Inner Work With MaryAnn Walker

People Pleasing vs Pleasing People

November 02, 2023 MaryAnn Walker Episode 67
Inner Work With MaryAnn Walker
People Pleasing vs Pleasing People
Show Notes Transcript

In this episode MaryAnn identifies 10 qualities of both people pleasing and pleasing people. 

Descriptors for People Pleasing:

  1. Overly accommodating
  2. Submissive
  3. Fear of conflict
  4. Difficulty saying no
  5. Excessive apologizing
  6. Seeking approval
  7. Avoiding personal needs
  8. Constant need for validation
  9. Self-sacrificing
  10. Anxious about disappointing others

Descriptors for Pleasing People:

  1. Being considerate
  2. Kind and empathetic
  3. Generous
  4. Cooperative
  5. Altruistic
  6. Supportive
  7. Respectful
  8. Attentive to others' needs
  9. Positive and uplifting
  10. Willingness to help without sacrificing personal boundaries

While the behaviors of each may appear to be the exact same on the outside, the motivation and internal impact of each are vastly different.

Would you like help learning how to identify where people pleasing might be showing up for you and transitioning that into pleasing people?  Come and work with me. Click here to get started. 

Built-in Microphone:

Well, hello and welcome back! So I have received some feedback that maybe I've gotten into a few of your heads. So if you kind of feel like you're wondering all the time, okay, well, I don't know. Marianne says that people pleasing, it just means that I'm manipulating people. Like, am I a manipulator? If I'm really in your head. And you need a little bit of clarification around if you are genuinely pleasing people or if you're people pleasing, then this episode is for you. I hope that I can create a bit more clarity for you around what's going on for you. So today we're going to be exploring those differences. The difference between people pleasing and pleasing people because they can look really similar, right? I mean, from the outside looking in, it might be the exact same behaviors. on the outside. but it's what's happening inside of us that can give us the information around what it is that we're actually doing. If we're doing something in order to manipulate or just out of the kindness of our hearts. And so really, it can be hard from the outside to recognize what's going on for us. That really takes turning inward. So I'm going to list out 10 attributes for both people pleasing and pleasing people so you can have something to compare and contrast with and see if you can better understand what is going on for you. So, alright, number one for the people pleasing is being not just accommodating but overly. accommodating of others. So notice what's happening for you. There is a difference between being accommodating and being overly accommodating. And again, only you will know on the inside, which one it is for you. Is this creating feelings of resentment? If so, then you might be overly accommodating, right? So check in with your heart and see where you're at and see what's going on for you. Number two, submitting to another person's will without expressing your own. Now, sometimes we just choose to do this, right? It's like, oh sure, like it's not a big deal. You know, I've given the example on here before about Which movie we're going to watch for date night, right? And sometimes it's really not that big of a deal, but again, check in with yourself and notice, okay, am I experiencing some resentment? Am I feeling unseen and unheard? Am I creating further imbalance by not actually vocalizing what it is that. I want right now. If so, then you might be people pleasing. All right, now number three, People pleasing is saying yes out of fear of conflict and what I want you to notice here Is that there's a huge difference between saying yes to keep the peace with a heart of peace and saying yes to keep the peace When you actually have a heart of war oftentimes, we are self sacrificing right and it's like fine. I'll be the bigger person. I'll do this thing. But if you're doing it from that place of resentment and thinking, well, then they will then return the favor and they will honor and acknowledge what it is that I want the next time. Just notice that. And it's okay to even state that out loud, right? Maybe you are not people pleasing. If you actually state that intention out loud where it's like, Hey, like I'm willing to do this thing and, and bend in this moment. And next time. Can we please honor my desire in that moment, right? So just really noticing, okay, am I keeping the peace with a heart of peace? Or am I keeping the peace with a heart of war? Where on the outside it looks like we're experiencing peace in a relationship, but internally I'm having a lot of anger and resentment right now. Again, the behaviors are the same. Right? We're saying yes to something. But internally, something very different is happening. And one way of showing up is very supportive for the relationship, and the other way of showing up is actually counterproductive for the kind of relationship that you want to create. And number four Difficulty saying no now there are a lot of reasons why people pleasers might have a hard time saying no Oftentimes we've been raised to believe that no like good people say yes If somebody asks us to do them