If you are raised a pleaser, you know this story. If you believe that being a people pleaser will make you a better person, you know it too. I used to believe that I needed to be good at everything, and that failure was not tolerated. I was taught that being a good person was pleasing everybody else. Not serving, pleasing. I was raised to believe that putting myself first was egoistic and selfish, and that setting myself aside to help someone else was expected of me. I believed and did. Program accepted. Don´t get me wrong, helping others can be a wonderful thing, but we tend to confuse pleasing and serving.
Pleasing vs serving:
We are lost and thrown off balance by our lives and our fears. Our insecurities love to wallow in the realm of pleasing.
The reason we get this all mixed up is because we are pleasers by nature. It is natural to want to be helpful and pleasing. It is natural to want to serve unconditionally. This whole topic has come forth as a symptom of our imbalanced lives and emotional patterns. We are lost and thrown off balance by our lives and our fears. Our insecurities love to wallow in the realm of pleasing. We almost put ourselves out as martyrs to feel the full benefit of giving. We practice people pleasing, which is something we do to get our own need met. It comes from wanting validation and feeling worthy. People pleasing is something different. It comes from the ego, from wanting something, from insecurity.
- We please others for validation and for approval. It can also be used as a means of controlling another person. It`s a reflection of not feeling complete and whole. There is the constant longing to be seen and appreciated. As children, we tend to please our parents as a mean to be seen and to get praise. The constant search for the outside reason to feel good about ourselves has started. With a lie, it has started this crazy race that one can never win. The longer you are in it, the less validated you will feel. The original intent bites us in our beautiful behind, over and over again.
- Serving comes from looking at the bigger picture. When it comes from the heart, helping someone is natural. Being there for someone, a community or a cause will lift and empower you. Being able to bring forth joy and inspiration is empowering and giving. You will never expect anything in return, and it will come from free will and excitement.
- Pleasing takes from your soul. The battle that goes on inside when a people pleaser gives and gives, leaves a hole of un-fulfillment. We end up disappointed, as there have been expectations attached to the giving and pleasing. Even when they are tired or have to cancel their own tasks, they will show up to help. Resentfully so. Never happy about the service, feeling more and more used, and left with an even bigger hole inside that needs to be filled.
- Service is given in joy. Always willingly and from the heart. These people know how to take care of themselves, and that they cannot be of much service if they don’t love themselves first. They also know that they can`t help everybody, all the time. Being of service is listening to the soul’s purpose and living in gratitude and appreciation. It is an honor to be able to serve.
- When you please, you pay for it. It comes with a cost, to lose yourself and your boundaries. It often cultivates the victim mentality. You are sorry for yourself for having to always do everything for others, and it builds up resentment and anger. It could also leave you feeling superior if that is what you need. You are now better than the rest, for putting everybody else`s needs before your own. You are the hero, the martyr even. It eats at your soul, your spirit and your sense of freedom. The cost is loss of empowerment. A high price to pay to try to please your way out of your own misery. Heaven forbid you say no. How could you? They would look at you as a terrible person. You would be nothing.
- When you serve, you gain: From a sense of connection and spiritual awareness, as a server, you feel much obliged and honored to be of service. The joy of being able to give is enough, it is fulfillment in itself. It is chosen, and it is done in harmony with your identity. When you serve, you nurture strong relationships and boundaries and are able to act compassionately.
- As a pleaser, you withdraw from your life. By turning your back on your own needs, you are isolating yourself from the world around you. You have to suppress anything that does not please How authentic is that? Now no one sees the real you, not even you. From years of being a people pleaser, I know first-hand how disconnected from our own needs we can get. Now we feel unseen and like nobody really knows who we are, and they don´t.
- As a server you connect: Not only to those around you but to all that is. By being one who listens to yourself and creation, you will feel even more connected by carrying out the divine plan of being in service. As you act from authentic feelings you will draw like-minded people towards. More situations that are real and true will show up at your doorstep.
“True giving is receiving. If you cannot see that, you are not truly giving.” – Hilde Larsen
Whenever you expect a return on your giving, like an investment, you are off base. Nothing could be farther from the energy of true service. It has no expectations at all. The gift is in the pleasure of being able to contribute. The joy in that itself is what fills the heart. When you look at giving as a favor that has to give you something back, you operate from a sense of scarcity, like you will run out of favors to give, or helping hands to offer. Believe me, there is always enough, and you will never run out. Who said that? Your self-worth is not at stake, and you will not get burned out if you take care of yourself. Whenever you feel obligated to do something, and you mask up with your perfect smile to seem helping and sacrificing, stop it!
