The Pleaser Mind Hijacker
I, like many people, struggle with people pleasing behaviors and making others happy mental makeup. I like to say, “I’m a recovering people pleaser.”
See, I was conditioned as a child and a female to be a “good girl”. That you don’t speak out, you don’t rebel, and you certainly don’t upset other people.
I get this from family dynamics, the US public school system (in the 90’s anyway), being raised in the church, and other societal domains that knowingly or unknowingly created the “good girl” trope.
So you can imagine why I felt the need to identify “The Pleaser” as an important Mental Hijacker to discuss.
Reminder, a Mind Hijacker is just a consistent or pervasive theme of thoughts that interrupt your happiness. When bad things happen they come to add salt to the wound, or in the case of The Pleaser, it is there to maintain the status quo and to be loved.
My Struggle with the Pleaser
Let me give you an example of when my Pleaser spoke really loudly.
I can get really grumpy with my husband. I generally know The Pleaser has acted out when I start to get witchy (with a b). Now there is nothing wrong with being upset with other people, and there’s definitely nothing wrong with having those moments when we’re so frustrated that we raise our voices to make our point. However, I know that it’s my Pleaser because I was feeling resentful.
See, as I’m going down people pleasing road, trying to make everyone else happy around me at all times, doing more housework than my spouse or children, or taking the burden of parenting off my partner’s’ shoulders so he can do other things – some more important like school work and some less important like golfing with his buddies.
This reached a culmination recently as I was cooking, trying to watch the children, and my hubs came out and said something like, “I’m not hungry.”
I’m not proud of it, especially because it happened in front of my children, but I lashed out. I got really upset and accused him of all kinds of silly things.
See I use people pleasing as a way to get love and, if I’m completely honest, my way. The Pleaser lies to me and tells me people will love me if I do everything for them and enable them.
I told you that my Judge Hijacker, Mitzi, is a grown up high school mean girl. My Pleaser is nasty. She’s a sweet child until she gets vile and turns into a monster straight out of some movie.
She gets so hurt and starts to lash out.
Addressing my Pleaser tendencies can help me to better communicate my needs, my wants, and my desires so that I’m not manipulating or being passive aggressive.
Solutions to Overcoming The Pleaser Mind Hijacker
So here are 6 Ways to Address The Pleaser Mind Hijacker
- Self-Awareness: I know I shared this one last week (and it will come up again) but it’s important. So, take the time to reflect on your own patterns of people-pleasing. Notice the situations, triggers, and emotions that lead you to prioritize others’ needs over your own. Developing self-awareness is the first step towards change.
- Identify Your Needs and Prioritize Self-Care: Recognize that your needs and desires are important. Prioritize self-care activities that nourish your well-being. Taking care of yourself allows you to show up more authentically and effectively in your relationships.
- Practice Assertiveness: Learn to express your thoughts, feelings, and boundaries in a clear and assertive manner. Practice saying “no” when you need to and communicating your limits respectfully. Remember, setting boundaries is a healthy and necessary part of maintaining balanced relationships.
- Challenge Negative Thoughts and Beliefs: Often, people-pleasers hold negative beliefs about themselves, such as the fear of being disliked or seen as selfish. Challenge these beliefs by recognizing your own worth and embracing self-compassion. Remind yourself that it is okay to prioritize your own needs.
- Seek Support and Accountability: Reach out to trusted friends, family members, or even a coach (hint, hint) who can provide support and guidance as you work on overcoming people-pleasing behaviors. They can help you stay accountable and offer perspective on healthier ways of relating to others.
- Practice Saying “Yes” to Yourself: Make a conscious effort to say “yes” to yourself and your own needs. Start small by incorporating activities or commitments that bring you joy and fulfillment. Gradually, you can build a habit of prioritizing yourself alongside others.
So back to my blow up with my husband. I took a breath. I reflected on what was actually going on, and I figured out that I needed more help around dinner time. That it was a lot for me to cook, set the table, make sure everyone’s drinks were ready, keep the kids calm, etc. etc.
The solution was simple. Let my husband know I needed help. I didn’t need to do it all, and he didn’t know I needed help because I was so busy listening to my Pleaser that I had to do it all to make everyone happy and to love me.
You don’t have to let your Pleaser dominate your head space either. Schedule a call with me to see if working together can help you deal with this Mental Hijacker and simplify your life as well. Here’s the link to jump on my calendar.