a favor you say yes, that's just what good people do and yes That is what good people do And also, good people have good boundaries. They recognize when they're sliding into resentment. They recognize when it is that they need a break. They take care of themselves first, so that they have more that they can have to offer others. Right? And so just checking in. Okay, like yes, I am having a hard time saying no. And usually this comes from a fear of disappointing other people, or a fear of rejection. So just notice if you have a hard time saying no. And also recognize when you are having a hard time saying no to other people, you are essentially choosing to say no to yourself. You're choosing to say no to your self care. You're choosing to say no to your own wants and wishes. So you are in fact saying no, you're just choosing to say no to yourself rather than other people in an effort to keep the peace. All right. Number five, excessively apologizing and taking on the blame rather than owning your peace and allowing other people to own their peace. Now everything that we do is co created, right? We've talked about that here on the podcast before, that everything that we experience in a relationship, every conflict is co created. And so even if you only have a tiny little piece to own, be willing to own that piece, or allow the other person to own that piece rather, rather than taking on the entire blame for yourself. And a lot of times it looks like this. It looks like I made a mistake. I'm bad. I won't do it again. You know, and those are good things to say in resolution when you've experienced conflict, but just notice if you are maybe possibly overowning and not allowing the other person to also take ownership of their piece or not expressing that, yes, I am willing to own the, I did this. And also, can you please own that? This also impacted me in this. way. So be willing to allow space for the other person to also take ownership rather than taking it all on yourself. 100%. All right. Number six, seeking approval. Now I'm sure like we all seek the approval of others, right? But just notice if you are placing the approval of others above your approval of self, because when we're doing that, we're essentially a little bit out of integrity. We're saying, no, somebody else is more important. And then we're living according to someone else's standard for us rather than our own standard of us. And that is being out of alignment and out of integrity with yourself. So while we all do seek that external validation, you know, I'll just give a silly example. Um, You know, sometimes I'll hear a high schooler say something like, well, I think I want to wear this, but I want to see what my friends say first to see if this outfit's a dumb outfit. And it's like, well, okay, really check in with yourself. Do you like that outfit? So why is their opinion more important than yours when you're the one wearing it? So just notice if you're placing the approval of other people higher than your approval of yourself Number seven, avoiding personal needs. Now, this is the person that sacrifices their own needs in an effort to fulfill something for somebody else. And this can be okay for a short season, right? It's good to be self sacrificing. You know, we all want to do kind things for other people. But notice... If you're feeling burned out, just remind yourself that you can't pour from an empty cup. Right? Take some time to refill. Take some time to identify and fulfill your own needs, because that's the only thing that's going to make loving and serving other people more sustainable for you. So really take that time to fill your own cup. rather than avoiding fulfilling your own personal needs. All right. Number eight, a constant need for validation. Notice if maybe after you've shown up at an event or get together, if you keep asking yourself or other people, Oh, did I show up? Okay. Did I say the wrong thing? Again, this comes from that place. of fear and insecurity, and we all need reassurance from time to time, right? Like, I know I've had times I've been like, Oh my gosh, I can't believe I said that at that party. Like, am I okay? Are we okay? So just notice if you're seeking though, an extreme amount of external validation. And one way that you can help to create that internal validation for yourself is when you're going into something where, you know, you might be kind of second guessing yourself afterward, kind of give yourself a little bit of guidance ahead of time. Like, okay, how am I going to measure how I show up? I remember one time I was going to an event and I thought, okay, well, how do I want to show up in this event? How can I measure my success, right? Because we might show up and be engaging in conversation with somebody and they're completely distracted and we might choose to make that mean that we didn't show up well when really it's about them and their lack of attentiveness at that time, right? For whatever reason, we don't know what's going on with them, but something else is happening for them and in that moment we're choosing to make it about us. So going into an event, knowing ahead of time, okay, how am I going to show up? What am I going to use as my qualifiers for success can be very helpful. So for example, one qualifier that