while rolling her eyes, how much she hated sex with her boyfriend.

In fact, they didn’t really have much sex, and hadn’t for years.

Instead of telling him, she told me how much she despised and disrespected him for his withholding. She ‘pretended’ this was enough when with him. As I munched on my sandwich, she delved into her adventures with a much younger guy who she felt in control of, emotionally and sexually, while creating an image that wasn’t true either.

People pleasing is a form of control:

“You’ll like me or love me if I do this for you.”

“I need to feel okay, so I will give in and do what you want, even though I resent you.”

“If I take this action, you will owe me and you won’t return the favor, but I’ll keep score of the points and use it against you someday (or wait for the day you wake up!).”

“I expect the same in return.”

“I’m doing this so you’ll think I’m nice and when I ask you to do something distasteful, you’ll feel obligated to do so.”

“I have to do it. If I don’t, who else will?”

“I must sacrifice, otherwise I can’t make up for my childhood… or I’ll be thought of as selfish or a jerk.”

Any of these phrases sound familiar?

Like my friend, some of us do it to be liked, to get along to go along, to score points or because we feel obligated. It’s a way of trying to get validation in some capacity.

Most of us aren’t even aware we are doing it!!

It’s tiring to be dishonest with our intentions. We blame someone or something else for how we feel and for why we’re stuck as the ‘pleaser on steroids.’

We’re trying to control, but there is no love in control; it’s a false perception. We can never command the feelings of others like we think we do. If we really saw ourselves through the eyes of others, we would have a mixed bag… and then what would we do? Be a chameleon?

Ever felt like a fake or phony? Try to masquerade as a perfect example to others? How disconnected do you actually feel from who you truly are when you do? How insecure?

Believing we control others through an image (true or not) that we feel is acceptable can be a lifelong pursuit. It’s a prison of limitation, by living into this ‘image’ and not being true to ourselves; often we don’t know how we really feel because we’re afraid to go there.

People pleasing is a form of lying. It doesn’t make us happy. It’s a huge effort with no pay off… leaving us to feel frustration, resentment and non-fulfillment.

Real love requires authenticity. We have to connect to ourselves and do what we genuinely feel. Our relationships will definitely change, some for the better and some will become nonexistent.

Many of us lack a sense of self if we separate from the validation of others. It’s scary and it feels out of control! Digging into our feelings, we’ll find some pretty jacked up beliefs we have of ourselves and this world. This is where the journey begins.

Moving from fear to real love

In embodying real love we come to find true connection, trust in ourselves and life to give us what we need. It ceases to be a dance of control. Real love experienced through self-acceptance creates the foundation for it to show up with others.

Real love requires awareness and connection.

The next time you take an action or say words causing a physical reaction, STOP! Break through the autopilot pattern and ask why you’re going against yourself?

Get honest.

What do you really want to do? How do you really feel?

Get bold.

State it out loud. It may come out wonky or abrupt, but do this often and you’ll get into your deeper truth. Again, your REAL truth is about YOU–your beliefs, your patterns and connecting to the love within. It has nothing to do with the other person.

For more on this topic, please join me for my weekly radio show: People Pleasing and Why You’ll Never Win!

 

This relationship just isn’t fun!

_MG_8169

This relationship just isn’t fun!

My adult daughter uttered that statement to me, as she was describing a text conversation with her ex-boyfriend. I thought about what she said, as much as she loved him and he still loved her, what he was doing at the moment was not fun.

She hit the magic word, “fun.”

Not to get in to the whole story, but he had been remiss in mentioning he was in a relationship when he reached out to her. He actually had reached out to her several times since their initial break up with words of love,  reminiscing about how amazing their relationship had been and missing her….and had actually seen her too.

My daughter was looking at the entire situation and his current relationship, which he had admitted he was settling for and exclaimed, it was not fun! Her whole perspective had changed. Sure, she remembered the great times, BUT to her, how he had changed was not appealing to her.

How many people are decisive in this way when it comes to their happiness? So many of us struggle to stay where it is not fun!

He was allowing his girlfriend to force him into sending messages to my daughter, because she clearly perceived her as a threat. Unfortunately, it’s a way to delude oneself into a sense of control. As most of us know, this is not fun, because she will be faced with the loss again at some point in the future. Remember folks, when we force our control on someone else, we are trying to hold onto something and not suffer a loss. And inevitably, we do lose, whether it is now or 20 years in the future.

Meanwhile, the awesome state of mind my daughter was holding is that she wanted nothing to do with the drama. Even with the barrage of text messages, which were meant to make her feel bad; she wasn’t taking it personally. Her only response at this point was one word, “okay.” No argument, just acknowledgement that his message was received.

I asked her if she felt like saying anything else. She said “no, I’ve stated things several times and he is going to do whatever he chooses to do,” she had let go. And she felt her ex wasn’t any fun anymore, that whatever fun there had been was gone.

Now, I am not placing judgment of right or wrong in this situation, just stating the obvious. What got me was the “fun.” How many of us get caught up in trying to win or have what we think we want, and there is no fun in it, only pain? Why do we want to hold onto someone when they clearly are not heart and soul in the relationship with us? Is this fun?

We can become so afraid of loss, that we act in ways, which constrict rather than expand. Love is expansive, attachment is to shrink. And a great indicator of where we are at between love and attachment is how much fun we’re having!

I receive emails everyday from people who are trying to let go of attachment to someone where there is not fun and pain is the overriding feeling, and they still hold on tightly. It is not that they are crazy or something is wrong with them, it is where they are placing a need for validation.

To also be clear, it is not that we need to have an expectation of fun as a  24/7 thing. In a healthy relationship, even when things are challenging, we can still be friends and have the goal of not allowing obstacles to destroy all the fun.

The need for validation, to fill an empty place in us or to be rescued can keep us in a relationship where fun is a rarity or completely missing, or it can keep us pining over someone we are no longer with…

And so, if we want to have fun in a relationship and on our own, we have to get clear in how we consistently support our own actions, which are not about fun.

Where do we control? Do we seek the answers inside or on the outside?

Do we want others to bend to our will, so we feel better?

These are questions to ask ourselves when our actions support our pain. Everyone deserves to have fun, in and out of a relationship…if you need help getting there, please let me know, info@tracycrossley.com