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Ep. 23 The 9 Ways You’ve Been Trained to Be a People Pleaser – Insideous

Ep. 23 The 9 Ways You’ve Been Trained to Be a People Pleaser – Insideous

9 Ways You’ve Been Trained to Be a People Pleaser

Welcome to Episode 23 of the Feel Good Superpower Podcast.

Today I’m talking about the 9 ways you’ve been trained to be a people pleaser & how that label was created… with my anecdotal evidence that society creates and upholds the need for People Pleasers

First, I want to say that being a people pleaser is not a bad thing.  I invite you to stop feeling bad about wanting others to be happy or wanting to have a feel good happy world.  Know that it is not your fault – because there are more than 9 ways you’ve been trained to be a people pleaser… I am only sharing nine of them with you.

And… I am going to share how most people have people pleasing skills but people pleasers excel with these skills.

Shaming you or blaming you for being too nice, too kind, a pushover, or worse creates unnecessary mental and emotional trauma.

The extreme form of people pleasing where we sacrifice ourselves for others is not the topic for today’s show… I will share my thoughts about this another time.

I do want to talk about how our systems and culture have created a damning picture of a people pleaser.

But first… here are some of the feel-good fabulous qualities of healthy people pleasers: 

9 Ways You'Ve Been Trained To Be A People Pleaser

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Here’s the rest of the transcript for The The 9 Ways You’ve Been Trained to Be a People Pleaser:

There are 9 ways you’ve been trained to be a people pleaser without going into too much detail as I believe you’ll be able to relate and identify examples of your own for each one:

  1. Parent-Child
  • As a child, you’re taught how to please your parents and are rewarded for it
  • And punished when you don’t which reinforces the behavior of pleasing your parent
  • When parents talk about someone else’s child’s achievements or behaviors favorably, their child may try to be like them to please their parent.
  • Proving ourselves to our parents or authority figures is a form of pleasing behavior
  1. Teacher-Student and School
  • In school, you are taught to be like everyone else. The education model is designed for conformity – one model for every student… so when you don’t fit in… you try to find ways to fit in to survive… fitting in is a form of pleasing behavior.
  • Students are taught to please the teacher and those that do are rewarded and acknowledged… those that don’t are ignored, dismissed or admonished
  • Then, parents who hear good things from their child’s teachers, are pleased. This instills the pleasing others mindset.
    • It is costly to not fit in… to conform, so we learn how to be pleasing to other students and the adults around us so that we’re not bullied, mistreated, dismissed, ignored, or criticized
  1. Body Image
    • I don’t think I need to say anything about this do I? Women have been objectified so much over the years that I don’t know any woman who does not have some self-critical issues with their bodies.  If you’re not pretty or thin… well it’s the end of the world.  So what do we do – we try that fad diet, or fad exercise program, or fad pill or treatment to try to make ourselves look like the photoshopped image of models and actresses plastered on billboards.  We want to be pleasing to others.
  2. Boss to Employee
    • We’re set up to please the boss or manager from the first time we meet them… starting with our application and resume, then the job interview, and then we have to maintain that throughout the time we are in the job.
    • It’s a constant please my boss, coworkers, and customers environment
  3. Performance Appraisals
    • In a job situation, managers usually hold performance appraisals with their employees. This is another structure designed to ensure we please our managers and our customers. 
    • Now we have boss pleasing and your boss is a person – so it’s people pleasing.
  4. Customer Satisfaction
    • If a business’s customers are not satisfied, then the employee is going to get feedback and be asked to improve or even get written up or fired. These are another word for people pleasing – in this case customer pleasing.
  5. Service Based Economy
    • We live in a service based economy and the #1 quality that is needed by those who provide a service, is customer service and satisfaction – which are just other words for people pleasing.
  6. Family
    • Whether it’s your sibling, aunt, uncle, grands, or distant relative… we’re all performing in a way to make them happy or have a good time. This is so prevalent during the holiday family gatherings.  So much energy and effort is put into creating a peaceful environment for everyone.  People Pleasing.
  7. Religion
    • Is also a structure for people pleasing – following a set of conditions and norms – conforming again… and if you don’t agree with it all or ask questions… well judgment, criticism, gossip get fueled in that community.

It is unfortunate that it is common to be shamed for being motivated by pleasing others.  You may be surprised to learn that people pleasing is not a medically diagnosed disease, nor is it a diagnosed mental or emotional disorder.  

I found the origins of the words people pleasing to be disturbing… mainly because it has become a label with which to discriminate against those of us who are empaths, sensitives, kind, caring, giving, and compassionate.  These traits are a good thing… as long as we don’t sacrifice ourselves in any of our relationships.

In the 1970’s, medical treatment for alcoholism as a disease, was focused on the alcoholic.  Once treatment centers found that involving family and partners of the alcoholic in the treatment and support process generated lower incidents of relapse with higher periods of sobriety, the term co-alcoholic was created.

Then in the 1980’s, drug treatment programs formed the term chemical dependency from the perspective of addiction to alcohol or drugs.  To create a most publicly unifying term, the word co-alcoholism was updated to co-chemically dependent.  But this was too much of a mouthful to say… so it was shortened to co-dependent.

