There is a persona that some of us possess that I call the “Pleaser.” On the surface, you may believe being the Pleaser is a good quality. They are easy-going, nice to be around and never complain…to your face. The pleaser has plenty of friends who always know they can count on her whenever a crisis arises. She makes a great employee and will put in extra time and effort because she thrives on accolades from her boss and co-workers.
This persona of being a pleaser is not your true self, it is merely a mask that your ego created to protect you from other people. The pleaser persona makes you put other people above yourself because you fear judgment, abandonment or even anger from others. You reject the part of you who wants to speak the truth about how you really feel because that is just too dangerous to let out.
This pleaser persona puts you into a lose-lose situation. If you please others, you don’t get what you want and resent them. If you speak your truth, you fear they will judge you as angry, selfish and feel guilty about being a “bad” person. You please everyone except the one person who really needs that love…and that is yourself.
A pleaser will attract romantic relationships that always leave her feeling unappreciated, abandoned and not good enough. Potential partners will seem to be selfish, uncaring and other things in their life (job, family, other women) will seem to have higher priority that her.
I am a recovering pleaser. I didn’t realize that the pleaser in me is what kept me from finding true love. After years of trying to find the “right” person out there who appreciates me, I realized that the solution was in me.
When I first started to break my pleaser-pattern, I faced rejection head on. I let go of my “easy-going, fun Debi” persona and spoke vulnerably and honestly with the men I dated. I asked them directly, “where is this going?” or “what are you looking for in this relationship?” I know, I broke those silly dating rules that typically scare men away as they say, but the experience of speaking up was very empowering.
I was shocked at how the men were very respectful and honest. Even if they didn’t want to pursue a serious relationship with me, they respected me and put me in high regard for even posing the questions. Their non-committal behaviors weren’t because I wasn’t good enough or unlovable after all.
The key in my communication was that I wasn’t needy about it or pushing my agenda on them. I didn’t, of course, do this on the first few dates either, just when I felt there should be a next step. I was firm and confident. I wasn’t asking for a proposal, I was just asking for clarity and more information. I wanted to know if I should clear the field of other contenders or move on to give someone else a chance to be with wonderful me.
You see, when you are clear on YOUR WORTH and VALUE and what you want, you can sift out the ones who aren’t on the same page. Of course, the transformation wasn’t made solely with external conversations, I did my inner work as well to free my mind of the fear of being my best self. I stopped putting men on pedestals to please and searched for an equal partner where we honored each other’s worth. Thankfully, I only asked two people this question before I met Robert so the weeding process was fast and effective.
About a month after Robert and I were dating, he said, “Can we talk?” I was a little scared at first that this was the shoe-dropping conversation that we all dread when we like someone. Surprisingly, though, he asked me, “So what are your intentions?” and “Do you want to be exclusive?” He beat me to the question before I even had the chance.
When I stopped being such a pleaser and faced the shadow of the part of me that was afraid to make a stand for my worth and value and what I wanted, I found someone who fit my new piece of the puzzle! I expressed my true nature (a woman of worth and value) so I could find my true love.
Each time I asked for what I wanted, I was sending a powerful message to the creative unconscious, “YES, I am worth it and I know what I want.” As I shifted my self-perception on a deep level, I became ready to receive someone who was ready to receive love too.
The people in your life will always reflect how you feel about yourself. To change the reflection, you must face the source within.