Many women wear people pleasing as a badge of honor.
They think they are supposed to make everyone else happy. They believe it’s their job as a wife, mom, partner, sister, co-worker, friend, or to be a “good person”. This idea that we are responsible for other peoples’ happiness is so ingrained into us that we often don’t even realize it.
I see so many of my clients prioritizing everyone else’s needs and wants that they forget about their own needs and wants.
How do you feel at the end of the day when you’ve taken care of everyone else but have done nothing for yourself? How does it feel to neglect your needs and wants? I know – you feel tired, stressed and burnt out, exhausted and ready for a drink to relax and finally get relief.
People-pleasing is not beneficial, and it can be quite harmful.
Join me this week as I discuss all things people pleasing and sharing some examples of how this might be showing up in your life. Discover the reasons you might be people pleasing and learn how to stop using alcohol as an emotional band-aid.
You are listening to the Drink Less Lifestyle Podcast with Dr. Sherry Price, episode number 34.
Welcome to Drink Less Lifestyle, a podcast for successful women who want to change their relationship with alcohol. If you want to drink less, feel healthier and start loving life again you’re in the right place. Please remember that the information in this podcast does not constitute medical advice. Now, here’s your host, Dr. Sherry Price.
Well, hello ladies. I have to say that today is a day. Yeah, I know that sounds pretty profound to me today because my brain kind of wants to call it a bad day. But it’s just a day I’m deciding as I’m recording this because inside I’m feeling a little bit glum and a bit sad.
Our little puppy who’s a little yellow lab, he’s about, I guess, nine or ten months now. No, about nine months. And he has a scratch on the side of him. And we took him to the vet thinking that the scratch, it was bleeding and oozing and that it might need to be stitched. But it doesn’t and he has to wear a cone on his head. Have you ever seen a puppy with a cone or any dog with a cone on their head? He’s so sad. He can’t do the things he normally does and oh my gosh, it breaks my heart.
And the funny thing is ladies, is that a year ago before we got this dog I didn’t want a dog. I’m not an animal person, I never was. But look at me, I’m turned to mush. It just goes to show you that people can change. So I’m just so sad for my little dog Cody, and I just sat with him for a little bit and caressing him, and patting him. And I just feel bad. We can’t take him for a walk because we need this to heal. And it’s really crushing my heart. And inside my brain I kind of want to blame other things.
I want to blame my husband for taking him to the dog beach where this happened because he’s a puppy. And puppies aggravate older dogs with all their energy. And so I’m thinking if he just didn’t take him to the dog beach this wouldn’t have happened. And then I’m also blaming myself because this happened two days ago and we should have seen it and we should have taken him to the vet earlier. And I don’t know. I just feel like it shouldn’t have happened. Ever have those things that happen in your life and you’re just like, “Man, this shouldn’t have happened?”
But as I teach my clients, we can’t blame the circumstances for our emotions because we don’t get anywhere. We don’t get any relief and it keeps us feeling powerless and stuck. But I also teach in Drink Less Lifestyle it’s not about the circumstances and it’s all about our emotions and how to process them in a healthy way.
And here’s the thing, because I’ve learned to process my emotions, and I’ve learned this skill that I teach to my clients, I didn’t let my sadness stop me from going to the gym today. And I’m not letting it stop me from recording this podcast that is on my calendar to be done today. And because I have developed this skill and the skill on how to manage my mind so that I keep getting the results that I want, it is just really awesome that I can be with this emotion, not have to run away from it, not have to escape it and still do the things that I want to be truly doing.
And even though I’m sad I saw today a post inside my free private Facebook page, Stop the Overdrinking Habit, where one of my clients Julie, she’s making tremendous progress. She just posted in there that she was able to stop after having one drink last night and not have desire for more. So as she’s practicing these tools and learning these tools, she’s also transforming her relationship with alcohol which then transforms your relationship with yourself and with your life. It is so powerful my friends, so darned powerful.