I use is, okay, I'm going to make a point to ask each person at least two questions about them. That is something measurable. I can go into it. Preparing for. Okay, let's see. Now I've looked on their social media and I know this is something that they've been interested in, so I'm going to make a point to talk about that and then I can ask a follow up question. Now I have something measurable that is all about me and how I chose to show up rather than about how I was received or how I perceived I was being received by other people. So that can be a good way to create that internal validation. Alright, number nine. Self sacrificing. Now, again, being self sacrificing is not a bad thing. We've already essentially talked about this, but, oftentimes people pleasers put self sacrifice on the pedestal because it sounds so noble, right? It is such a beautiful thing, but notice if you were self sacrificing to the point that you have nothing left to give. Sometimes self sacrificing is energizing, right? Again, it's the same action, but it's going to create a different emotion, depending on what's happening in our mind and in our heart. So sometimes when you self sacrifice It, can be really energizing and sometimes it can be really draining. And so just remind yourself, Hey, it is okay to fill my own needs and I can fulfill somebody else's needs, but this is how much I can self sacrifice at this moment in time. And also remind yourself when you feel the need to completely take on somebody else's experience, that oftentimes this can lead to enabling. Where we are essentially robbing them of the opportunity of learning how to navigate these things on their own. So sometimes we do things thinking we're being noble and self sacrificing when really we might be enabling and it's actually detrimental to both of us. Because now they do not have the opportunity to learn how to navigate this experience. And also, we... are feeling burned out and resentful and it's creating negativity for us. So, so just become a little bit more aware as to, okay, what is this creating for me when I'm self sacrificing? Is this energizing for me or is this creating burnout and just check in with self? All right. Number 10, anxiety around the idea of disappointing others. You know, sometimes we're just so. frayed of judgment or abandonment, that the idea of saying no creates a lot of anxiety. So again, just notice how you are feeling when you say yes to something. It's okay to take, you know, five seconds even can create a little bit of self reflection to just pause. You know, a lot of times people pleasers when somebody asks them to do something, they immediately say yes and their heart is in the right place. They want to do good. But then they don't notice until after the fact that, Oh, you know what? I really wish I did said, no, I really don't have the time or the capacity right now to take this on. And so it's okay to just take a minute, even five to 10 seconds and think about it. Or to tell somebody, you know what? Let me check my calendar and get back to you so that you can really determine for yourself if you can give this a wholehearted yes or not, or if you need to do a little bit of self care. Okay, so now let's talk about the flip side. All of that was about the people pleasing and now we're going to, um, compare that with actually pleasing people. Now this comes from a totally different energy and motivation. This comes really from a place of genuine care and empathy and a deep desire to contribute positively to another person's wellbeing. So here are the 10 descriptors for pleasing people. All right. Number one, being considerate. This means that you are seeing and considering someone else's needs and you are choosing proactively to fulfill it. Again, remember this is about how you're feeling inside. So this is an example of when you were really feeling energized. You're seeing that, you know what, this person has a need. And I can fulfill it. I'm going to consider their needs. I'm going to be thoughtful about what is it that they might need at this moment. And then you're able to give from that place of abundance. Number two, kind and empathetic. Now, again, this is such a different feeling than when you're saying yes to something rather than out of kindness and empathy, when you're saying yes because you're seeking reassurance or validation that you are okay, right? When you're able to approach them from that kindness and empathy, You really are coming at it again from that place of abundance. You are feeling secure in yourself. You're not saying yes because you're seeking external validation, but because you just feel in your heart like, this is really what I want to do. And this is really how I want to go about doing it. All right. Number three, generous. It's all about recognizing that, you know what? I have enough in my cup that I can actually share. And I am choosing to share what is in my cup. And so this is really coming at it from a full cup mentality versus an empty cup mentality. So again, It might be that self sacrificing, but it comes from those two different places. The one is coming from a place of abundance, that I just have so much love, and concern, and empathy, and compassion that I want to offer this person, and I'm going to give this