Overgiving and Control Issues: Why People-Pleasing Can Often Stem from A Desire to Hide Ourselves and Fix Other People
On this episode of “The Language of Love,” I am doing a session with a caller who says she’s afraid of abandonment and builds walls to protect herself. In her friendships and romantic relationships, she has trouble letting people in, and she believes this fear stems from past trauma. However, she is ready for a change: As a lifelong people pleaser who tends to overextend herself, my caller says that she often gives, and gives, and gives, until she gets emotionally exhausted and resentful and chooses to end the relationship.
Does this sound familiar to you? It certainly does to me. As a recovering people pleaser, what I have come to realize is that sometimes we actually are givers because it’s a way for us to maintain control over the relationship. It makes us feel like we have agency and we can protect ourselves, because we think we are choosing to be the bigger person and sacrifice the most in the relationship. But in the end, all our needs go un-met, because we have chosen to never express them.
By not admitting our needs or asking for love, we are protecting ourselves in a little bubble of isolation. We make a conscious choice to be a giver, but in such a way that it also prevents us from being a receiver. Love is supposed to be a two-way street, whether we are talking about platonic or romantic love. When we choose instead to make it a one-way street and not allow ourselves to make space for people to give to us in return, it is often a symptom of past trauma or energetic blockage.
So how can my caller learn to bring down her walls and start allowing herself to receive as much love as she gives? Listen to this episode for my advice to her and then share your thoughts with me on social media!