In the last two episodes of this podcast, we talked about people pleasing: that insidious habit of trying to control how other people think and feel about us by doing things we believe will garner their approval or avoid their disapproval.
Last week, I outlined how to stop people pleasing, and with the holidays coming up, there are going to be plenty of opportunities to practice it. However, unsurprisingly, it’s very likely that the people who have benefited from you putting their wants and needs above your own aren’t going to like it. So, how do you support yourself when you stop people pleasing and other people aren’t pleased?
Listen in this week to discover what to do when you stop people pleasing and other people aren’t pleased. I’m showing you why not people pleasing is a foreign concept to so many people, what to expect when you stop, and my top tips for having your back when you start telling others what you really want.
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What You’ll Learn from this Episode:
- Guidelines you can use to support yourself when you stop people pleasing and other people aren’t pleased.
- Why it’s more likely for the women in your life to be upset when you stop people pleasing.
- The importance of deciding ahead of time how you want to think and feel about other people’s displeasure.
- What to expect when you stop people pleasing and other people don’t like it.
Listen to the Full Episode:
Featured on the Show:
- To get my worksheet for this episode, go to my home page and enter your email address in the pop-up!
- Click here to get my Check What’s Triggered workbook, designed to help you identify some of the triggers you’re anticipating for this school year, and to crate thoughts that will better serve you.
- Ep #25: Back to School Series: Mental Rehearsal
- Ep #36: Why We People Please
- Ep #37: How to Stop People Pleasing
- Friends | The One with Chandler’s Work Laugh
Full Episode Transcript:
You are listening to episode 38 of The Autism Mom Coach, When You Stop People Pleasing and Other People Aren’t Pleased.
In the last two episodes we talked about people pleasing, that insidious habit of trying to control how other people think and feel about us by doing things we believe will garner their approval or avoid their disapproval. Not surprisingly when we stop people pleasing it is very likely that people won’t be pleased, especially those who benefited from us putting their wants and needs above our own.
Stay tuned to learn why this is not a problem at all and what you can do to support yourself when other people aren’t pleased.
Welcome to The Autism Mom Coach, a podcast for moms who feel overwhelmed, afraid, and sometimes powerless as they raise their child with Autism. My name is Lisa Candera. I’m a certified life coach, lawyer, and most importantly I’m a full-time single mom to a teenage boy with Autism. In this podcast I’ll show you how to transform your relationship with Autism and special needs parenting. You’ll learn how to shift away from being a victim of your circumstances to being the hero of the story you get to write. Let’s get started.
Hello everyone and welcome to the podcast and part three of the People Pleasing series. So next week is thanksgiving and with the holidays coming up there are going to be so many chances to practice not people pleasing. So if you haven’t already take a listen to episode 37 where I give you five steps to stop people pleasing. Maybe you’ve already listened and you’re considering trying this out a bit. Maybe you are considering telling your family that you will be staying home for thanksgiving, or that you will only be attending the family event for two hours.
Maybe you’re considering telling your neighbors that stopping by your house spontaneously is a no. Or maybe you are considering telling your in-laws that if your child with Autism is not invited to an event then no one from the family will be attending. Whatever it is, chances are when you stop people pleasing and start telling people what you really want and what you really think, they might get annoyed, especially when they are used to you just going along with the plan despite how you really feel.
And this is especially so in my opinion if you are dealing with the women in your life, the moms, the sisters, the best friends. This is because more than likely the women in your life are also big people pleasers themselves. And the idea of saying no and not doing the things you are supposed to do just to make other people happy is completely foreign to them. And I say this not as judgment but just as a reality check. We’ve all been socialized this way. And so when one of us decides that we’re going to wave the flag and say, “Nope, I’m not abiding by the secret code of motherhood anymore.”
The other people in your life might be like, “What the fuck and who do you think you are.” That’s okay, your instinctive reaction to their displeasure or judgment might be to feel a sense of panic, oh no, they’re not pleased and I’m going to be voted off the island. This is normal. I always think about the Friends episode, I think it’s called, the one with Chandler’s work laugh.” In this episode, Monica notices that every time Chandler is around his boss, Doug, that he has this really fake laugh. And he’s always laughing at Doug’s ridiculous jokes. And he’s letting him win and things like that.
And so she calls him out on it. So chandler decides, well, the next he makes a silly joke that Chandler doesn’t think it’s funny, he’s not going to laugh. And so that’s exactly what happens. Doug makes this corny joke about his wife’s coffee not being able to win a fight because it’s weak, something like that. And Chandler just doesn’t laugh. And so then Doug is like, “Did you hear me?” And he says the joke again and there’s this really, really awkward silence.
And so what happens is, is that Monica feels so uncomfortable that she jumps in and she explains the joke and why it’s so funny. And so then she and Chandler are now using this annoying laugh. Anyhow this same thing might happen to you. You will feel the displeasure. You will feel the discomfort and you might want to just say, “Screw it, I’ll do it anyway.” Just know that this is normal, just like I talked about last week.
This is your fear brain talking to you and this is why it is important to decide ahead of time using your rational brain, how you want to think and feel about other people having thoughts and feelings. Because here’s the thing, that’s all that is happening. Other people are having sentences in their minds and feelings in their bodies, that’s it. These cannot hurt you. Is it okay for people to have their thoughts and their feelings, they will anyway. You always get to decide how you want to think and feel about your decisions and other people’s reactions to them.
You can decide that other people being angry or annoyed means that your decision is wrong, or that you are wrong. Or you can decide that other people are allowed to have their opinions and preferences and it means nothing about you. Here are some guidelines you can use to support yourself in this shift.
First, decide with the smart rational part of your brain that it is not a problem if other people aren’t pleased with your choices. Here are some thoughts that you can practice. Other people are allowed to have their feelings. What other people think about me is none of my business. I can choose my own wants and needs and still have love for people in my life. The more you practice these thoughts the more automatic they will become for you.
Second, you can mentally rehearse the situation ahead of time so that you can prepare yourself cognitively and somatically for the experience. I talk about mental rehearsal in episode 25 of the podcast. So if you haven’t already, go back and listen to it. With mental rehearsal you can visualize yourself telling your sister-in-law to stop sending you articles about Autism. Or telling your mother that you will not be attending thanksgiving dinner. Or your best friend that you don’t like it when she just stops by out of nowhere because it’s really disruptive to your child.
You can picture yourself doing this, experiencing the emotion that will arise in your body, breathing through it and reminding yourself that this is just temporary and that you are safe.
Finally, you get to decide ahead of time to have your own back by resolving that you’re not going to call yourself selfish or anything bad for taking care of yourself even when other people are not pleased. Now, let me be clear, the goal of this work is not to be a sociopath who doesn’t care at all about what others think. But rather to not let it mean anything about you that someone else is having a thought, because it doesn’t. You can remember that your thoughts create your feelings and so do theirs.
And if they’re upset that you will no longer, for example, drop everything you are doing to take care of them, that’s okay. It’s okay that they are upset. They are allowed to have their feelings. The work for you is to release the reins on trying to control other people’s thoughts and other people’s feelings and to create your own safety by validating your own decisions for yourself.
Alright, that is it for this week. And one last thing before I go, if you are enjoying this podcast please, please, please take the time to rate and review it. Ratings really do help other moms like you find the podcast and so the more ratings the better. If you enjoy it, if it’s useful to you please take the time to do that. And if you haven’t already, share the podcast with a mom that you know who might find this information helpful as well. Thank you and I’ll talk to you next week.
Thanks for listening to The Autism Mom Coach. If you want more information or the show notes and resources from the podcast, visit theautismmomcoach.com. See you next week.
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