Podcast #75: Is People-Pleasing Hurting Your Mental Health? + How to Take Back Your Power | Dr. Caroline Leaf
hi I’m dr. Caroline leaf and welcome to my podcast just before we begin I want to take a moment to thank everyone who has shared the word about my podcast who support means so much to me I also want to thank everyone who’s left to review one last thing before we begin I would love to invite you to my 2019 mental health solutions summit this year in Dallas Texas December 6 and 7 this conference is going to be amazing in this conference I will be teaching you how to overcome mental health issues like anxiety and depression and OCD I’m also going to be talking about how to help teens and children with mental health issues how to improve memory how to identify and define your unique identity how to build your brain how to avoid burnout and manage stress how to take care of your physical body how to improve sleep how to deal with chaotic thinking and whoa this summit is for everyone teachers Aster’s parents CEOs entrepreneurs doctors lawyers life coaches everyone for more information and to register visit doctor leaf conference com we will also be offering CEUs and CMEs for this conference and now back to today’s topic are you a people pleaser to know when you care too much what people think and how to take back your power let’s start with how to know if you are a people pleaser we’re gonna look at a couple of different points to help you distinguish if you are people pleaser first thing there’s a difference between a people pleaser and a peacemaker peacemakers someone who seeks to create a balance to see all sides of a situation to be rational and objective not not not self focused it’s more to help others sometimes a peacemaker will even say harsh realities because it’s the truth of that situation so generally a peacemakers trying to resolve an arguments well the relationship between people that are battling and so they’re mediating between the two a people-pleaser on the other hand is more self focused the peacemakers are the focused a people-pleaser is self focused maybe scared of being criticised maybe hypersensitive to uncertainty or maybe not being accepted or the situation of conflicts very sensitive maybe to the conflict potentially a people pleaser will sacrifice their values and even their mental health just to make someone else happy so that they can feel more accepted and that can have a boomerang effect because if you so busy sacrificing your own values and your own mental health to please someone else just to be accepted by that someone else because of your own uncertainty that is a very negative cycle and that can have a boomerang effect back on how you actually feel about yourself and people can always pick that up theory most of the time people can pick up when you’re trying to please them and they can end up being taking advantage of you which increases the toxicity of that whole relationship and then whole feedback loop that has been set up between you and the other person or persons how do you know if you’re a people pleaser okay well do you always feel like you have to say yes if someone asks you to do something or ask you to get something or say something do you feel you always have to say yes even when you know you should be saying no do you come from to keep the peace and avoid conflict are you compromising your values what you believe in what you know to be truth just to keep the peace and avoid conflict do you tend to avoid uncertainty do you feel until uncomfortable but you do something anyway so someone asks you to do something or they’ll ask you what you think about something and you feel uncomfortable but instead of listening to that you actually do it anyway do you feel like you maybe don’t have a clear identity of who you are do you maybe lack your own vision your own process to achieve that vision if you answered yes to these questions even a few of these questions you may very well be a people pleaser so in being a people pleaser why is it that we do not like not being lights is it because it doesn’t feel all ego we are also our brains are designed for good connections it’s called the optimism bias that’s the structure of our brains so not being liked goes against us it’s in conflict we kind of as humanity expect people to like us and because it creates good relationships if someone likes you and you like someone you can have a good relationship so when we not liked we don’t understand this you don’t understand not being liked it goes against unnatural structuring of our brain and our mind and it’s painful so to reduce the uncertainty of do they like me don’t they like me to reduce the pain to reduce the vulnerability instead of maybe dealing with all of that are you using people pleasing to reduce the pain it’s kind of like a survival instinct a protective instinct to protect us the problem is that it’s very destructive why is it destructive it’s people-pleasing is destructive because pretty we pretty much sacrificing our self identity who you really are your core that creates tremendous conflict mentally which will create a lot of neurochemical chaos throughout your entire brain and your body so you will be affecting yourself physically and your brain yours are compromising your morals which also increases that level of conflicts and the effect of damage in your brain and every cell of your body this all leads to problems with mental health because you not being who you are as soon as we compromise our identity non morals or mental health is going to be affected it will also create because that’s not who you are it’s frustrating when you’re saying yes to someone to do something just to please them and it’s not pleasing you it’s not who you are over time and is going to create resentment and that can swing into you becoming a victim where you feel victimized so you’ve been so busy pleasing people that you haven’t been growing your own identity going