Feel Good Sisterhood

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19.1 Perfection & People Pleasing

Trying to make other people happy

We think that being a perfectionist or a people pleaser is a positive trait. But in truth, what we’re doing is we’re trying to manipulate other people’s opinions of us. Thinking that, “if I am able to control how they feel about me, they won’t judge me.”


All right, so in this video, what I want to talk about is perfectionism and people pleasing. Yes, we are all card carrying members of the perfectionism group. Right? And the reason that I attract perfectionist is because I am still trying to get over it. And so, just be aware that this is a process, it’s not going to happen overnight.

So, let’s talk about perfectionism and people pleasing. They’re a little bit different, but they’re definitely related. So, with both perfectionism and people pleasing what we are doing, and women do this more than men do. But women in general will try to control the narrative of that other people have of us.

And so, what I mean by that is that let’s say that a friend calls me up and she says, “Hey, do you want to go out to dinner this night and I’m going to be inviting these four people?” And really you don’t want to go. So, what we generally do is if we don’t want to go, we will either make up a lie or we will overexplain why we can’t go. Okay.

Because we can’t just say, no, I can’t make it or no, I don’t want to go. Right? Because if we say, no, I don’t want to go, then that would hurt my friend’s feelings. Right? And hopefully, you know already through the emotional childhood and emotional adulthood concept that we are unable to hurt our friend’s feelings. What she does with that information of “no, I don’t want to go” is completely up to her. Okay.

Now, that might be a harsh example. But what would be the harm in telling someone the truth? Really kind of an interesting question. Like, what if I don’t want to go? And so oftentimes, what we do with people pleasing is we say yes or do what we think they want us to do. Because we are trying to avoid an uncomfortable situation in our heads.

If someone asks me to bake a hundred cupcakes, the reason that I feel guilty is because of the thoughts that are going in my head of how terrible of a person I am. And so, what we do is we avoid that guilty feeling, that conflict of saying no, and what they might be thinking of us, the judgment that they might be having of us by saying yes.

Meanwhile, when we’re making the cupcakes, first of all, we’re sitting there and we’re feeling really sh***y afterwards, right? Because we’re thinking I don’t want to make these cupcakes and how can I get out of it and how can I manipulate the situation? What can I do? What lie can I tell her so that I don’t have to do this. Right?

And we then are feeling even worse in between the time that we say yes, and the time that we have to deliver the cupcakes. And when we’re making the cupcakes we’re going, God d**n. Right? And so, when we say yes in the moment, we’re trying to control what that person thinks of us. We’re trying to manipulate their opinion of us so that they don’t think something poorly of us. Right?

What’s the worst thing that happens when someone doesn’t like us? We don’t like everybody in the world. Right? You don’t like everyone that you come in contact with. Yet somehow, we feel like we can control other people’s opinions of us. We can’t. And here’s why, because people’s opinions of you are made through the lens of their past experiences. Okay.

So, here’s an example. So, my podcast, everyone hears the same exact podcast episode and episodes. There are some people out there who love what I’m saying. They’re like, yes, Elizabeth preach. We love you. You cannot produce enough podcasts for me to listen to. And then, there are other people who are like, yeah, she’s okay. She’s great. It’s fine. Whatever.

But then there are other people who are like, nope, she’s doing it wrong. She’s saying the wrong thing. She has the wrong messaging. We should not be talking about dieting. We should not be talking about losing weight. She’s completely wrong with her science. She’s not sciencey’ enough. She’s too sciencey’. Right?

There are all these people who have other opinions about what I say on my podcast. I am the same person. I cannot please all of those people. And all of those people have opinions about what I produce, and their opinions are made through the lens of their past experiences.

The same thing is true with you. If someone doesn’t like you, it has nothing to do with you. And it has everything to do with them.

Now, I want you to imagine what if you had the thought, they are really missing out on experiencing me. What would that feel like if you just presented yourself as you are unfiltered, and people can take you or leave you?

Because here’s the truth, when we try to be all perfect, people can see right through that. But if we’re really good at being perfect, what happens is we actually create a wall between ourselves and the other people that we’re really trying to come into connection with.

Because when we are too perfect, people don’t feel like we’re authentic enough. Have you ever met anyone who was too perfect? You’re like, “oh, I couldn’t possibly tell them that I do this.” Right? Because if I did, then they would think poorly of me. Because they’re so perfect. They have everything right. And they have no idea what it means for me to feel like I’m failing.

And so, when we can show that we’re not perfect all the time, right? Then, we can let those other people in and allow them to see us for who we really are and build that connection. Because when we try to be perfect, when we try to people please, what we’re doing is were creating a facade of who we think those people want to be in relationship with. And that relationship is actually not us. We’re trying not to get rejected. Right? That’s what we’re doing by people pleasing and creating this perfection facade.

But if they knew who we really were, we’re like, they couldn’t possibly love us. Potentially, if we allowed them to see who we really were, that relationship, that connection might actually mean something more because it’s genuine. When other people are in relationship with a facade and it’s not a true relationship. Okay.

So, what I want to encourage you to do is really think about what you want and what you don’t want. And when you make decisions and really think about what it is that you want and do that, then you are going to be more in alignment with your true self. There’s this concept called radical honesty. And why it has to be radical honesty? I have no idea. But it’s really just being honest with people instead of doing the people pleasing thing, doing the perfection thing. Okay. And what that does is it creates deeper connection within our relationships.

Now, there’s one other aspect that I want to talk about. And that is when we are people pleasing, what we are doing is we are trying to manipulate other people’s emotions so that they don’t feel a certain way. Right? Like, we think that we can get people out of their negative emotion. And I’ve said this before, I said this in the chapter on emotions.

But I want to repeat it right now, which is the more comfortable we feel with having negative emotion in ourselves, the more we are going to be okay with other people expressing negative emotion. This happens a lot with our partners and with our children. We think that other people should never be in a negative state.

And if you’ve ever been in a negative state and someone’s like, “oh, cheer up,” you know that it doesn’t feel really good. You’re like, “you know what? I just want to be in this cr***y mood right now.” Okay.

When we try to cheer other people up, what we’re doing is we’re robbing them of the human experience. The truth is, is that we cannot influence how other people feel. They are the only ones who can do that. And how they do that is with the thoughts that they think using the model.

And so, their thoughts create how they feel. We think that we can control how they feel by acting a certain way, but really, we can’t. It’s their responsibility to get themselves out of their negative emotion. Okay.

So, that’s all I have for you in this video. In the next video, I have something called the 4 C’s, which has everything to do with building more confidence when it comes into those sticky situations and feeling more confident in how we’re feeling about ourselves. All right?

That’s all I have for you in this video. I’ll see you in the next one.