If you fall into the category of people who drive themselves nuts by trying to constantly make others happy: PLEASE read on.
(Or don’t if you just don’t want to. I depise those things telling me I MUST follow this person or read this email or I’ll die or be disappointed for the rest of my life. If you don’t want to read this, I’ll be ok either way; but these rules have helped others and may offer some insight).
To any People Pleasers in the house: you’ve got my empathy! YES, it’s great to make others happy and feel good. It brings us joy. And yes, being kind is a wonderful thing, the world needs more of it. Many of us love seeing the look of pleasure on someone else’s face and like knowing we helped to put it there.
But there are rules. Limits. Boundaries. You can’t do it all the time and it can’t be your only focus. It will wear you down, exhaust you, and eventually you can end up overwhelmed, tired, and worn out.
That’s why boundaries are so very very important; and here I called them “Rules”. They can be limits, stops, or lines you create for yourself but they’re all boundaries.
Here are some of the hard and fast rules I train people on:
Rule: Don’t please others in ways that cost you.
Rule: Make sure you have the room to ask for what you want, not just focus on what someone else wants.
Rule: Self care isn’t selfish.
Rule: Be mindful of giving to others when you don’t have enough for yourself.
Rule: Never place the value of someone else’s good opinion or attention above your own.
Rule: If you’re afraid to speak your mind, pay attention. (P.S. There’s a way to do it gracefully).
If you are a reforming (or reformed) People Pleaser, know that you can change. You can learn how to take care of yourself AND also do kind things for others, when it works for you. The energy is different. NO longer will you give when you’re not filled up; you’ll be able to recognize when it’s time for you to give yourself a Time-Out and recharge BEFORE you say “Yes, I’ll do that.” Just to make someone else happy. There are no medals for martyrs due to exhaustion.
You got this. You can do it. I know you can.
8 Ways to Get Over ‘Giving to Get’ and Find Love
Recently I wrote the article Are You Playing the ‘Giving to Get’ Game in Relationships? about a tactic some of us unconsciously use in relationships.
What is it? It’s an unhealthy way we act in relationships if we believe we have to do something in order to earn the love of others. It’s ‘giving to get’ something in return; an expectation of being loved or cared for if you do the right thing or say the right things or act the right way. It’s a basic belief in conditional love.
Why do you need to stop it? It’s a set up for disaster. It leaves you disappointed and feeling taken for granted while you are angry at the other person for doing all the taking. But you set it up that way: you did all the giving.
Keep Reading →
Does Your Breakup Have to Stay Angry?
I’d like to show you how to move past breakup anger and get on with your life.
When we date, we all start with hope.
We hope for an amazing relationship. We hope for a future filled with the best of both of us. We imagine all the fun and exciting things we’ll do. We hope things will work out and they’ll be our Plus One. We hope we’ve made a great choice and this is a relationship we can grow together in for the long haul. Possibly even leading to marriage, if that’s on the table. (And if it’s not a relationship that’s destined for marriage, then we hope for an amazing relationship all the same.)
There are many stages/types of relationships: there’s the Texting/Flirt stage. The Hook-Up; the “We’re Just Dating”/”One of Several” stage; the ‘Secretly’ Dating where you tell no one stage, the New Relationship, the Monogamous/Exclusive Relationship, the Boyfriend/Girlfriend, and the Partnership Track (living together, promised (is that still a thing?), engaged to be engaged, etc).
But what happens if/when it doesn’t work out? Keep Reading →
It’s not easy.
When I filed a restraining order for harassment & stalking in 2003 I had already been teaching self-defense for a few years. I was ashamed that I had fallen into this crazy-weird cycle (when you experience it, you see how insane it is) even as an “expert” but I KNEW I had to do something about it. I followed what I teach. And it was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do, face him in court. Argue my case. Stand up for myself. Lessons I still teach to this very day.
It wasn’t easy.
I didn’t know if I’d get a permanent restraining order or not (I didn’t), but I needed to create a trail on this guy. Just in case he did it to someone else, the police would have a record of it. And maybe the next target would be helped. Because they do it again.
When he broke the temporary restraining order, I kept a record. When he called and left a voicemail over a year later, I called the PD. I showed them my files, asked for their assistance, and they made it a criminal case. They left him a voicemail telling him exactly that, and I never heard from him again. Oh. Other than a “can we be friends on FB” private message a few years later.
One thing I knew, is that if I set a boundary and someone crossed it…my request didn’t matter as much as what they wanted. They were showing me they didn’t respect or value me, but they only wanted what they wanted, and felt ok taking it.
I went to court with a friend in our 20’s, she woke up in her apartment as her maintenance guy in her apartment building was sniffing her underwear. I stood by her as protection and strength because…
It’s not easy.
What I found out in a police interview a few weeks ago, many of the predators start out as Peeping Tom’s. Underwear Sniffers. Then maybe Flashers. They move up in the abuse chain…and the stakes get higher.
I salute all women that have taken a stand against someone purposefully harassing, stalking, abusing, or hurting them in any way. Setting the boundaries. Calling the police. Doing the due diligence to stop the madness.
It’s not easy.
But I will always stand by your side, in person or in spirit. I’ll have your back.