I love Mel Robbins.
She articulates her words with passion and precision. She’s the epitome of wisdom and does a good job in triggering multiple epiphanies all at once.
Today I watched her recent reel about people pleasing, and to be honest, I wasn’t prepared for the level of awakening that took over my body.
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“You wanna know something interesting about people pleasing? People pleasing isn’t about pleasing other people at all. You wanna know what people pleasing is really about? It’s about your inability to feel uncomfortable normal emotions. I used to struggle with people pleasing. I was a yes person. I would scan the environment. I put everybody first. I was constantly anticipating everybody else’s needs and the way that I broke the habit is realizing that it’s possible to be a really good person and put self first. But you can only do that if you are able to tolerate the feelings of guilt or sadness or somebody else’s disappointment. So you just gotta practice it and then you’ll no longer be a people pleaser. And so here’s how you do it. The next time somebody asks you to do something and you don’t wanna do it, say no. And then let the feelings rise up. Let them be disappointed. Wait about 90 seconds. The whole thing passes and you my friend will have just broken the habit of people pleasing. Would have the emotions you were avoiding and that’s the skill that you need to take control of your life.”
Wow. Wow. Wow. Seriously, I wasn’t ready for this.
I think we struggle with people pleasing for many different reasons, but Robbins just gave us a solid one. I was a yes person too, and I can’t help but think about all the times when I said yes when I really, really wanted to say no. But of course, I didn’t. I could never bring myself to utter it.
I needed badly to feel loved and accepted. I wanted validation. Respect. Amazement. I was afraid that saying no wasn’t going to provide me with what I needed from the other person. I seriously believed that my no was going to push away the people I had loved.
Listening to what Robbins has to say, I now know that the problem is never about what others feel; it’s about how I feel and my inability to sit with the uncomfortable emotions that come with saying no.
I still remember the first time I said no to an invitation. I felt awful right afterward and turned off my phone for a few hours. I couldn’t sit with my shame and extensive feelings of guilt. Although it took more than 90 seconds to feel okay again, I was okay eventually. And yes, I was still a good person.
There you go. Tell me what you think in the comments.