Our abilities and People-pleasing vs Authentic Self

At last night’s meet-up of Recovering People Pleasers we had a fascinating discussion on the topic of What I Like Best About Myself and What I like Least.

One thing I like best about myself is that I am an excellent listener. I got to thinking about how things show up when we are people-pleasing and when we are not.

I realised when I was people-pleasing, I used this ability to listen really well to hide away. People would come to visit our home and I would cook (hiding away), join them for the meal and ask them questions to keep them talking. I have always been interested in other people and their stories, but it was oh so useful in keeping the attention away from me.

I found that people liked talking about themselves. I convinced myself that they would much rather do that than hear from me. I did that confirmation bias thing whereby even if they did ask me what was going on in my world I would give a short answer, ask them a question and hey presto – the conversation hot potato was back with them and I took that as confirmation that they didn’t really want to listen to me in the first place. Doh.

I could have just merged into the furniture. I didn’t want to be seen. I felt uncomfortable if the attention was turned on me.

Through my journey of re-discovering ‘me’ and discovering my awesomeness (if that’s not a word it should be) I can bear attention in a way I couldn’t before.

But back to the listening. Now I use listening to just listen.

I don’t use it to hide away. I do still struggle when with a group of people if I am talking about myself. I have to remind myself that even if it feels scary I can still do it.  I’m not perfect and that’s ok.

How do your abilities show up in people-pleasing mode or when you are being the authentic You?


Thanks for reading. If you have any challenges with creating an authentic life 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.

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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.