Welcome friends to this episode! Here, we are going to talk allllll about people pleasing. What does it mean to be a people pleaser, how and why to drop that identify and how to tell if you are self-advocating using manipulation vs boundaries. Because here is the truth friends, boundaries are not a tactic to control others, people pleasing is a genius coverup for manipulation, and when you know the difference you’ll not only be able to spot a faker in your own life, but also spot when YOU are covering up your most sparkly self in exchange for a less shiny version.
Who are “fake people” and why are they fake in the first place
Who are fake people? Someone who is hiding something, acting differently than they truly feel or want to act, have a hidden agenda such as sympathy, a promotion, attention.
we often think of fake people as the popular girl in high school who is nice to her friends but then shit talks them behind their back.
One reason this might happen is because if you do not feel secure in your good and amazing qualities, putting others down is a quick way to SEEMINGLY elevate yours status. by comparison to others, if you push them down, you feel better. Lack of confidence in their own awesomeness.
another example is of a coworker who listens intently to your frustrations on a project, your solution to them, then speaks up in the meeting, sharing your idea and taking all the credit.
Why? Lack of confidence in their own skillset and ideas. Why would someone steal your idea if they believed in the coolness of their own? Why would anyone pretend to be the know-it-all if they were focused on the problem at hand, instead of puffing themselves up?
So those are 2 things to look out for- gossip and posturing.
these examples seem to be the harmful kind of fake, and in a second Ill talk about reasons why people exibit these behaviors, but I also want to offer that there are many ways that you might be “faking it” that seems really nice and loving but are may be signs of not behaving authentically within yourself.
I say that with so much love and a grain of salt, as well as a disclaimer that if you were socialized as a woman, you were taught to be “nice” and caring and not stir the pot.
Your partners mom comes into town for the holidays, and your partner wants their mom to stay with you guys. You think back to other holidays where she was critiquing your home-environment, or there was simply added pressure from having another person there even if you guys get along really well.
you feel dread at the prospect of 1 week with the someday inlaws and you would really rather put her up in a hotel. But instead of suggesting it to your partner, you just agree. And when you do, you feel a little squashed.
This…. is an example of being fake. Specifically- people pleasing. Why do we do things like this?
To avoid confrontation, fear that a conversation will spiral out of control, that we’ll be percieved as demanding? Again this boils down to a LACK OF CONFIDENCE that our needs are important. If you dont want to disappoint someone and you take on something you don’t want to do, you not only disappoint yourself, but you also have added weight to your plate!
And what is so interesting here is that when we do this, it is straight up manipulation of its own sort! Ive heard it said, IDK who said it first, that people pleaseing is manipulation in drag. It seems so benevolent, but really it is us trying to control other people into liking us by trying to control their opinion of us.
but the important thing to note here is that we have NO IDEA most of the time what their opinion of us is AND it is completely based on THEIR THOUGHTS about us, not the truth.
Your boyfriend may actually be fine if his mom does not say with you. It could be true that he also is not too keen on her staying but does not want to disappoint his mom. You have NO idea unless you say something. AND regardless of what his opinion is, it will always be based on his thoughts about you.
so when you think that he will be upset if you bring up the issue, so you avoid it to prevent his upset, you are trying to control his emotions. Sounds super strong but it is true! You will always, only have control of your opinion of yourself, and the actions you take.
now im not suggesting that you just say: no she cannot stay with us no matter what because I am uncomfortable with it, no discussion, final answer. In my opinion this is not a healthy way to approach conflic resolution because then instead of ignoring yourself you are ignoring them… which I’ll get to the balance with boundaries in a second. I just mean that as women, shifting the focus from “how can I make sure they like me” to “how can I make sure I like me” is key
because when that becomes the focus, we can genuinely show up authentically in our relationships. We WONT just start walking over other people, because guess what…. most humans like to be loving towards others because it feels good. When you are not compensating for a lack of love within yourself, you will naturally be more loving to others (not the same as doing whatever they want,) but you’ll take into account what would be the most loving theing for them AND for me.
How do you know if you are being fake
Do you notice yourslelf exaggerating details of your accomplishments? BRAG away my friend about all the amazing things you do. Allow yourself to celebrate you! Talk about what you are creating and be proud of yourself always. Just as you do with others.
And do a little self checkin. Am I exaggerating? Am I changing the story of what really happened so I will appear more competent, smart, lovely etc? And you’ll know you are doing this because the facts of what you are telling people are not the facts of what actually happened.
