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What People Pleasing is not

Spam Filter For Your Brain - Episode 38

I wanted to record something this week because someone emailed me specifically to tell me why they didn't need my People pleasing course. And I wanted to touch on what they raised because it was so interesting to me. And I wanted to clarify it because I'm sure that if they're thinking it, lots of other people will think it as well.

And I'm going to summarise what they wrote to me which basically could be folded into the sentence "I can't stop people pleasing because the stuff has to get done and no one else is going to do it." And I think that this is something that so many of us can feel like in our everyday lives. When the kids need to be taken to school and the house needs to get cleaned and the groceries need to be got in and work still needs to happen. And we've got a deadline and our boss is nagging us. And our family is saying that we're not being a good sibling or child or offspring or auntie or uncle or why aren't you meeting your mates down the pub? Or why are you working all the time?

There's all of this stuff that needs to be done and somehow you need to still have enough money in the bank to pay the council tax and the electricity bill and to care about environmental armageddon and politics all at the same time.

And there are so many things that we have to hold that someone coming along and telling us that we don't have to hold all of the things can make us feel like screaming. Because I think most of us have this reaction of I'm going to paraphrase from my instinct and I don't know that everybody comes out with it as strongly as this, but I think for me there's definitely a "you don't know how fucking hard this is. I'm just about keeping this shit together and you're coming along telling me that I don't need to hold all of these things." It gives me the image of kind of those old sort of 80s supermarket sweep games or buckaroo where you've got all of these things piled up and you're just about managing to keep them all off the floor and someone's like "you don't have to carry that much, right?" It can feel like a massive insult, like they don't know, they can't possibly understand how hard things are. And also it sort of denigrates the skill and all of the holding shit together that you've been managing to do to keep all of these things off the ground in the first place, and not drop things and smash stuff all over the place.

And that isn't what my People Pleasing course is about.

I'm not here to tell you that all of the things that you're doing are unnecessary and you're going about it all wrong and that you shouldn't be doing all of those things. What I'm hoping that people are going to get out of this course is to be able to look at all of those things that they're carrying and be able to go "the way that I'm playing this game. The way that I am having to carry all of these things at the same time and the way that I'm speaking to myself when I'm doing it. Am I enjoying this? Is this the story that I want to be telling? Is this the life that I want to be living?" And if any of those questions have a "no" attached to them or even eyebrow twitchy a"re you joking?" Attached to them, I would suggest that it might be worth you exploring what else could be possible.

I don't claim that any of my courses or any of the stuff that I teach have the answer that's going to make everything completely breezy and transform your entire life in one foul swoop. But I do know that the methodology that I use in the coaching and the group coaching itself provides something that alleviates a sense of obligation, stress and relentlessness that so many of our lives are filled with, that things are just really hard and nothing else is possible. We just have to get through this because this bit is really, really tough. And at some point in the future, if we're lucky enough, it might not always be this hard.

What people get out of my courses is the possibility that maybe we could take some of the pressure off right now so that we're not always looking to the future for an escape of what we've got going on right now because we're actually enjoying the life that we're living now.

That can sound like a pretty far-fetched vision from all of the things that we listed on our to-do list earlier at the beginning of the episode. And so, on the people pleasing course, we are directly looking at how we frame the things that we do for other people and how we talk to ourselves when we we do it and why we take on so much for other people. And there is a massive giveaway in the term of "people pleasing" in the fact that it gives away that you think that you're doing too much for other people. It is not reciprocated and you feel a little bit like people are walking all over you. And the clue is in the fact that you call it people pleasing. Because if you didn't think that it was an unreciprocated arrangement, you wouldn't call it people pleasing. You'd call it doing a favour for a mate, or I just did something nice, or I went to visit someone, or I helped someone out with an errand.

The fact that you call it people pleasing shows that you know that you are sidelining your own personal needs for someone else's benefit. And quite often that is because we are hoping that someone else will see all of the things that we're doing for them and they might do some nice stuff for us back. It isn't the only reason, but it is often the reason.

And we're going to be looking at why we do this, why we're taught to do this, what we get out of it, why it really sucks, why we don't really get any of the benefits that we think that this thing is going to get us and therefore why it can sometimes build to a bit of resentment and can really leave us feeling a bit uneasy in some of our relationships.

And I can tell you that no matter what is going on in your days, no matter what is going on on your to-do list, if you have just a teaspoonful of more ease in your relationships or the way that you interact with people or the people that you love in your life or the people that you have to do the stuff for. If you are able to create a sense of ease for the people around you and all of the things that you need to hold honestly, the load that you are carrying feels a lot lighter. It may not take any things off your to-do list, but what it can provide is a slight ease of the sense of obligation, a slight ease of the sense of feeling like you're trapped, and a slight easing of the idea that nothing else is possible. And you're just going to have to grind your way through this.

And if you can create any more ease in your days, frankly, life feels a lot lighter.

So I'm not claiming to take anything off your to-do list, and I'm certainly not trying to encourage people to be less than kind to others. But what I am trying to do is provide you with some tools so one of the people that you're kind to could also be yourself.

So if you would like some of that in your life, why don't you come along and join the course that opens in September? We are open for enrolment now. The course begins on the 1st September. And I am also holding a free workshop that I'm running at the end of August, which you might want to come along to as well. But I hope this has been useful for how you think about people pleasing and notice when you call it people pleasing, what is the emotion that's coming up for you when you label it as such? And do you like some of the stories that are going along with that? I hope to see some of you on the course and I hope to see some of you in the free workshop.

I'll speak to you next week.


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