against yourself creating conflict and then you feel sorry for yourself meanwhile you the one who put yourself there and then you take on a victimization attitude which keeps you very stuck unless you change that and face it and change it the third thing is you can get addicted to pleasing people it can create an addictive pathway anything that you keep doing is wiring a pathway into your brain which connects with your mind and the more you practice it the stronger it gets and you can become addicted to that because as you say yes to that person and they respond positively you get that dopamine rush increasing serotonin changes in the hormones and you get into a temporary high and then it drops and that’s where the resentments and victimization and kind of thing follows so you might instead of dealing with the resentments and victimization go and do another people-pleasing thing to get that next hi and you might find that you on that treadmill that you keep on going around and around like a hamster cage going around that’s that wheel over and over again it also tends to create a seat at the hypersensitivity if people aren’t giving you the feedback that you feel that you need you give your people pleaser and you’re asking someone they ask you to do something you say yes against what you know you should be saying you shouldn’t be doing that you get the 10 feet high and then they say are thank you so much are you getting some feedback so along with the addiction is a very easy is another negative effect and that is a hypersensitivity to needing the feedback that you get from people that you pleased so it becomes a combination of things you’ll have a sensitive to perhaps instability to needing more feedback increases and you want more and more and more so you people please more and more and more so you set up a very negative cycle for the one politics that was supporting the other and increasing the toxic cycle one area may suffer in your life when you constantly try and appease the desire to please other people so if you are constant desiring to these are the people areas of your own self development are going to suffer and then you not a complete person and then that increases your frustration and increases your mental health challenges because now you’re frustrated anxious all kinds of things maybe even getting depressed because you’re working against who you are and things like anxiety and depression and frustration these are all symptoms that something’s not right the thing is that that loss of identity is huge if you take if we start losing our identity by trying to please other people it’s almost like you’re taking on their identity you’re living to support someone else’s identity instead of growing your own identity you’re taking away the opportunity for you to define your own path and this will just add to that internal frustration and conflicts and brain damage and neurochemical chaos and fortunately when we stop this all of that can change it can heal and but you know you have to take charge also if people are only attracted to you because you have changed yourself to please them it’s not sustainable that relationship you just built will fail at some point because if it’s always one-sided the reach a point where you just can’t sustain it anymore and this pressure will impact other relationships as well because you’re so strained from using your energy in the wrong direction that you drained think of your cell phone if you’ve got all your apps open and you’ve got your battery on full power you know that your battery will go down much quicker than if you get rid of some of those curves on the apps and maybe put your phone on not set a nun on half power so you’ve got to decide where you are using your energy because your energy is a limited in a 24-hour period and it’s especially limited when you are consciously awake and your brain and your body do get tired so if you’re using your conscious energy in the wrong direction you draining it for what you do need at full and people-pleasing is a huge dream of mental and physical energy and the sixth thing of six reason why it’s very destructive is it create cognitive dissonance and cognitive dissonance is a psychological term but when we do one thing but actually we should be doing something else and this then creates tremendous conflict mentally which will then generate a very weird kind of energy through the brain and the brain will respond by really taking a lot of strain and be a lot of neurochemical chaos which is not good for your brain at all so if you’re a people pleaser and you’ve identified that’s great so now how do you take their control and power and stop people-pleasing first thing that you have to do is acknowledge maybe go back and we listen to this podcast listen to the questions that I’ve asked be very honest with yourself and acknowledge that maybe this is what you are doing be honest with yourself you can’t change something until you’re aware of it also start tuning in to what other people are saying to you you may be aware and people may have said things to you or you’re taking note of that or are you choosing just to brush that aside and continue in your pathway it will be painful it will be uncomfortable none of us like to base our issues but this is what we see in the Garden of Gethsemane Jesus models that for us we’re UV have to face our issues in order to deal with them we need to tune into our discomfort because when we tune into our discomfort we can change them if you don’t tune into your discomfort you keep them you keep the brain damage etc second thing is once you’re aware you can start asking as many Y questions as you can to find the reason why you are so desperate to please so you ask why you answer and you discuss with your son you keep doing that and write this down keep a journal keep a little people-pleasing journal to analyze yourself and then once you’ve done this awareness asking the questions