From my last article on the 5 signs your partner may be a people-pleaser (and why that’s a problem) you may have identified that yes, indeed, your partner is a people-pleaser. And now you realise why that can be a problem, what can you do about it?
Well, not much. You see, we can’t change other people. They have to choose to change for themselves. They have to want to change badly enough to get out of the safety they have created doing what is familiar, even if it doesn’t serve them well.
Is there anything you can do? Well, yes, but remember this is their journey ultimately.
Raise awareness, in kindness
You will probably start to spot their people-pleasing ways. Very gently you might want to point them out. Like next time you are discussing where to go on holiday and they just wait for you to say where you want to go, you can identify that and encourage them to speak up.
I say do it with kindness because people-pleasers often have low self-esteem and are their own worst critics anyway, so they don’t need you to hop on board too.
Support them if they want to seek help to change
There are support groups for this kind of thing, self-help books, podcasts and professionals. If or when they feel ready to start making changes, give them time and space to do it.
Role model good boundaries
You know what’s Ok for you and what isn’t. People-pleasers have weak boundaries, if they have any at all. It helps for them to experience what solid boundaries are like. Be direct and open about your wants and needs and feelings and encourage them in doing likewise.
Expect your relationship to change
When a person makes changes and grows as a person it is inevitable that they are going to show up in a different way in your relationship. A recovering people-pleaser will be testing out setting boundaries, spending time alone and re-discovering activities and hobbies they enjoy. It doesn’t mean they are not as into you as before. Having said that, in some cases relationships will improve; in other cases they may end. But that could happen anyway.
The beautiful thing is that you will both find you are free to take care of yourselves without worrying about the other person. You will both feel free to say Yes and No when you want to. Their neediness or jealousy will have diminished and you have open conversations about your feelings, wants and needs.
They will be free in a way they weren’t before and you will have helped them get there.
Thanks for reading. If you have any challenges with creating the life you love that you would like some support with, let’s have a chat about how I can help. I offer a free, no obligation, introductory session where you can experience my coaching firsthand.
Click here to get in touch.
I run a closed Facebook group for recovering people pleasers (women only).
I am running support groups in London and Surrey for women who want to live free of the tyranny of people pleasing. See https://www.meetup.com/London-Recovering-People-Pleasers-Meetup-women-only/ and https://www.meetup.com/Surrey-Recovering-People-Pleasers-Meetup-women-only/ for more details.