The big family secret...one woman's successful journey to overcome destructive family programming...
Our Initial Meeting…
Was there one defining moment that made you finally see the truth? What did you do when you realized your family was not what you thought?
These were some of the questions I asked one of my favorite clients as she told me her story. I can still picture her face as the tears welled up in her eyes.
The Narcissistic Mother…
She always had a soft spot for the family. In hindsight, she could now see that her mother was a narcissist who was very divisive.
Her mother was very successful at keeping the world revolving around herself by subtly pitting her children against each other. She knew all the right buttons to push.
Things That Didn’t Add Up…
As everyone became adults, things were still out of balance.
She never forgot their special occasions, but most of them couldn’t pick up the phone for five minutes a year to see how she was doing or wish her a happy birthday. Then there were the invitations to gatherings that usually came only when a present would be expected.
As Things Start to Be Revealed…
She kept believing these lies until one day, her dad became terminally ill. When she lost her dad, she knew her life was forever changed. She thought it was only because it was such a big loss to her. She loved him dearly, cared for him when he was sick and he passed away in her arms.
She had no idea all the "little things” that would keep unraveling.
The Defining Moment…
It took many years and many disappointments to finally see the truth.
She was downsized from her job. It was a stressful time. She looked to see who was there to help her, what a big surprise when she realized she was in this alone.
We worked together to assess her situation and create a step by step solid, realistic plan to move forward. We worked together to help keep her on track and accountable to achieve her goals. She was truly a rock star! Not only did she achieve her goals and survive, but eventually thrive.
Out of such great loss came great realizations. This was the beginning of her new life.
The blinders were finally off.
She now knew her true value and her ability to accomplish anything she put her mind to.
She no longer makes excuses for others.
Once you see the truth in one thing, you can't help but see the truth in everything.
Do you want so much to fit in that you agree with everyone on every issue?
Do you try so much not to stand out that you blend into the wallpaper?
Is that really where you want to be?
Welcome to the world of the “People Pleasers.”
A place where everyone's happy EXCEPT you.
Why is everyone happy but you?
Secretly you’re angry, frustrated, miserable and isolated?
Why is it that people don't understand your needs when you are constantly looking after theirs?
Take note, people pleasing can be hazardous to your well-being.
Are you a People Pleaser?
Take this test:
On the surface you seem peaceful and easy-going. The kind of friendly person we can rely on to pick us up from the airport at midnight, plan our birthday parties, babysit our homes and animals and call for all our little favors.
But beneath that calm and peaceful exterior there's someone a little more edgy. Someone who is plagued with self-doubt, who is living in fear, feels suppressed, feels isolated and alone and who doesn't like themselves very much at all, despite their "nice guy" persona. You certainly aren't your own best friend.
Given that you say or do the "right thing" to please others, is it any wonder then that most people don't really know you?
Sadly, it is common for “People Pleasers” to harbor the destructive belief that deep down they are not good enough, that they may be unlikable or worst still, feel unlovable...or do you have other reasons for keeping peace like some complicated family dynamic?
Whatever your reason is, it’s no wonder your over-compensating seems a good way to cover up this devastating and entirely unfounded fear.
Have you ever played down a success of yours in order to not offend or to be "liked"?
You know deep down that diminishing your own accomplishments
to make other people’s lack of success more comfortable to them is not good for anyone and it’s so exhausting!
Here are some thoughts to start considering -
Stop trying to please others and start trying to please YOURSELF:
It's OK to be you.
Enjoy yourself. Others who share your interests will follow.
The opposite of being a People Pleaser isn't being an arrogant bully.
Rest assured, you will never reach this status. Aim for quietly assertive.
Being the “authentic” you in all relationships, honors who you are and keeps your integrity in tact - your needs and emotions will make you more not less attractive to others. You owe it to yourself to step up and show the world who you truly are.
When you do, you'll find you'll develop a fan club that want to honor and please YOU!
How great would that be?
If you are still struggling, SCHEDULE A 30-minute Sunny Life Coach Trial session and see how you can stop pleasing others and start pleasing yourself!
How Lucky Do You Feel?
Are you feeling lucky? Perhaps you're having a "don't ask" sort of day? Why is it, you wonder, that some people are given great big buckets from which to dip into the river of wealth and happiness while you were handed a teaspoon with a hole in it? If there is a silver lining to every cloud, why are you the only one who just sees it as the start of a hurricane brewing?
If your toast always crashes to the floor butter-side down and it's not that the glass is half empty but you got a little “black cloud” over your head, then it may be high time for you to re-tune your attitude.
As coaches we often say that what we focus on expands. Ladies who have a battle with the morning mirror while dressing will know all too well what we’re talking about. Bottoms appear larger and tummies jiggle. All our best features are obliterated by our absorption of what we perceive as imperfect. Before you know it our bottoms and bellies have eclipsed out the sun.
When we focus and concentrate on what we see as the negative in ourselves, our lives or our current situation, it becomes magnified. It just gets bigger, all consuming and negatively dominates our perspective. We feel low and depressed, victimized and frustrated with our situation and our lives. "Why me?" becomes our moaning mantra and we shrug our cynical shrug, narrow our eyes at all those for whom life is "easy" and shuffle through our days in our gloom and doom mentality. We continue to focus on each and every negative occurrence in our lives as to reinforce and convince ourselves that nothing good will every happen.
It has to be said that there is something annoying about Pollyanna people who always look on the bright side. They can get on my nerves too! However, if your natural default position is one of pessimism and bad luck, love and life on easy street is something that happens to other people, you are living a diminished life built on fear.
Everyone gets the blues.
Here are some self-coaching questions to get you from Life is no fun to Life's Good.
Still struggling, schedule a 30-minute Trial Sunny Life Coaching session TODAY!
Kathleen Tucka is an accomplished award winning Life, Career, Business Coach and Personal Advocate.