writing it down take action practice saying no practice and when you better say no prepare yourself okay this person is used to you saying yes so now when they ask you and you say no they’re going to be shocked they may react negatively in other words prepare yourself prepare yourself for the fact that these people may react negatively so that it doesn’t throw you and you Sonny said okay I will do it you’ve got to be strong so mentally prepare yourself for a potential reaction and maybe you’ll be surprised maybe they’ll say okay you don’t you’ve done a lot for me anyway you don’t know what they’re going to do but just prepare yourself and and upfront get that Network in your brain that no matter what they say you are going to say no if you are uncomfortable with us you’re going to say no spend more time defining and identifying what you want and what you want to identity to be for this purpose I recommend my book the perfect you I recommend you do the uke use a unique qualitative assessment profile you can take as long as you want you can take a week a month a year however long you want to do that profile you could just keep it next your bed and take five minutes every day and answer a question but it will really help you define and identify who you are and what you want and what you what you want what you want your identity to be it’s also very important that you learn to be ok with conflict and uncertainty we do live in a world and especially in the religious circles we and it’s every way actually that we are told to everything must be happy and wonderful and we mustn’t have any uncertainty and you mustn’t have any conflicts we’ve got to try and get rid of it as quickly as possible and there’s a tendency to look for quick fixes for conflict and uncertainty and that’s not at all healthy we need to learn to be ok with answers with conflicts as hard as it is when you pursue conflicts the results are going to be very positive in yourself and in relationships and your brain health and the same thing with uncertainty uncertainty is part of life and if you don’t accept uncertainty we’re not accepting all the elements and beauty that life has to offer us this point work on your self-confidence the UQ is going to help you a lot with us the unique qualitative assessment profile that I have in my book the perfect you and there’s another profile you can do alongside with us called the gift profile and that’s in my book singular and succeed these two profiles are fantastic at helping you work on your self-confidence finding out what you’re good at how you think how you feel how you choose what do you love you’re finding out the uniqueness of your brain there is no normal brain as a screen to research and every brain is unique so your brain is something you can do that no one else can do very important that you find and develop that so in this way you can learn to become intrinsically motivated and driven that vs. extrinsically being a people pleaser you are looking for an extrinsic motivation you’re looking for something outside of yourself to keep you going to make you feel good about yourself and it backfires whereas if you intrinsically motivated you can deal with all the conflict and uncertainty even though it’s not easy you can deal with it more effectively get to know yourself do the youtubes read more books on these topics think about the times you were this is a really thing to do think about the times you were the most happiest and at peace at peace with yourself even in the midst of a conflict in situation go and write that down spin sometime become aware of it ask yourself why write that down analyze it so that you can recognize what that feels like and get knowledge and build the networks in your brain and practice being aware of those so that you can use those as anchors to help you in times of need e times or times where you feel yourself wanting to give in and say yes when you shouldn’t say yes and in the last point is accept the fact that not everyone will like you and that that is okay and accept being vulnerable not everyone will like you not n me and I know we hear that so often but it’s very hard to process that so spend a bit of time realizing that it’s that it’s okay and it doesn’t mean that you’re a bad person that they’re a bad person but you just have to be just so different but the calmer you are about yourself the more you accept yourself the more intrinsically driven you are the more you will find people accept you they may not like everything about what you believe but you will find a level of peace in those relationships the more you are satisfied with who you are and then also accept being vulnerable you’re not encouraged to be vulnerable enough being vulnerable is very important because it increases our authenticity and it helps us to all look at ourselves more and self-regulate more and help ourselves to be more honest people and this relates to better relationships so in some go back we listen to this if you find that you’re a people pleaser we listen to these points and really try to apply them in your life and give us some reviews into some feedback let us know how this has helped you thank you for joining me today I really hope you enjoyed this episode and learn something new and helpful till next week thanks again I’m dr. Caroline leaf
In this episode, Dr. Caroline Leaf discusses the difference between people-pleasing & peace-making, how to identify if you are a people-pleaser, why it’s dangerous, and how to stop people-pleasing for good.
THINK LEARN SUCCEED: https://store.drleaf.com/collections/frontpage/products/think-learn-succeed-book
THE PERFECT YOU: https://store.drleaf.com/collections/frontpage/products/the-perfect-you
2019 Mental Health Summit: https://drleafconference.com
For more info on, and to join in my research project: https://www.drleafresearch.com
See also: Elevate Your Potential Magazine| Self Improvement Solutions at Elevate Christian Network