Have you asked that question from yourself a million times? Have you asked your friend the question 'why can't you stop pleasing others' a million times? However, each time, there's a new reason as to why you can't stop doing that?
You are talking from a great point of self-awareness if you are asking that question from you or from others. Nevertheless, the behaviour continues and the regret mounts. Each time you have done something that you don't like to please another, the anger and frustration builds up and as a result the vicious circle continues. Some even may go to the extent of having a drink to soothe the inner voice or have a bar of chocolate to quieten the inner anger but then end up depending on it before long.
However, most of us are unaware that this is a belief and instead we consider it as a part and parcel of our identity. Listen to yourself often saying 'I am such a people's pleaser!' and even wear a smile on your face. However, we often despise the consequences this behaviour brings us.
'Why can't you stop pleasing others?'
Simply because, you are not intentionally pleasing others. If you did, you would have stopped it a long time ago. Our behaviour is formed as a result of our early life experiences and beliefs that we form. If 'pleasing others' is a belief that has been serving you well from an early stage of life, you are more likely to repeat such behaviour unintentionally until that belief is replaced with a different and a positive one.
Am I not confident?
You may be often asking this question yourself. Confidence is contextual. Therefore in my observation it is difficult to say that you being a people's pleaser is directly linked to having lack of confidence. After all, you may be a people's pleaser but you could also be brave enough to swim with the sharks or sky dive. However, there's a subtle relationship between your core confidence and being a 'people's pleaser'.
Am I scared to say 'No'?
One of the most probable reasons why you are a people's pleaser is that you are scared to say 'no'. However, you may find even if you are a people's pleaser you have found yourself saying 'no' to many people and many situations. If this is puzzling you already, then that's a good sign that you are reflecting on your own self and behaviour. So, continue to be puzzled and hopefully, I may be able to guide you to 'unpuzzle' you.
Where does this behaviour come from?
So, you may have established that you could be swimming with sharks and fighting with zombies but can't simply get out of the toxic relationship that you have been stuck. You may have started putting the dots as to why you agreed to work on your day off so that your boss who doesn't appreciate you could take a sneaky holiday. Has this puzzled you so far? Good! because that will take us to unpuzzling the 'people's pleaser' conundrum.
The origin of the behaviour.
This behaviour originated back in the 1870s when ........ just kidding! Please keep reading even if you are offended by the untimely joke.
The origin of this behaviour lies simply in your body's natural response to 'fight' or 'flight' or even 'freeze' response which makes it incredibly difficult for us to become aware of the behaviour and change it. So, if you go home to your controlling partner after fighting with zombies, you are not to be blamed. It is not your fault.
What does 'fight, 'flight' or 'freeze' have to do with the way I am with people?
That is a great question. However, there's no one simple answer. When you are in any 'threatening' situation, your prefrontal cortex matches patterns that has helped you survive before. It also finds emotions and it does exactly the same.
In brief the ECHO that helped us survive the last time gets triggered. When the pattern match, we can only view the world from that emotion level. Which is why changing patterns is difficult unless you find the origin of such behaviour. How these patterns were created vary from one individual to another.
For example, when your neighbour asks you to look after their dog for the 100th time during the week, you will be reminded of a consequence of saying 'no' and your emotions will be triggered immediately. So instead of managing an effective conversation, you will agree and probably mumble under your breadth. All these behaviours are wired and fired with emotions so strongly in our subconscious that we are not aware we are simply repeating a pattern.
Does it mean that I won't be able to change this behaviour ever?
Let me reassure you that this behaviour can be changed. The origins can be traced, and the intensity of emotions can be reduced as well. Not only that, new patterns of behaviour can be established with exciting positive beliefs. There are many modalities that would support all these possibilities. The modality that my clients and I benefitted the most is the use of a combination of tools such as EFT and Matrix Reimprinting. In Matrix Reimprinting using EFT the ECHO can be traced very quickly as we allow our subconscious to guide us to the origins of such behaviour in a gentle and a safe way. Once, the origin is traced, we can then resource our subconscious to feel empowered, reduce the negative emotions and establish a new positive belief. Whereas coaching helps create new neural pathways and behaviours as it focusses on the future.
How would you feel when you are finally able to walk out of a toxic relationship? How much energy would you save when you are finally able to communicate with your boss effectively and powerfully? How much success would you be able to achieve when you can powerfully show up in your business? And last but not least, how would you appreciate the journey you have come so far, when you can finally tell yourself "I did it. I can manage any situation and any person because I know my worth". Now that's a journey worth taking.
If you would like to explore that journey with me, please do get in touch.