Aunty People Pleaser...
I had just potentially forfeited my favorite flavoured ice lolly so that my young niece could choose the flavour of her choice.
" Which one do you want? " I asked
"You choose first Aunty, which one do you want?"
"No you choose first" I insisted
"No, you!" she insisted back...
She looked up at me and said:
"Aunty, you're a people pleaser !"
I naturally thought that what I had just done, was the natural thing that an Aunt would do when interacting with younger relatives. Her words resonated deeply within me - straight out of the mouth of a 14-year-old. She had witnessed enough of my behaviour throughout the years to see that I never put myself first. The reality is that I would have done the exact same thing had it have been an adult, my niece had given me the wake-up call I needed, my behaviour had to change.
My mantra in life has been that you treat people how you would like to be treated. I believe in treating people respectfully & doing the right thing. I have always liked to bring out the best in others and want people to feel appreciated and important. As well as wanting to be of service to others, I do think that deep down inside I have always felt some kind of lack with regards to receiving emotional & spiritual support for myself and in some ways I was seeking that same regard back from the family members & friends that I gave it to which has never to date really worked in my favour.
So what were the signs that I was a people pleaser?
I took care of others first and put myself last.
I was often under-appreciated and taken for granted.
My kindness and self-giving often went unreciprocated.
I had a hard time saying “no” to things that I didn't don't even want to do.
I got taken advantage of at work & in my personal relationships.
I used to let people give me thankless tasks they don’t want to do themselves.
I was afraid of being rejected if I didn't go along with certain people’s whims and demands.
All of the above was making me miserable and contributed to serious bouts of depression - and even then I was still people pleasing.
I was Divinely led to Katha (no this is not a marketing ploy but the truth) when I was at my lowest ebb. So many things were crumbling around me & my life had become a chore and a burden. I was given insight into myself & the relationships around me. I listened carefully and followed the guidance that was given. A change was what I wanted and I had prepared myself for the potential fallout that my change would cause to those around me.
I had created a monster for myself, one which fasts forward five years on I still struggle to break free from. My old way of doing things and past reputation of people pleasing still supersedes who I am transforming into right now and some still have an issue with it. There have been times when I felt as though I had committed a crime, I felt bullied and was blamed for things I had not even done and all because I'd stopped people pleasing. I was told:
"You're not your old self!"
"You've changed, I bet it's a man's influence"
I've cried many tears, have been on the brink of reverting back to the old me for the sake of peace and harmony. One of the hardest things I had to accept was that 95% of the people in my life disappeared when I ceased wanting to please. My phone stopped ringing and I lost long standing friendships that in hindsight I never really had. Relatives struggle to adjust to the new me. My life is now very different but I have so much more energy for myself and I put myself first. Consultant Katha would remind me that I had created a blank canvas for myself and I could now design my life...
My life now includes having boundaries which I am learning to implement, I no longer have an open door policy - respect & positive regard is entry code to being in my personal space.
I now see that my kindness & generosity (which others have taken for a weakness) is actually one of my many strengths.
My natural ability to nurture, empathise & support has helped & assisted so many people throughout the years & I will continue to do so but to those who are deserving and in need. My sensitivity which I have been scorned for in the past is what gives me compassion for others & good intuition.
No longer do I feel as guilty when I say no to those demands that will diminish my energy, personal growth or sense of worth - there is enough abundance on the earth for others to go & find their sustenance elsewhere!
I accept that I no longer have control about what others think of me and whilst at times it does bother me slightly (whereas before it bothered me all of the time!) I am learning to not let those thoughts control my actions and ruin my day.
What's left is a much stronger me, what I always craved for from others I am now learning to give to myself, a stroll through the Woods on a Sunday will feed my Soul & ground me like no other person can...
Things are far from perfect for me & I am still not where I want to be yet. I know one day I will meet my Soul tribe who will treat me the way I want to be treated but for now, I will continue on my Spiritual journey and create my own definition of heaven on earth..a journey which ultimately starts from within.
Peace & Love...