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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