Attention People Pleasers: 6 Rules for Your Sanity

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.

 

Are You ‘Giving to Get’ Love in Relationships?

Are You Playing the ‘Giving to Get’ Game in Relationships?

Is this you? Are you doing kind things over and over for others in order to get love?

This subconscious (and dysfunctional) relationship tactic might go something like: “If I give you this (or do this for you) then you’ll give me love (or treat me like I’m important/worthwhile).” And it’s destined for disaster.

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Giving with an expectation of getting something in return is a common game we play on ourselves and in relationships.

Reciprocity (give and take) is built on the concept of mutuality; with both people participating. But when you’re playing the “giving to get” game, it’s far from mutual. The game is born out of a feeling of lack, and it ends in emotional pain. That lack is that you might feel needy, unimportant, not “good enough,” unlovable or unworthy exactly as you are.

In a “giving to get” cycle, one person ends up doing most of the giving, the niceties and forgiving while the other person is on the receiving end of all that kindness. Whether or not they asked for it.

In your mind you may think “they ought to love me, after all I’ve done.” You may not even know you do this, you may just wonder why you’ve ended up disappointed in relationships. “After all I’ve done for you, how can you treat me this way?”

May I gently remind you: it was your choice to do all that doing, no one made you do it. But the consequences remain that you may have given all of yourself to someone who wasn’t giving the same back.

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Pseudo Spirituality

IMG_5575That’s IT. I can’t take it anymore. I can’t even pretend.

This concept of (Pseudo) Spirituality: supposedly “spiritual” people who are quoting memes and one-liners that have NO IDEA how freaking hard it is to actually get down and dirty. Or how to deal with your own issues. Walking around spouting words and concepts that sound cool. “Love is all there is.” (Insert heart-smiley face icon here).

“Namaste.”  “Love and Light.” Then going about treating others cruelly. Or judging another’s choices. I looked up “namaste”, there’s nothing about judgement in there.

Or those that find themselves simply sharing the words of others, because sharing is caring? Quoting this spiritual guru, or that one. Cutting and pasting the cute memes or pictures thinking it makes a difference.

I mean no disrespect to anyone actually in the trenches, honestly dealing with themselves, it ain’t easy. Those “dark nights of the soul” are tough. Anyone who has been in them, who has dealt with themselves on that level knows the difference. It’s the posers I can’t take anymore. Posturing. Posing. Pretending. By doing “what spiritual people do” as if there was a manual and you can follow it to be part of the In Crowd. These same people that are miserable, numb, or hurting people intentionally.

You can attend seminars. Go to self-help workshops. Read books. You can quote Gandhi all you want, but until you know that being the “change” means every friggen day. You choose it. You choose to be that change. You aren’t purposefully hurtful, EVER.  And if you hurt someone you apologize. And every day you choose peace, even when someone makes you mad. You choose love, even when it’s the hardest thing to do. You choose to be kind when someone else cuts you off. Or they explode in anger at something you said or did. You don’t make it about you, you let them be. You CHOOSE because you know it’s a choice. And you walk that path. All the time.

Ok, most of the time.

You may even choose to cut people out of your life as an act of self-kindness so that you can stay sane. You draw boundaries that keep you safe; let you keep the good in, and keep the negative draining stuff OUT. And when that means choosing to be alone most of the time, instead of with people: that can be tough.

It’s difficult, it takes work  to OPEN UP. It’s not for the faint at heart. And you don’t get a tee shirt that says, “Been There Done That”. But along the path you will recognize others that have done their work.

You do not awaken because you bought a poster or shirt that says, ‘Thoughts Create Things’, and yes, I own that one too. You don’t wake up because you can quote all the new age philosophers. Because you get a tattoo of cool Asian symbols or poetic words. You don’t wake up because you post positive memes on Facebook, Twitter, WordPress, Instagram, Whatsapp, or any other form of social media.

You wake up because you are Out of Options. You have done everything you knew how to do and, here’s the kicker: it wasn’t enough. You weren’t enough. You couldn’t fix it. You couldn’t make it right. You had no ideas left how to make things better. You are tired of the same patterns over and over. You want more. And you have a chance to look yourself in the eye, and see Who You Really Are.

IMG_4854To wake up means to find yourself one day at the bottom of the barrel. You met your own shadow. You found you. The Real You.

Maybe you’re emotionally, spiritually, physically, or financially bankrupt. Maybe you can’t get out of bed because the demons and negative thoughts in your head are overriding any happy thoughts.

Maybe you find yourself in relationships that are draining you; you have a job you hate; you’re selling yourself short to hang with a certain group of friends. You don’t speak up because you’re afraid of being kicked out. Maybe you’re sick and tired of feeling sick and tired.

In that moment it’s just you. You are the only one: you are naked, alone, screwed up, miserable, empty, and you finally stop blaming anyone or anything else. No one is going to show up to rescue you. You are it. No book or guru is going to give the The Answers that you seek, all you have is you. Alone. The only one…the one you’ve been waiting for, and it ain’t pretty.

