Tag Archive | boundaries

Deactivate People Pleasing Buttons

We’ve all heard the refrain, “Just say No!” or “Speak Your Truth” in response to undesirable requests or unpleasant behaviors from other people.

Clearly easier said than done!

For instance, many of us can relate to saying ‘Yes’ when we wanted to say ‘No’ because we didn’t want to hurt someone’s feelings or appear unkind in our honesty.  So, we agreed to the request with our words, which didn’t align with what we really wanted to say.

In these cases, it’s easy to blame the other person for our dishonest answer, but often it is our own people pleasing habits, or fear of confrontation that made us go against our true preferences, desires, wants and needs.

That said, it isn’t about blaming ourselves either! Rather, it’s about more quickly recognizing that our pleasing button has been pushed, and use awareness to more quickly deactivate it.

Certainly, nothing wrong with helping others feel good, but that’s different than going against ourselves or reacting out of obligation.

Surely, none of us want to hide who we are in order to gain approval from others, but we can fall into that trap sometimes to keep the peace. Unfortunately, this always backfires on us!

Though we might make someone else happy by our compliance, we are left feeling miserable in our abandonment of self. Obviously, with easygoing people, it is easier to have reasonable conversations where you communicate and listen to each other’s point of view and make decisions accordingly.

Unfortunately, this is not always the case, as not everyone welcomes our truth, and their displeasure can be transmitted with hostility, criticism and the like.

Ultimately, we have to get rid of the notion that it is selfish to say ‘no’ or to have conflicting preferences or points of view from those around us.

Only by living in alignment can we experience authentic relationships where each person follows their own internal guidance system and responds accordingly, rather than allowing others to monopolize the relationship by only taking their desires into account.

Whom or what triggers you into people pleasing behavior?

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Grant Yourself Permission

Many books are written about the importance of setting personal boundaries with others and the emotional penalties for not saying ‘no’ when we need to.

However, it is equally important to say ‘yes’ when we need to as well!

We only need our own permission to start treating ourselves better now!

What wonderful way can you say YES to yourself today?

The Right Relationship Starts with You

Do What’s Right for You

 The nature of conflict means you can’t set a boundary in your life and take care of someone else’s feelings at the same time.   Martha Beck

Each holiday season is a good time to remember to strengthen our personal boundaries. During this festive time of year, many of us have an extra tendency to take on too much, and over commit ourselves. Sometimes, this is because we are excited about the season and enjoy the gaiety; while other times it is because we don’t want to hurt someone’s feelings, and want to avoid feeling guilty.

Only we can tell the difference within ourselves if we are pleasing ourselves or people pleasing others. If we are engaged in the latter, then it is time to strengthen our boundaries by developing a stronger “no” muscle.

As indicated in my book, it’s actually more loving to have boundaries, be authentic, and take care of our feelings as they arise, as opposed to a passive approach to life. When we don’t speak up for ourselves, it can only breed resentment toward others, and inevitably lead to unloving behavior which is inconsistent with the intention of harmonious living.

Therefore, if what we are being asked to do is not to our liking than we have the freedom to graciously decline the request. We need to remember that we are not responsible for other people’s feelings but are responsible for how we communicate our responses to others.

Similarly, it is important to graciously respect the boundaries of others as well. We may be good at delivering a “no” but not so great at receiving that response from others.

Just as setting loving boundaries with others is a crucial step in self-care, so is setting nurturing boundaries with ourselves as well. Many of us push ourselves beyond the point of what is healthy such as neglecting to put parameters around the number of hours we work or by skimping on sleep.

With that said, below are some wonderful permission slips from Dr. Christiane Northrup, which we can start applying today! The resultant good feelings will create a wonderful ripple effect both within and around us.

  1. Rest when you need to. If you are tired, give yourself permission to sleep. The dishes, the laundry, and the work you didn’t finish today will still be waiting for you tomorrow.
  2. Feel joy every day. Paint, sing, dance, play music, and have sex if you so desire.
  3. Let go of toxic relationships. Toxic people drain you. Work on creating relationships with people who support you as you are.
  4. Love your body. Stop comparing yourself to the air brushed models in the media. Dress the way you want. Do your hair the way you like it.  If this is difficult, do mirror work and tell your body how much you love it.
  5. Trust your intuition. Step out of your comfort zone and go for whatever feels right – maybe it is a new career path, a new health or fitness program, or simply speaking up when you feel the need.
  6. Simplify your life. Focus on what truly matters to you. Don’t let yourself get derailed by drama.
  7. Forgive yourself. Forgiveness is a process. Find time every day to practice forgiveness.
  8. Say “yes.” Saying “yes” to yourself is empowering. Say “yes” to whatever you want in your life, and say “no” to whatever you don’t want.
  9. Feel the guilt. Realize that the guilt you are feeling is probably just cultural programming. Thank it for sharing and release it.
  10. Be yourself. Accept yourself exactly as you are. You don’t have to fit any cultural mold.

What nurturing choices are you making?