And I find it funny because she messaged me and she’s like, “This is really magic. Why aren’t they teaching this in schools? This is so powerful.” So I just want you all to know that our brains really do get confused with how to handle our emotions, how to handle our to do lists. And if they just have the right tools we can still process emotions in a healthy way and get the results that we want in life.
And that’s exactly what you learn inside of Drink Less Lifestyle, it’s the program that helps people overcome drinking so it’s no longer an issue. They no longer have to wear the label. You know I don’t believe in labels. It’s not a disease. You can totally free yourself from this issue. And as Julie had just said in her post, “It’s like I can now see myself being able to drink on my terms.” It’s so empowering when we teach our brain exactly how to do this.
So today I want to talk about the topic of people pleasing. Now, when I teach about this inside of my program, and we’re all on a Zoom call I could see the faces kind of go blank. They kind of are like, “Did she just say that?” So if this information is new to you and jarring, let it be jarring a little bit because I want your brain to open up that what I’m about to say might actually possibly be true. I just want you to consider it.
So I want to start off with the premise that I think we all think subconsciously and maybe even consciously. We think that pleasing others is inherently a good thing. We think it’s good for them and we think it’s good for us. We often think that people pleasing is a win/win situation. I know some of us grew up in households or in environments where we thought people pleasing is morally good, it’s spiritually good, and it’s emotionally pleasing, it’s good. Even the concept ‘pleasing’ makes it sound like it’s a good thing.
We are socialized from a young age that we should be doing what makes other people happy. We should be concerned about their feelings, be empathetic. And I think we take it to the next level where we think we can control other people’s feelings. And I think we’re actually sold this bill of goods on a lot of commercials, and TVs, and all the happy endings in movies. And sometimes we make others happy to save face. Or we take that golden rule; treat others how you would want to be treated a little too far.
We’re told to cheer people up, be supportive, be a good sport, be a good team player. It’s the kind thing to do. It’s the right thing to do. Now, I’m not saying you shouldn’t make other people happy or try. I mean we can’t really make other people happy. That’s only in their realm, we can try to influence people but we can’t control their happiness. But what I’m describing as people pleasing is a definition where people pleasing is something that you do or something that you say with the intention of, one, simply wanting the other person to feel good so that you can feel good about yourself.
Two, doing something or saying something so you get validation or recognition from other people, or doing something or saying something that you really don’t want to do, and really that you don’t want to say. But you say it and do it anyway so it’s like you say yes when you actually inside mean no. And this is the definition I’m operating under when I’m talking about people pleasing.
So notice with the first two definitions that I mentioned, simply wanting the other person to feel good so that you can feel good about yourself, that’s very selfish, we’re pleasing them so we can feel differently about ourselves. And so, if you think about it, we’re doing something with strings attached, the second definition, doing something for validation or recognition from others, that’s also very selfish and that’s so that we can feel better about ourselves, so again, strings attached.
And then finally the last definition, doing something you don’t want to do and saying that you want to do it is lying. People pleasing can be a form of lying. You’re not telling somebody your truth. So I want to break this down a little bit more with some examples and really show you how this can be showing up in your life. And it could be a reason, and I see it a lot in my program, of why women over-drink.
So let’s look at first, you do something to make the other person feel good and that means you want to change how you feel. You think by doing this for somebody else you are going to feel good in the process. So take for example your spouse, your neighbors, your girl friends, I don’t know, somebody asks you to meet them up for drinks, or split a bottle of wine, or have alcohol with them.
Now, you may not even tune in to see if you really want the alcohol and maybe you do, but it’s not a strong urge. But you go along with their plan because you want to make them happy. And therefore you don’t live up to your own wants and desires. You kind of push them under the rug because their happiness is more important than your happiness. Their desires become more important than your desires. This is what I mean by people pleasing. We are pleasing others at the expense of ourselves. It’s like letting other people’s decisions and emotions influence ours.
