Why People Pleaser’s Do The Things They Do
One of the biggest things that keeps a true people pleaser pleasing is guilt. There are two types of guilt: true guilt and false guilt. We experience true guilt when we act in a way that violates one our internalized ethical guidelines. If we do something that we perceive as being immoral; lie to a friend, steal from a store or God forbid kill someone, we feel guilty. Our internal mechanisms recognize we did something wrong and our body responds in kind.
False guilt, on the other hand, is typically experienced when we fear the disapproval of others. Individuals who are fawn types, people pleasers or suffer from co-dependency are often plagued by false guilt. It creeps in when they do something for themselves or when they express a boundary. Many times false guilt is tied to a belief that you are not worthy enough to make yourself a priority.
What Is Going On In The Mind Of A People Pleaser
Guilt can be a huge barrier in being assertive, especially for a people pleaser. It makes us question our choices and wonder if our internal rules are somehow flawed. We may feel responsible. We may not want to disappoint someone. We may not want to hurt their feelings.
It is especially hard for an empath to experience someone else’s pain, suffering or upset. It always feels better on the inside for an empath if the people around them are happy. The level of inner discord this can create it is no wonder why many empaths cave in to people pleasing. It can be excruciating, especially if what they are feeling is coming from someone they love.
By allowing guilt to control us, it interferes with our ability to be our authentic selves. We devalue ourselves each and every time we do not honor our choices. These self-sacrificing cycles of deprivation can only lead to exhaustion and resentment on our part.
How People Pleaser’s Can Use Guilt As A Guiding Tool
Hard as this may be to hear, guilt is a wonderful, yet challenging internal indicator as you move forward on your road to healing. Think about it. A friend calls requesting your help. In the past, perhaps your knee-jerk reaction would be to agree to whatever was being asked. This automatic reaction works to minimize any guilt that may bubble up to the surface.
Try A New Strategy If You Are A People Pleaser
Perhaps, with all of the work you have been doing on yourself it is time to try a new strategy. Tell your friend that you will let them know in a few minutes or the next day instead of giving an automatic reply. This will give you the chance to emotionally regulate. You can also use the time you have just garnered to dig into your psyche to sort through any feelings of guilt that may arise. “Why am I feeling guilty?” “Is this an appropriate time to express my boundaries?”
Love and honor yourself regardless of your decision. You might cave into your guilt anyway. And if that is the case, it is OK. Please do take a moment and observe what was going on inside of you that made you give up on yourself. We are all not perfect when we embrace a new skill. In time, and with practice, you will move from observing your inner world, and the guilt that people pleasing evokes in you, to perhaps making a different choice.
Healing is a process where we take one step at a time. Creating and maintaining healthy boundaries is a huge, huge step if you have lived your whole life afraid to stand up for yourself.
And do not forget, toxic people like narcissists are experts at laying on the guilt in an effort to manipulate you, your energy and emotions. Do not let them do that.
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About Dr. Rita Louise
A gifted and talented clairvoyant medical intuitive, Dr. Rita Louise helps people identify the root causes of their concerns. She is a naturopathic physician and the founder of the Institute Of Applied Energetics that trains students in the art of medical intuition, intuitive counseling, and energy medicine. She has authored six books and produced several feature-length and short films. Dr. Louise has appeared on radio, television and in movies. She lectures on health and healing, ghosts, intuition, ancient mysteries and the paranormal. Her books and articles have worldwide circulation.