Do you hide some of your emotions? If you are having a bad day do you avoid talking about it with your partner because you dont want to burden them? Or downplay how terrible you actually feel? This is a VIRUS in our society- an obsession with appearing perfect, peppy and joyful all the time. It is vulnerable to tell the truth about how you feel. And you don’t have to spill all the details on everyone- you can of course choose where to share the details, BUT that does not mean you have to deny the reality of how you feel.
When someone asks me how I feel, and I feel SHIT, I always say…. yup Im here and alive. If I know them really well I’ll express the emotion. Sometimes I dont want to talk about it so I’ll say so. The other day someone offered the suggestion to say “yup Im sad and there is nothing to be done right now.” Those are all viable suggestions that don’t force you into playing allong with the narrative that being not perfect is wrong.
Are you avoidant of self-reflection?
others feedback is so so valuable in helping us grow. knowing our strengths is one side of the coin, and the other is recieving feedback so we know how we can improve.
self-reflection (not self-berating) makes us admit fault, learn from our mistakes, sometimes feel guilty if we did something against our values, apologize. Fake people? Don’t often apologize. May be resistant to it because it would mean that you ARE wrong. The shift here is being willing to say- hey Im sorry about this. I should have not said that. And I love you and I love me. What can we do.
It also can manifest in over-apologizing. Again, as a form of trying to control how someone else feels so you can get back to relationship equilibrium. Honest self-reflection lets you see what IS your ole in the problem, what you think is NOT AND also staying open for a give and take discussion to come to a truth that feels authentic to all parties involved.
Taking on too much? If you are always exhausted, spread too thin and thinking- goodness gracious when will I get time for myself? Chances are you are saying YES to many things that are really a NO. Planning your friends baby shower when you are slammed at work, planning a vacay and training for a marathon. What has to give if you have 0 space to recharge? Do you WANT TO plan the baby shower? And do you have consent with yourself to fulfill this responsibility? What are you saying no to when you say yes to the baby shower? And are you willing to do that? If you have consent from you, then do it! If not…. you may want to consdier saying now.
And sometimes if you say yes then change your mine, you might start running late, forgettin things, losing track of details… which is not helpful for anyone in mind.
I did this the other day when I forgot to calendar an important date, then scheduled work over it and had to miss out on the event. If i’d have been more on top of things, id have remembered to calendar it oout but I was doing wayyyyyy too much and it cost me. the person I was supposed to go with got rightly annoyed, and it was because I was overcommitting and my brain was juggling too many details.
because when you say yes to everythin….. you say no to many other things…. and then you either dont produce quality results with your committments or you dont produce quality results with your mental health… SO there you go.
So to review ARE you being fake?
People pleasing? Disguised as people manipulation towards niceness?
Exaggerating your accomplishments by changing facts of the story? Or downplaying them to avoid being seen as arrogant when really you have total permission to brag?
Saying yes to allll the things to the point you feel spread too thin, resentful or forgetful?
What to do about it?
Look out for these warning signs. And Ill give you three questions you can use to check in. This week, try one on and I’d love to see how it goes for you!
Am I avoiding confrontation? – Like do I know what outcome I want and know its going to require a crucial conversation but don’t quite feel up to the task? Remember here that if you are avoiding confrontation, you are avoiding your projection of what you think their opinion of you is, which you nave NO control of.
What is most loving for ME and Them? And I say it in this order very specifically because if you are not coming from love for YOU, then it is fake love. Yes maam that is right. Self-love serves as the foundation of love for others. Strong roots within you plugs you into be able to love others.
If I knew I’d have my own back no matter what, how would I approach this situation? Be willing to mess up royally. When you know you won’t beat yourself up if you handle it wrong, you give yourself encouragement to honor yourself. You build yourself a step on which to move forward and make a decision. If you fall you want kick yourself, but instead youll be like whelp…. that didnt work. Are you OK love? That didnt go as planned, but thats OK! We’re just walking along the path of life together.
And that is a wrap. In the enxt episode Im going to talk about boundaries and how to impliment them from LOVE instead of manipulation. You’ll learn the components of a boundary, how to know when you need to set one, and some ideas of how to have the conversations in your own brain and maybe with others to drop the mask you show to the world and LOVEEEEEE the quirks that when embraced, make you the coolest person in the room. or at least you’ll believe you are, which in my book, is exactly the same thing.
Boundaries…. which is what the next episode will be ALLL about so make sure you stay tuned for that.