I started speaking about people pleasing as part of nice girl problems end of 2016, as I archived about 400 full articles and about a total of 5,000 posts about abuse, recovery, spirituality and women rights on various social media platforms recently, I was reminded about the different motivations behind people pleasing behaviours.
So here goes.
1. The lazy nice girl. She people please so she can cruise, being liked is more important than being competent, so instead of getting an education, learning new skills and gaining knowledge, she earns her place in people's life by being nice.
When she try to set boundaries, she finds that she would have to step up and be more hardworking, people with strong work ethics find themselves unable to respect her, people with achievements they worked hard to earn do not want to associate with her since she often underestimates them.
When she develops a stronger work ethic, they will start to respect her and she will gain awareness of their struggles since she also encounter the same problems.
2. The morally superior nice girl. She attaches morality to everything and everyone, she polices their moralities closely, she is nice until it infringes on her morality, then she harshly punishes someone. Cycling between deflation and inflation, unable to find integrated views of others, she can only feel safe when someone is morally perfect in her eyes. Using morality as a justification for her fears, she must devalue someone else's morality to prop up her own.
She sits on a high horse that doesn't gallop, she constantly thinks the only reason why someone's life is better is because they're unethical. She finds it difficult to see how being ethical and improving her life can come together. She usually ends up miserable and resentful.
3. The beautiful nice girl. She focuses on her beauty, she combines her attractiveness with being nice, she dumbs herself down regularly even though she's intelligent, being attractive and nice goes a long way for her. When she is tired of her beauty overshadowing her intelligence, she tries to look for authentic friends with depth. When she connects with others on a deeper level, she no longer need to hang onto her looks as the most important thing about her, she can start shining from the core of her being, not let physical expectations get in her way.
4. The altruistic nice girl. She genuinely cares about people's pain, she people please to refrain from harming someone, she finds it hard to understand she has a right to stand in her power and speak her truth when there's a conflict of interest. She finds people in pain intolerable, even if their pain didn't come from her, she feel responsibility for it, she tends to overly care take and exhaust herself. When she draws boundaries, she will see just how many people stay around for the benefits, she also adjusts her worldview to realistic levels, helping her make wiser choices.
5. The manipulative nice girl. She uses people pleasing as a form of manipulation, she expects more in return than she invests in pleasing you, she has double standards and the pleasing is actually intermittent reinforcement, part of an abusive pattern. When she does this, it is to lull you into a false sense of security, you then reciprocate, finding she is calculative, there is no natural flow of two way reciprocity, you're always doubling down to make it work, as she goes through phases of devaluation where she treats you like a garbage bin. She needs therapy, people around abusers aren't required to play the therapist role on top of other roles. Encourage her to go for therapy and play a secondary support role if you want.
I am all for being kind, with boundaries that is, I often find that many people confuse these two things, relationships are often destroyed due to lack of boundaries, I'm all for giving people a hand up and not a hand out. People pleasing often stem from deeper issues, it is a reaction to previous maltreatment where the only way to stay safe is to please someone.
People pleasers are looking to regain control of their lives, by using what they see as a gentler method to cope, it is subconsciously motivated by control.
I was a people pleaser myself, as I quit and after I quit, other kinds of people pleasers tried to control me back to the same nice girl place throughout the entire process so look out for that if you're trying to quit, you can be motivated by several if not all of the above to people please, if you persist, you will change your life as I did mine.
When you people please, you have to consider not just your own wounds, the other person wounds, also social conditioning, if you're a woman and you please a man, he might have a sexist bias as to how far you have to go to please him or if you're a minority race in your country, you might be conditioned to automatically please the majority race. Everyone is different so it is up to you to reflect on how social conditioning affects someone's views of you, not take it upon yourself and feel like a failure instead.
When we heal, we also help bring forth a more authentic psychologically sound representation of who we're, be it your sex, your behaviour or your verbal expressions, we're creating a more authentic genuinely accepting world where we can all exist in harmony.
Eshet chayil, God is a She.