Archive for February, 2013

Are you a people pleaser – or a YOU pleaser?

Thursday, February 28th, 2013

Recently, I gave a coaching session to a woman I’ll call Brenda. We were looking at things she could do to make her life with Crohn’s disease, arthritis, and several other difficult challenges a lot better. As we did, Brenda started feeling so much emotional pain that she started to cry. That had happened earlier in the session and in several previous sessions as well.

As I coached her, it occurred to me that she could probably work through a lot of the pain that came up in coaching sessions by blogging. I told her so, and I also told her that blogging had the added benefit that if she wrote about the challenges she was going through and the painful feelings she experienced as she did, she would very likely get supportive comments from people who read her post.

Brenda agreed that blogging would probably be helpful. She didn’t commit to actually doing it, but she did commit to considering it and deciding if was the right thing for her to do. As I listened to Brenda, I had a strong sense that blogging would be very beneficial for her

In her session the following week, I found out that Brenda had not done what she had agreed to do: she did not spend any time thinking about blogging and its potential benefit. I asked her if she still thought that blogging about her challenges and her feelings would be helpful, and she said that she did.

But I sensed that something essential was missing and I said so. I told Brenda that until we found out what the missing piece was and added it back, blogging wasn’t going to be helpful for her.

Brenda quickly identified what the missing piece was. The previous week, she meant it when she said she would consider blogging, because she saw that it could be helpful. But the next week, when she said that she still thought blogging would be helpful, she said it not because she still believed it, but to please me.

Not surprisingly, that was not the first time Brenda said something to please someone else instead saying what was true for her. She saw that she had been doing that her whole life.

I told her that the person for her to please was not me. It was the woman in the mirror. I suggested that several times a day, she ask that woman how she could please her.

She said she would, and I’m looking forward to Brenda’s next session to find out how she’s pleased herself. I know that doing so will do her a lot more good than blogging just to please me would.

How about you? What will the person in the mirror tell you? Whatever it is (assuming that it doesn’t hurt anyone else) I encourage you to do it, and then leave a comment here telling my readers and me what you did.