So Codependency was used to describe a person who is in a relationship with an addict and who enabled them in some way with their addiction.  But all of a sudden, the term co-dependent became a term to describe someone who attracts and gets into relationships with narcissists or addicts.  It was at this moment that the term people pleasing came into being – to describe codependents who would automatically make sacrifices to care for others who are incapable of reciprocity… Codependents have difficulty in resisting getting into relationships with people who are addicts, controlling, or narcissistic.

By the 1990’s the term codependent and people pleaser became mainstream.  I find this unfortunate because

Ross Rosenburg concisely and clearly defines codependency in this book The Human Magnet Syndrome: Why We Love People Who Hurt Us as follows:

Codependency is a problematic relationship orientation that involves the relinquishing of power and control to individuals who are either addicted or who are pathologically narcissistic. Codependents are habitually attracted to people who neither seem interested nor motivated to participate in mutual or reciprocal relationships. Hence, the partners of codependents are often egotistical, self-centered and/or selfish. Typically, codependents feel unfulfilled, disrespected and undervalued by their relationship partner. As much as they resent and complain about the inequity in their relationships, codependents feel powerless to change them.

To me, it is inappropriate to be cavalier with labels like codependent or people pleaser.  They are medical terms and should be treated as such. But, suffice it to say, I see these two terms being used by the general public all too often without fully understanding the origins, meaning or ramifications of doing so… nor are they qualified as a medical or mental health professional.

Words have meaning and energy.  They can be weapons of destruction.  I invite you to be honoring of these words going forward.

The book I mentioned is The Human Magnet Syndrome written by Ross Rosenberg and it would help me out greatly if you purchase it via my affiliate link https://amzn.to/3r6uMZ1

Here are the sources from my research for your reference:

https://psychcentral.com/blog/human-magnets/2013/11/the-history-of-the-term-codependency#2

Disclaimer:  What I am sharing here is not a replacement for licensed professionals.  As an Intuitive/Sensate Life, Relationship and Business Coach, I am not providing health care, medical or nutritional therapy services, or attempting to diagnose, treat, prevent or cure any physical, mental or emotional issue, disease or condition. The information provided in my podcast pertaining to any aspect of your life is not intended to be a substitute for the professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment provided by your own Medical Provider, Clergy or Mental Health Provider. 

Finding meaning in Life with Symbols – Butterfly, Dreamcatcher, and Choice

Finding meaning in Life with Symbols – Butterfly, Dreamcatcher, and Choice

Finding Meaning in Life with Symbols

Brings inner calm, validation, and peace of mind

Let’s focus on the Butterfly,
Dreamcatcher, and Choice 

Signs, signs, everywhere there are signs… are you paying attention so that you succeed in finding meaning in life with symbols?

Human beings love to make meaning out of anything and everything in their lives.  We over-analyze, interpret, assume, and create and live out our stories. Let’s talk about meaning in life with symbols and I’ll share why I chose the butterfly for my logo and the dreamcatcher for my branding.

Symbols – as humans we seem to be wired to find meaning in everything in our lives.  I find that nature, images, signs, and shapes bring us meaningful expression and grounding in times of need.  Symbols are a way for us to understand ourselves, our wants, needs, and dreams.  They are used in literature, television, movies, advertising… really everywhere once you open your heart and mind to see them.

The symbols for my logo is The Butterfly and I started out using The Dreamcatcher… but changed it this year as I wanted to make a conscious, honoring, choice about cultural appropriation.

Here’s my butterfly and finding meaning with symbols story:

My husband and I went to Aruba many years ago.  There was a butterfly farm tucked away on a side road that we visited.  It was a magical and mystical experience.  I was enamored by the beauty of these creatures, their lives, and their meaning. 

While there as I was walking through the farm, a visibly imperfect beautiful blue morpho butterfly landed on the center of my lower back and remained there for about two hours. 

I allowed it gratefully to bless and be with me for the time I was there.  

Dars Blue Morpho 1

I have never forgotten this butterfly.  I was asking it what it was there to tell me… and I heard nothing other than be patient, be calm, and wait.  It will come…  When the butterfly was complete (my words) it flew off into a tree.

And now that I write this, this butterfly was there to tell me to own my beauty, to feel good about myself, my life, body, work, and relationships.  I hear it loudly now. 

Dars Hitchhiker 3

I have since learned that waiting is an empowering emotional, physical, mental, and spiritual space to be… and live in.  Sure, I still get frustrated and try to push what I want at times… then I remember the butterfly. 

I too have been caught up in the societal culture and norms of rush, get things done, achieve more and be more.  It is exhausting.  Today, I believe the butterfly was warning me to shift to this state of calm, wait, patient… I also believe it was here to tell me that I do help make dreams come true through practical transformation and change in my work as a life and business coach.

There are a lot of views and traditions of the meaning of butterfly… I invite you to search on the internet if this interests you.  Here is what I have garnered for the purpose of my life and the Feel Good Superpower Podcast.