freely, versus, Ugh, I am so drained, I can't believe that they need this again, and This is just so hard for me, and it's going to be coming from that different energy. Now I do want to do a future episode on caregivers, because guess what? Caregivers, you are going to be experiencing a lot of the, the burnout, but it's still something that you're choosing proactively. So I'm going to be doing a whole episode on that, um, coming up in the future. I'm not quite sure when that will drop, but just know that, that that is something that I am aware of, is that there are people in situations where they really are feeling burned out, and it really is a struggle. But that doesn't mean that they're people pleasing. They still are trying to please people and do what they really feel is best. But sometimes those negative emotions are still a part of that. Number four, cooperation. Now, sometimes we do things that we don't necessarily want to do because what we are seeking even more than what we want is to have cooperation and compromise. And that is a beautiful place to approach things right from that energy of cooperation and compromise. It really helps to shift the energy and make it into something that is mutually beneficial. And when we're able to recognize that this is something that we're choosing on purpose and that that is our top priority, that we are prioritizing compromise and Cooperation, even more than we're prioritizing our own needs, we can recognize that, okay, this is my top priority and I'm choosing this on purpose. And that helps us to move forward with that heart of peace. All right. Number five, pleasing people is altruistic. Like sometimes we just want to do something nice, right? And it feels so good. Like I know that growing up, my mom really helped to instill this into us. For example, every Easter, we would make little origami bunnies, and we would fill them up with Mother Goose popcorn, and we would take it around and drop it off on different porches around the neighborhood, and then we would just ring the bell and run. This was before ring cameras, right? It's a lot harder to do that now. But I really enjoyed that as a child. It really helped to shift the energy. Wow, look at the nice thing that I did. And it gave me evidence that I can do nice things. things and I don't need to be thanked for it or rewarded for it. And they don't even need to know that it was me. And I really appreciated that growing up, how many of those opportunities my mother created for me. And so finding ways to, have those experiences of just that altruistic giving can really help you to, to shift that internal energy. Number six, pleasing people is supportive. You know, sometimes we just want to show our support for other people. And so we might be doing things and saying yes, not with that place of resentment, but just with wholehearted giving that we just want to show up and love and support. So maybe for example, You don't really particularly love going to spelling bees or going to holiday parties, but you really want to show up in love and support for your friend or your family member. And so recognizing that, okay, I'm going to show up at this event that I don't necessarily really want to attend because I'm choosing to show up in love and support. And that can really help to shift the people pleasing energy into pleasing people energy from that wholeheartedness of, yes, this is something I'm really choosing to do and I can feel good about doing it. And it comes from that totally different place, you know, compared with when you're showing up out of duty and obligation versus when you're just showing up out of genuine love and support. number seven, it's respectful. And I'm going to remind you that when I'm talking about being respectful, it respects both parties, okay? We're not working to fulfill somebody else's needs at our own expense. That's going to leave us drained and leave them feeling abundant, but rather it's respectful of both parties, meaning that it is mutually beneficial. We're finding ways to show up through that genuine lens of I am pleasing people. I'm choosing this on purpose. I'm choosing to come through this positive lens. So then both people at the end. are feeling that sense of abundance when it's mutually beneficial. A mutually respectful of each other's time and energy. You can really truly feel that. So just remember that, that respect is about respecting the other person as well as yourself. All right, number eight, attentive to another's needs. Now, this one is very similar to showing up in love and support, but it's choosing on purpose to honor and fulfill another person's needs, not because you have to, but because you are choosing to. And maybe they asked for something in particular, or maybe they didn't, but you are choosing on purpose to show up and really be attentive to the other person's needs. And again, Like the respect, this is about being attentive to the other person's needs while also being attentive to your own needs. So, for example, maybe somebody has requested, um, Hey, you know, we're doing a meal train for this family in need. Can you bring them a meal? It's like, yes, I can bring them a meal. However, I'm not going to be able to bring the meal until Wednesday. Okay, you're still able to show up in