And in that moment you give up–you stop fighting yourself. AND YOU WAKE THE HELL UP!

Hawk!

You take stock of your life and you start living from that authentic place because you just can’t fake it anymore. You don’t want to live up to anyone else’s expectations of who you should be, or how you should be. What you should say, and what you should do.

You realize you ARE enough, that you do have a lot to offer the world.

Then…you start to really become who you came here to be…you’re finally free to find your own power.

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To My Bros: 5 Tips From Your Best Woman Friend

I’m a pretty forward thinking woman and I have always had quite a few male friends.

I’m one of the girls that had a best guy friend most of her life, and a really cool brother. And now I have many many brothers. Awesome, amazing men that share their thoughts and feelings with me like I would with my girls. And these guys, are all what I’d call my Soul Brothers, because it feels like I’ve known them forever, and we are definitely connected in a way that’s like a brother-sister.

I have some things I want to tell each of you; some things that you’re struggling with are important and I want you to know that there are women that care. We know how hard it must be to be a guys guy at this time. So here are some lessons I hope you can take with you, and remember.

1. The stuff that used to work, doesn’t work for you anymore.

Gone are the days when you used to be able to use your looks, status, cool car, money, job title or charm to ‘get by’. You are now being called to find new strengths, new avenues to be your best. You’re being asked to go deeper, to evolve. To find out what you’ve got going for you that has nothing to do with anything external. This will become apparent in your relationships and maybe your careers as well…the old “standby” doesn’t hold water for you now. It’s like the things that you could depend on to get you what you wanted, they just don’t work anymore.

So you’re left feeling like, “WTH? Now how do I handle this?”

You WILL figure it out. It WILL be ok. I promise. Have I ever lied to you? No. It’s just gonna take a little time and a little leaning into those feelings you’d rather avoid. You’ll find your strengths again, and they may be new and different strengths. You just need to work through this to get to the other side.

2. It’s not easy to evolve.

I get it. It’s tough. Evolving means you have a great chance to figure out why you suddenly FEEL so much, and so often. It’s like the things that used to roll off your back can now leave you wondering, drained, or sad. You don’t have the thick skin you used to have and it’s tough to deal. I know that there will be times when you feel wounded. That you feel ‘like a chick’ who’s over emotional and can’t just turn on the game and zone out. You find your thoughts spiraling negatively and can’t stop them. It’s a process, it’s something your sisters have been doing so we GET IT! Looking at any of this isn’t easy. Bravo for you, taking it on.

Learning to become self-aware means you get to look at yourSelf. All of yourself, especially the parts that got buried. Maybe they weren’t “man” enough so you shied away from feelings. Well, guess what brother, your feelings are real.

3. You take everything personally.

You used to be able to move past anything you didn’t like. People. Jobs. Situations. A woman didn’t call you back, you didn’t care. You didn’t think about it and talk about it for days…you just moved on. Now, things are different. Every setback feels personal. In business AND in relationships. And right now you are facing some of the most important fears you could have…the “what if’s”‘.

“What if its about me? What if I suck?”

“What if I’m a failure?”

What if it means I’m a horrible person destined to die old and alone?”

4. Vulnerability is tough.

Hey I’m a good mix of masculine and feminine, I can be a girl when I want to…although much of my day job is about my masculine strengths (martial arts, running a business, being a boss, etc). But that’s not enough anymore. We are all being pushed and prodded to get vulnerable. To find ourselves in the midst of pain and say, “This freaking HURTS!” We are all being asked to drop the masks we wear, and to put down our shields and armor to get REAL. To find our authentic means getting through all the stuff that kept you safe. It’s not easy either, but being ok with admitting that:

a) You don’t have it all together

b) You don’t know what to do

c) You’re scared or nervous

d) All of the above

5. Judgement sucks.

Remember all those people you’ve judged in your life, the ones who didn’t have it all figured out, or looked like they were struggling, or worse, failures? You now get a chance to release all the judgements you held against others. Why? Because those are the same things you’re judging  yourself with, you’re making yourself into ‘That Guy.” Who’s That Guy? He’s the one that struggled with girls, or in school. He’s the one that was hung up, down, depressed, worried, analytical, financially challenged, or not good at something. That Guy…is all of us. We all have those places were we aren’t talented, and we are all doing the best we can with what we’ve got. So release the judgements you’ve held, and realize that there is no That Guy. It’s just another human being.

What I really want you to take away from this, what I really want you to understand is that I’m proud of you…and all the awake women on the planet understand what this process feels like. We’ve been through it all.

WE need you. We need YOU to step up your game, to get real, to care, and to be able to own your stuff. We need you to see us for all that we are, not just the parts you like.  We need your humor, your vulnerability, your strengths, and your gifts. We need you to understand what really matters, and we need you to be able to connect with us.

You help us grow into who we came here to be…

Reprinted on January 29th, 2014 on GoodMenProject.com

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