A blue butterfly is often considered as a sign of life.  In most cultures, the blue butterfly is a symbol of acceptance, honor, and great energy. A blue butterfly can also symbolize the passing of time, change, and meaningful purpose in life.

Seeing a blue butterfly or holding it can have a calming effect on a person. In some part of the world, blue butterflies are rare, so it is considered extremely lucky to observe one.

The blue butterfly is a symbol of Spirit speaking through transformation and change.

In some cultures, spotting a blue butterfly is thought to bring sudden good luck. Blue butterflies are also considered wish-granters. Spotting a blue butterfly means that a wish one makes or made will come true.  A blue-colored butterfly is often thought to symbolize joy and happiness.

Finding Meaning With Symbols

Given I was using the dream catcher last year in my business as a symbol, I wanted to share the history of it, its origination, and why I chose to stop using it.

History of Dream Catchers

Long ago when the word was sound, an old Lakota spiritual leader was on a high mountain and had a vision. In his vision, Iktomi, the great trickster and searcher of wisdom, appeared in the form of a spider. Iktomi spoke to him in a sacred language. As he spoke, Iktomi the spider picked up the elder’s willow hoop which had feathers, horsehair, beads and offerings on it, and began to spin a web. He spoke to the elder about the cycles of life, how we begin our lives as infants, move on through childhood and on to adulthood. Finally we go to old age where we must be taken care of as infants, completing the cycle.

But, Iktomi said as he continued to spin his web, in each time of life there are many forces, some good and some bad. If you listen to the good forces, they will steer you in the right direction. But, if you listen to the bad forces, they’ll steer you in the wrong direction and may hurt you. So these forces can help, or can interfere with the harmony of Nature. While the spider spoke, he continued to weave his web.

When Iktomi finished speaking, he gave the elder the web and said, The web is a perfect circle with a hole in the center. Use the web to help your people reach their goals, making good use of their ideas, dreams and visions. If you believe in the great spirit, the web will filter your good ideas and the bad ones will be trapped and will not pass.

The elder passed on his vision onto the people and now many Indian people have a dreamcatcher above their bed to sift their dreams and visions. The good will pass through the center hole to the sleeping person. The evil in their dreams are captured in the web, where they perish in the light of the morning sun. It is said the dreamcatcher holds the destiny of the future.

Legend of the Dreamcatcher

Long ago, when the world was young, an old Lakota spiritual leader was on a high mountain. On the mountain, he had a vision. In his vision, Iktomi – the great trickster and teacher of wisdom – appeared in the form of a spider. Iktomi spoke to him in a sacred language. Only spiritual leaders of the Lakota could understand. As Iktomi spoke, he took the elder’s willow hoop – which had feathers, horse hair, beads and offerings on it – and began to spin a web.

He spoke to the elder about the cycles of life and how we begin our lives as infants. We then move on to childhood and into adulthood. Finally, we go to old age where we must be taken care of as infants, thus, completing the cycle.

“But,” Iktomi said as he continued to spin his web, “in each time of life there are many forces – some good and some bad. If you listen to the good forces, they will steer you in the right direction. But, if you listen to the bad forces, they will hurt you and steer you in the wrong direction.”

He continued, “There are many forces and different directions that can help or interfere with the harmony of nature and also with the Great Spirit and all of his wonderful teachings.”

All while the spider spoke, he continued to weave his web … starting from the outside and working toward the center. When Iktomi finished speaking, he gave the Lakota elder the web and said, “See, the web is a perfect circle, but there is a hole in the center of the circle.”

“Use the web to help yourself and your people … to reach your goals and make use of your people’s ideas, dreams and visions. If you believe in the Great Spirit, the web will catch your good ideas, and the bad ones will go through the hole.” (Note: Some bands believe the bad ideas are caught in the web and the good ideas pass through to the individual. Either account is acceptable.)

The Lakota elder passed his vision on to his people. Now, the Sioux use the dreamcatchers as the web of their life. Traditionally, it is hung above their beds or in their homes to sift their dreams and visions. Good dreams are captured in the web of life and carried with them … but the evil dreams escape through the center’s hole and are no longer part of them. (Note: Some bands believe the bad ideas are caught in the web and the good ideas pass through to the individual. Either account is acceptable.)

The Lakota believe the dreamcatcher holds the destiny of their future.   The above is Obtained from historical documents and believed to be public domain.

Why I chose to stop using the Dreamcatcher images and references once I learned about its origination, history, and meaning – My Choice:

  • It did not feel good to use it… as it was not part of my lineage, nor was it gifted to me from any lineage
  • I felt I was dishonoring and disrespecting a culture, tradition, and communities of people, humans, who had been ravaged and treated inhumanely in the past and present times.  I no longer wanted to contribute to that energy.
  • I share about it here to honor and respect it.

Click below to hear my podcast about finding meaning with symbols, the butterfly, and dreamcatcher.

Listen to “Ep.1 – Finding Meaning With Symbols, The Butterfly and the Dreamcatcher, and Choice” on Spreaker.

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