A gift is something that always spreads and keeps giving. The ripple-effect is enormous. An act of true kindness will spread like wildfire. The size in value is unseen to the giver. The receiver, by forwarding the empowerment given, is participating in the growth of your gift. A true blessing.
Get rid of your own shit, and serve along the way:
Even though we have the best intent, it is not our place to try to change anyone that has not asked for our help. Even if it doesn’t seem that they are choosing the best, smartest, or the most beneficial path, it is their own.
More often than not, we tend to be eager to help others help themselves. It is easy to see fault in others, to want to jump to their rescue. We know better, and all we want is the best for them. We are doing it out of kindness, and we might very well know better, intellectually. We might even be able to guide them towards exactly what they express that they are looking for, but is it any of our business, really? Even though we have the best intent, it is not our place to try to change anyone that has not asked for our help. Even if it doesn’t seem that they are choosing the best, smartest, or the most beneficial path, it is their own. All we can do is to offer. All we can do is to let them know we are there. That is all. Everything else is not being of service, it is being a pain and not respecting other people’s boundaries. We also tend to project our own baggage onto other people. The “I am cold. Everybody must be freezing” syndrome. Having the need to change others views or behavior comes from a need to control. Let us take back our own control, but not by controlling others. None of our business.
There is an old saying that addresses this topic; Sweep outside your own front door before you try to clean someone else’s. This tells us that we should bring the energy back to ourselves and focus on bettering ourselves first. I would then say to leave the broom at your own door, period. Let people use their own broom when they see fit. We can all have a broom-party together if we so choose. By invitation only.
Serving and pleasing, giving and helping. All words that easily get entangled in each other.
The difference lies in the energy behind the word, not in the word itself. We all need help now and then, and we all feel better being able to give back to the world. Through so many different ways, we can all contribute. The bullshit belief that we need something back, a validation or a prize, is not serving any of us. All of us trying to be perfect, while none of us ever will be. There is no such thing, and at the same time, we are perfect. It doesn`t matter. Creation doesn`t give a shit. Only we do, and it is holding us back. You might believe that you have to be in a certain place, or be able to hold a special skill to help and guide others. Not so. All you have to do is be you, and there is always someone that will need what you have to offer. You are enough, always. You have a gift, you have an experience that others can benefit from, and you are able to change someone else`s life today.
“We can’t help everyone, but everyone can help someone” – Ronald Reagan
No more people-pleasing:
It is time to recover from being a people pleaser, and it starts with you. It is always you, me, and us. I am sure that we all recognize this trait. Trying to do the right thing, for a series of reasons. To not have to deal with conflict, to not have to worry about someone, or to get some attention and validation.
Practice listening to yourself. Be mindful of your own thoughts and feelings. They indicate how you perceive your life. They also tell you some valuable information about your belief system in general. Let them guide you and be your friends. Emotions and feelings are a natural part of you. Acknowledge them as your friends. Let them speak and listen.
Be humble and connected. You are a part of the God force, and as long as you stay connected, you will need no validation from others. Stop chasing the outside for what you are looking for. It was always within. Get real with your own shortcomings and strengths. Appreciate, pray and be true to yourself.
Be open and honest. Be authentic and real towards others. Stand your ground by learning how to say no. You have to set your own boundaries. Both yes and no has a place in your life, although to reject is most often the hardest to say. You are allowed to disagree with anyone about anything. Look at why you are not comfortable choosing yourself and your own needs. Let no one tell you what to do, say or feel.
Respect others. Respect other people`s feelings and choices, and expect them to do the same. Don`t preach over them or tell them what to do. Don`t help until asked, and see each person as having their own journey. You are not the lead in their life. You are only the boss of your own. Stay in the service mode towards the world, without having a need to fix anything or anyone. Who gave you the authority to try to change anyone? Allow them the integrity to make their own decisions.
Stay clear about people pleasing. We were never meant to be pleasers. We are givers. We are all our own authorities and equally able to make our own choices. We are not meant to compromise for validation. Through mutual respect and encouragement, we can live in support of each other. You are free. Whatever you thought you had to do, or who you needed to please, you are hereby off the hook. Recap that energy and use it for something that will cultivate growth and happiness.