It’s like letting them influence the decisions that we want to make for ourselves, maybe we want to make a different choice but we allow them and their emotions to control our choice. So every time we do that we lose our own power. And let me just tell you, this is so, so common. It’s actually so common and it might be so ingrained that you don’t even realize you’re doing it.
I mean when I’m coaching my clients and they’re just telling me this story like it’s all fact, I have to point out where they lost their power. I have to coach them about how they’re thinking about something because they are thinking in their brain it’s simply a fact and it’s simply a circumstance when actually they’re losing their power and giving it away by not seeing it themselves. And here’s the thing, it’s just the way your brain was conditioned. There’s nothing wrong, it’s just now we want to point it out so that we know what we can change and how to change it.
Now, here’s the thing, it’s not like all the time you have to make the same choice. Maybe some days you do want to indulge with the alcohol and drink with your friend or your spouse. But maybe other days you don’t want to. So it doesn’t have to be all or nothing, and I think that’s where a lot of us go wrong. And that’s when the people pleasing takes over because we work on automatic and we don’t feel like we had a choice in the matter.
And here’s a big thing, once I see it I always know it’s happening because they may not feel bad in the moment but later on when they’re recounting the story and retelling the story, they wind up blaming that person. They wind up seeking that, if that person hadn’t done this or my spouse didn’t ask this I wouldn’t have chose this. So it’s like the domino effect. If that first domino didn’t fall down I wouldn’t have fallen down.
So you just see how we’re giving away our power to the first domino? And this is very natural if we’ve been trained and grew in a society which we do, where we put other people’s needs above our own.
And here’s another area I see it as well is when people join Drink Less Lifestyle and they’re very excited about it. They’re very excited to be on this wellness journey for them. They’re very excited to change this ingrained habit that’s been irking them for years, sometimes decades. And they think that everybody around them should be excited and supportive as well. So when they don’t get the support from a friend, or their children, or their spouse they feel like oh my gosh, what’s wrong, they should be supporting me.
And I just wanted to point out that that’s very selfish. Wanting them to feel a certain way about your life, and your journey, and your choices, you are doing that because you want to feel differently. You want their support. And sometimes we think when we get their support that the journey will be easier. And I want to say that’s also giving your power away, because the skills you need to learn are for your brain, not theirs.
I want you to be able to be around alcohol and whoever drinks around you, whatever environment you’re in to be able to stand up and say what you want and not cave to people pleasing, not needing a supportive environment and be able to do this solo all on your own.
Because that’s when you’ve truly mastered the skill, so if you don’t have a supportive family I say, “Great, you’re going to learn the skill and it’s going to stick with you.” Because you’re not going to even attribute any of your success to the people around you. You’re going to own all of that. And quite honestly, you should own all of that. And that’s a sneaky little thought my friends, you don’t need other people’s support if you want to do something.
Have you ever been dead set on getting something done? You don’t need other people. You figure it out, you do it. Maybe it’s fixing something broken in your house and you don’t want to pay somebody to do it so you figure it out. You watch YouTube videos and you figure it out, or you go to Home Depot and ask the people what parts you need and how to do it.
But you figure it out, you own the whole process. And that’s the empowerment I want my women to have. Great, if we get other people’s support, that’s just icing on top but that’s not the cake. That’s not the skill. That’s not what’s going to get you through the day. You get yourself through the day. And think about it, that’s not drinking on your terms, that’s drinking on other people’s terms. To me that’s not freedom from alcohol. That means you’re still chained to it. You’re still chained to other people’s thoughts about it.
You’re still chained to something you don’t want to be chained to because otherwise you wouldn’t blame and feel guilty the next day about it. So just to remind you, you are the pilot of your life. You are fully in control. You don’t need a co-pilot. You can do this all on your own. And many people like to blame because they feel that they don’t get to own that disgust, or disappointment, or feeling defeated. But I say no, you want to own that. You want to take full responsibility because we if we blame other people we can’t control other people.
