A Deeper Look At People Pleasing
How often do you hear the phrase "I'm a people pleaser" being tossed around? Have you caught yourself saying it too? This reality is so normal for many of us, we have adopted it as a trait of our personality or a deeper identity. But what if I offered a different idea? What if we looked at it as a learned behavior that a part of you figured out how to do to maintain connection when it mattered most? And, what if you felt you had access to choice and confidence when approaching a conflict or misunderstanding with another?
When people default to people pleasing, or in more extreme versions, "fawning", then we are using our social nervous system to respond to the perceived threat. This was typically paramount at some time in childhood and the genesis of this learned pattern. A child might learn to hide or ignore forbidden emotions within their family system in order to make sure they stayed in connection with an important caregiver or parent or even classmates in school. Developmentally, is it always important for younger people to fit in and be included, so the body will often choose this way of getting through threatening situations like getting picked on, a parent with out of control anger, or a caregiver who would shut down easily and disengage under stress.
Healing opportunities are available for those stuck in this pattern. As a therapist, I offer EMDR therapy infused with understanding parts of you that adapted different roles or responses to hard and overwhelming situations earlier in life. Healing involves learning and role playing different responses to conflict while in the safety of a therapy session. It often must include attending to the older, stuck emotions that were ignored or held in at earlier times in life. EMDR is one of the tools we have to access older memories or stored emotion to integrate and heal your present day self. I love to offer an individualized journey for each client as we are all unique but relying on our awareness of what it is to be a human who is wired for connection.
Amanda Hildebrant, LCSW CA #63742, CO #09924668 and Clinical Supervisor
High achieving, driven, successful, and pulled together, but something doesn't feel right. Surrounded by others, but feeling like you are on an island. Your past creeps up in small ways like shying away from speaking up in the moment, or maybe even bigger ways like feeling disconnected from yourself daily and just going through the motions. There is something about the way you are wired which makes you so tuned into fitting in, you sometimes miss the big red flags of others’ behavior. This can look like trusting the wrong people or just getting hurt, let down, and resentful. Let's uncover the root cause together.
I help clients by creating a safe and inviting vibe to say the things that most people would never guess about you. From there, we figure out patterns of how this came to by. Why, over the years, did your body and mind decide to create such a wide gap between the outside and the inside? I use a powerful mix of healing interventions for lasting change.
Amanda is currently accepting clients. To learn more about her schedule and availability, call/ text/ or email her at 424-247-6144/ Amanda@pacificmft.com.