The individuals I work with at the Center for Healing often find themselves sacrificing their needs for others. They also feel unheard and unimportant. Boundaries are violated by people they love and they sense they have lost their identity completely.*
Do you ever let your boundaries be bulldozed by other people?
Do you ever sense you have lost yourself and your identity?
If you are having a similar struggle in your relationships, you may very well be a pleaser.
To be a pleaser means that we become so incredibly focused on making others happy, either because we are scared of losing that person or concerned about them getting angry with us.
Unfortunately, pleasing others is often at a great sacrifice to us and our needs. When we give in to others constantly without having our needs met as well, it keeps us in complete turmoil as well as feeling powerless. This powerlessness stems from giving up our personal power.
What can also cause powerless is when boundaries are set and then violated by the people we love. I work with many clients who tend to give up when their boundaries are violated.
Unfortunately, new boundaries WILL be violated especially by people who live a boundary-less life. This can become destructive when we fall into self-pity which tells us that we are not valuable enough to have our boundaries respected and honored. Giving up on our needs and boundaries enable others to continue making bad choices without any accountability.
Unfortunately, life for the pleaser who lives without boundaries and a clear voice is chaotic and stressful. Eventually after years of sacrificing to please others, we lose ourselves completely.
Bottom line … without boundaries, conviction and a strong, clear voice, change never occurs! However, there are steps we can take to create change.
1.Speak from our conviction – often in our gut we know what we need and what we really really want. If these convictions are clear to you, then you must stand firm in them and become unshakable. Take a few minutes today to sit down and tune into your gut. What is important to you? What must you have in your life and your relationships?
2.Intolerable behavior must have boundaries – Now that you know your convictions, you may be able to determine your intolerables … essentially behavior that you cannot tolerate another moment. Put boundaries around this behavior. “If you choose to continue drinking excessively, I will not be able to continue in this relationship.”
3.Consequences must be enforced for boundaries violated – The most difficult part of implementing boundaries is that real consequences must be enforced if our loved one choses to violate it. If consequences are not consistently imposed, the violator may not take us seriously. If we say that we have to break off a relationship when a boundary is bulldozed, then we need to break off the relationship until our loved one shows that they are serious about change.
4.Seek help – If we continue to struggle with our inner talk that says we are not valuable enough to have our needs met, or that we cannot voice our real feelings … then we need to seek counseling to overcome this internal battle.
At The Center for Healing, we can help! We offer two day personal intensives to help you identify the lies that you tell yourself, as well as how you are giving up on your own needs. We can assist in empowering you to have a clear, strong voice and conviction to overcome the Pleaser in your personality.
Visit our website at www.thecenterforhealing.org for more details or email Teri at firstname.lastname@example.org.
*This article was originally written/published by the author under the title “Do You Tend to Please Others?”