So we can’t fix the problem if we think the problem is other people. The problem is just our brain. And then I see people blame inanimate objects. They’ll blame the weekend, “If it wasn’t Friday or Saturday I wouldn’t have acted that way.” So why are we blaming the weekend? It’s just a habit that we have let go and let out of control on the weekend.
And that’s exactly the work we need to do is on the weekend because you can learn to control your alcohol four days a week, you can learn to control it five days a week or you can learn to control it every day of the week, every month, every holiday, every vacation. You get to make that decision. And I have to remind you, it’s not alcohol’s decision, it’s not the holiday’s decision, it’s not the days of the week decision. It’s your decision what you allow.
And here’s a key point I want you to take home. If you blame you make no progress. There’s no learning, there’s no altering and finding a different course of action because you have the wrong diagnosis. And you can’t change other people and you can’t change the days of the week. The calendar is set my friends. So you’re only going to be disgusted every Friday and Saturday for the rest of your life? I think there’s a different option. Actually I know there’s a different option. And that’s what I teach you in Drink Less Lifestyle.
Another area that I find my clients doing this is when they’re taking care of others. So I have a number of clients I’m working with, they’re taking care of parents or in-laws whether they’re inside the home or outside the home. And they’re giving so much of their time and their energy, and they’re really trying to make it a peaceful household and a happy household. Their brain thinks that if I make my mom happy, or I make my kids happy, that I’ll be happy. But the truth is the harder they’re trying to make their kids happy, and even if their kids are happy all day long, how do they feel at the end of the day?
Even if the parents that are living with them are happy all the time, how do they feel at the end of the day? They feel exhausted, tired, worn out, spent. Why is that? Because they prioritized other people’s needs above their own, they have made other people’s emotions more important than their own. They’ve stopped doing things for them. They stopped doing things that they enjoy. They stopped doing things that make them happy.
Some people admit to saying, “I stopped caring about how I look, or what I eat, or how I eat. I just throw it down the hatchet because that’s all I have time for.” Or that they forget to eat, and here’s the thing, then they get to the end of the day and they wonder why they have such a strong craving for alcohol, they wonder why they’re overdrinking. And they’re overdrinking to tolerate the discomfort that they feel. They’re overdrinking to tolerate how they have just let themselves go or didn’t pay any attention to their needs along the way and it became all about somebody else.
And their tricky brain will say, “Hey, it’s just me wanting to relax, isn’t that normal? Hasn’t society said that’s normal? I’m not the only one doing that.” But let’s be honest it’s not really for the relaxation. I’ll tell you, it’s for the numbing. You want to check out of your current life because it’s not fulfilling. It’s not rewarding like you had planned it to be. You’re too busy pleasing other people that you forgot about your own needs and yourself. You want to meet your kids’ clothing needs, your kids’ food needs, your kids’ bathing needs, your kids’ homeschooling needs, your kids’ emotional needs.
There are a lot of needs for kids and then the older parents as well, they have a lot of needs, health needs, doctors, meetings, and visits, and Zoom calls, and all of the things. And then if you work outside the home on top of that then you have your employer’s needs and all those emails that need to be responded to and sent. Oh my goodness, it just keeps adding up, other people’s needs. But you want to please them, you want to do a great job at work, you want to do a great job as a mom, you want to do a great job as an employee, you want to do a great job as a spouse.
And unfortunately our spouse usually gets the last of us, and we get nothing. We get to the end of the day where it’s 3 or 4 o’clock, let’s not even kid ourselves that we make it to 5 or 6 where we start fantasizing about that glass of wine, or about a cocktail, or about a shot, or some beer, or whatever because that’s the only thing that our brain sees right now as relief. But what about your own needs? Do you stop and consider what those are?
