I was talking with a client and in our conversation she realized that she had been collecting all of her past hurts from people as evidence, to support her feeling of being taken advantage of, stepped over, or not appreciated.
She didn’t consciously realize she was doing this until we were coaching around her feelings of being a doormat.
She had been feeling pretty frustrated at work and home with people not respecting her boundaries and asking her to do things that she felt she had to do, because she didn’t want to upset anyone.
Then bam, this awareness came through. She was done lugging this heavy-ass bag of hurts and resentments. She wasn't aware that she had been 'collecting' and was so over it.
So we worked on a way to change the way she showed up in conversations, to stop this from happening in the future. This isn’t an overnight, flip-the-switch fix….but it is a way to start changing the way we show up in conversations.
The key is first to be aware of boundaries that are being crossed, and then how we might want to communicate differently. This could be learning how to say the word ‘no’, or it could look like bringing curiosity to the requests before automatically saying ‘yes’. We get creative, role-play, and practice out loud to get comfortable with this new way to respond. There are lots of ways to work with this now that there is awareness and knowledge that it is happening.
This is way more common than you would think. This isn't just one client story, this is many...and hey it's me too.
There are many of us “people pleasers” or “peacekeepers” out there, hey my hand is raised in the club. The thought of having a conversation where you have to say "no" or share your thoughts/opinions that someone else won’t like (or at least that’s what we think), can make you instantly sweat, hives break out on your neck, face go red, or stomach turn in knots. Sound familiar? I know my clients and I are not alone.
So if you want to join me in the "Recovering People Pleasers / Peacekeeps Club"….let me know. There are ways to take back your voice, hold boundaries with compassion and not have red splotches all over your neck and face….well, after a while anyways! You don't have to do it alone.