Last week I examined how to know if you are in a codependent relationship. Several readers identified with being a people pleaser in a codependent relationship and asked how to work on this issue.
I’m encouraged to hear your bravery in wanting to make positive changes in yourself and your relationship. The first step in change is always to RECOGNIZE AND ACKNOWLEDGE the problem. Congratulations! You’ve already done this by reaching out for help.
The next step is to UNDESTAND why you people please. As mentioned last week, most of you learned to people please during childhood because of the relationship you had with your primary caregiver(s). More specifically, you’ve learned through this relationship that love is conditional; your acceptance and approval is based on you being a “good girl” or “good boy”, as defined by your caregiver.
When your caregiver was pleased with you, they would show love. Conversely, when they were unhappy with you, they would withhold love and/or criticize or guilt you, which would make you feel bad. Hence, you learned to please your caregiver to ensure that they were happy with you; you had to earn their love, approval, and acceptance.
The last step in working on people pleasing is to “re-parent” yourself by loving yourself for who you are and not what you do. YOUR WORTHINESS IS NOT BASED ON YOUR PERFORMANCE. IT IS GROUNDED IN WHO YOU ARE.
It does not come from others evaluation of you. It comes from your valuation of yourself. In other words, when you learn to love and value yourself for who you are, you start to approve of and accept yourself for all the good things that you are AND for the areas you’re still growing in. We all have these growth areas; this is part of being human. You are no different.
Know that I am rooting for you and walking alongside your journey of healing and creating a better future. May you learn to have a loving, compassionate, and courageous relationship with yourself. When that happens, you will naturally stop pleasing others and start pleasing yourself.
Be on the lookout for more information soon about my course for couples that will deep dive into learning how to create a close and connected relationship with your partner. Stay tuned!