31 Days of Soul Searching – Day 3 {Pleaser}

Day 3

So happy you came back for Day 3 of my soul searching adventure! Thank you for joining me in peeling back the layers to uncover the triggers and traps that threaten our peace of mind.

As I was deciding what to write about in this series, I sat down and brainstormed a list of all of the things that I do {or am} that hold me back. The list got long fast!

Am I really that big of a mess?

My initial answer to that question was “YES, big fat hot mess!”.

But then I thought about it with a more rational mind and realized that “NO, I am struggling with many of the same things that other people I know are struggling with too!”.

There is such comfort in knowing that the thoughts that trouble me may be running through your mind as well. The obstacles I face might be stumbling blocks for you too. And if we can come up with some strategies to combat these challenges, we can go forth as happier and healthier people.

I stared at those rambling words on the page of my little brainstorming session and one of those words popped out.

{Pleaser} stood out like it was in one of those 3-D pictures from the 90’s, and the more I looked at it, the clearer it got.

I am a pleaser! And it is absolutely a source of frustration for me on many levels.

What do I mean by being a pleaser?

Do you ignore your own important needs to ensure that everyone else is happy? Do you agree to do things for others simply because you don’t want to disappoint them? Do you shoulder more than your fair share of the burden so that others won’t have to?

Sometimes doing those things just means you are thoughtful and generous. But sometimes, if you do those things consistently, it begins to erode your self-worth and your sanity, not to mention your time.

Does this ring true for you?

Pleaser patrol to the rescue!

First let me say that sacrificing your time, money, or efforts for others is a selfless and admirable thing to do. Be proud of your giving nature.

Secondly, only you can determine if your people pleasing is a destructive force in your life. If it leaves you feeling significantly depleted mentally or emotionally, I would encourage you to consider ways to make some changes.

For me, I tend to give and give and give without complaint because I just love to do it. But why do I love to? Because it makes me feel special, valued, or loved.

Dang it. There it is.

Somehow I hang my value on what I can do for someone else. Somehow I dismiss my own needs so that I will feel appreciated for supporting someone else’s. Somehow my helpful nature is actually harmful to me.

This soul searching thing is painful, my friends!

Here’s what I know about these pleasing tendencies of mine: When my patterns of behavior cause me pain, I owe it to myself to take notice.

My logical instincts tell me that my family and friends will love me just as much if I occasionally put my own needs first. I think they may even still love me if I have to say “no” to them sometimes.

My value is not directly connected to what I do for other people. And yours isn’t either.

Next time I am feeling overwhelmed because of my pleaser problem, I will have an important question to answer. Can I say “yes” to them without saying “no” to my own needs? And when I need to, I will have the presence of mind to protect my peace of mind.

How about you?

How will you handle it the next time you recognize your pleaser tendencies coming out?

What are you prepared to sacrifice if you don’t make any changes to your process?

I am feeling so grateful to have your company on this journey. Thank you for joining me for these realizations and ah-ha moments. Can’t wait to share Day 4 with all of you!

value

 

*This is the 3rd post in a 31 day series on Soul Searching. To follow the series from the beginning, simply click here and you will be directed to the introductory post which contains links to each day’s topic.

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2 thoughts on “31 Days of Soul Searching – Day 3 {Pleaser}

  1. Anne October 22, 2013 at 3:23 pm Reply

    I can so relate to this! I’ve had to do lots of soul searching myself and set much needed boundaries. I just found your series. I really like it! Blessings fellow journeyer!

    • trisbendickson October 22, 2013 at 4:19 pm Reply

      Anne, I am so glad you stopped by! Thank you for your sweet encouragement 🙂

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