love and kindness, and you're also respecting your own calendar and your own timeline. And so, really, it's choosing to be attentive to both parties needs. All right. Number nine, positive and uplifting. So a couple of months ago, I was shopping with my daughter and she was buying some of her favorite drinks. And this random guy, who you're probably going to be meeting here on the podcast in the next little while, he showed up and he's like, oh, hey, they're my sponsor. I can just get those drinks for free if you want. And he bought her drinks and that just totally made our day. Right. And then we kind of parted ways. And some really cool things are gonna be coming from that experience. But I really appreciated and admired that he was intentionally going out into the world seeking for things that he could do that were positive and uplifting, there were no expectations around how he would. We're going to be like, okay, is this something that is positive and uplifting? It shifts that energy out of that duty and obligation, which is like, yeah, this is something I totally have the ability to do. I'm coming at it from this place of abundance. It's a little thing, right? Each of those drinks were just over a dollar, but it totally made my daughter's day. And so just looking for those little ways to be positive and uplifting can really help to shift you into the pleasing people mentality. All right. Number 10, a willingness to help without sacrificing personal boundaries. Now, I know that a lot of these things sound really repetitive, but I really just want to drive that point home. And, you know, this can be maybe a silly example, but I really want you to think about it. You know, if somebody called and said, Hey, I need to go to the dentist. I'm going to take your. appointment. We might be like, Oh, that's a little interesting. You know, like, no, like I also really need to get a cleaning. So I'm going to keep my appointment. Right. So recognizing that we both have needs that they're both valid, or maybe they are going to the doctors and it's like, okay, well, I need to go to the doctor. So you need to cancel your appointment so that I can have an appointment. Now, just remind yourself that no, there is room for all of us to have our own dental appointments, our own doctor's appointments. There is room for both and honoring and acknowledging that, yeah, okay, we can figure out a way to get both needs met, to get both of us to the dentist and both of us to the doctors without me sacrificing what it is that I need in order to maintain my personal well being. All right. So in summary, while on the outside, then the actions can look very, very similar. And in fact, oftentimes they look identical. The key difference between people pleasing and pleasing people lies in the motivation behind the behavior and the impact that it has on your own personal level of wellbeing. And only you can know that. So as you're listening here on the podcast and you're thinking, Oh no, Marianne's going to say that I'm a manipulator. I am not saying that you're a manipulator. I'm not saying that you're doing anything wrong. Only you can decide what kind of energy you're bringing into that exchange and you get to decide that. So I hope that this has brought a little bit more clarity around the differences between people pleasing and pleasing people, because they come from very, very different energies. So use your emotions as they come up to identify, okay, what is it that I need in this moment? And then move forward using that information to identify those needs. And as a side note, sometimes we don't recognize until after the fact what our motive was in the moment. Sometimes we say yes and we. think that we're believing one thing. And then it's after the fact, when we realized that, Oh, I guess I was coming at that through a different energy. So again, don't beat yourself up about that. Use the emotions that you experienced through these experiences as information to decide what it is you need in the moment and how you want to move. forward through it. Use it as information as to, okay, is this a situation where I need to set a boundary? Is this a situation where I need to have a conversation or actually vocalize what my wants and wishes are? Like use it all as information. Let go of the guilt when you go through an experience and then you do find that you're feeling a little bit of anger and resentment or feeling less than, just use it as information. Don't beat yourself up about it. Use it all as information to identify what your need is and how you can move forward. through that new inspired lens, right? You now have more information. Be grateful for that. And then choose on purpose how it is that you want to engage moving forward. And as always, if you would like some help or support learning to navigate these exchanges, learning how to set boundaries or learning how to process emotions or learning how to shift your energy from the people pleasing energy into the pleasing people energy, come and work with me. You can click the link in the show notes to set up a call and we can just chat about it. And so See what's going on for you and create a plan that is customized for you moving forward. So I hope you all have a great week and let's talk soon. All right. Bye now.