I tell you, I recently asked a mom with little kids inside my Drink Less Lifestyle program what her needs were and do you know what she said? She just went stunned faced and she looked at me and said, “Oh my gosh, no one has ever asked me that. I don’t even know what they are.” And she sat there in disbelief because she hasn’t pondered this question in years, and I get it.
As women especially raising kids, taking care of other people we get stuck in this people pleasing mode all day long, because that’s how we are conditioned from a young age that that’s the right thing to do, that that’s good, that that should bring us joy. And I want to say a lot of that is wrong. If you go back to the Bible verse, ‘Do unto others as you would have them do unto you’.
Translated into the golden rule, treat others as you would want to be treated yourself. And that means if you want to stay in certain health guidelines and wellness guidelines for you, that you will enact the same thing for others. If you don’t expect them to get emotionally worn out and exhausted, and not take their naps when they needed to, why do you expect that from yourself to run on empty, when you don’t expect others to run on empty?
And here’s what that sentence doesn’t say, you do all things to make other people happy. That’s how a lot of us interpret the golden rule. That it’s about making other people happy. That’s not what it says. It says, ‘Do unto others as you would to want to have done to you’.
Now, let’s consider the case of my daughter whose 10, she would love it if I fed her sugar for breakfast, lunch and dinner and snack, candy all the time. But because I want to do unto her as I would want done unto me, and I know it’s best for her and healthy, of course I’m not going to feed her sugar and flour for all three meals and snack. But does that make her happy? Heck no. Does she throw a tantrum sometimes because I’m so strict? Yes. But is that the most kind, loving thing I can do as a mother? Absolutely.
I can teach her healthy habits, how to take care of her body, how to keep it functioning in optimal form. We know that sugar leads to diabetes, and heart disease, and inflammation. And now we have the link to autoimmune conditions. Really, do we need more evidence? I’m pretty sold that sugar is not good for the body. That’s not to say I’ll never let her have it. Just like for me it doesn’t mean that I’m going to go out and get drunk all the time. But I’m not also going to take alcohol completely out of my life. I’m just going to have it sporadically.
Now, if I was a people pleaser I would say, “Sure honey, have all the pizza, and pasta, and candy, and Air Heads, and Sour Patch Kids all that you want, all day long, as you much as you want.” That would make her a very happy girl. And that’s only if I was concerned with her happiness. And this goes back to my last podcast, it’s not about being happy all the time.
I am more concerned about her health, and wellness, and training her to make good decisions as an adult. I’m training her that she doesn’t rely on food and eventually alcohol, to make her feel better or to fix her emotions even temporarily. Because she’s picking up the opposite in a lot of the movies she’s watching. In Big Hero 6, in Baymax, the aunt that’s taking care of – no, Tedashi’s the one who died, his brother. She’s stress eating and she’s shoving in all the donuts.
My daughter picked up on that. She’s like, “Oh, stress eating, mom, I had a bad day at school, can I get some ice-cream?” No, that’s not what I want to teach her brain. And I’m also careful not to deliver it in a shameful manner where she feels bad or morally flawed for wanting it, because that doesn’t set you up for success in life either. And here’s the thing, I want to teach her this because I feel very knowledgeable in this area and very confident that I can do this for her. And I have more influence now than when she’s out of my house.
She’ll listen to me more now at her age than when she’s 18 and beyond, at least that’s what I’m thinking. I could be wrong, but I hear you have more of an impact when they live under your roof than versus out of your roof.
And just think about it for you, do you want to surround yourself with friends that don’t have your highest interest in mind? It’s like the equivalent of hanging out with people saying, “Yeah, just eat all you want. It’s okay, just drink away, it’s okay. Tomorrow’s another day. Yeah, you don’t have to go back for that degree and advance yourself or better yourself.” It’s like the crabs pulling each other down, “Stay in the bucket, no one can escape.”
No, I’d rather be around people who have my best interest at heart, who call me out on habits that aren’t working for me and not in a shameful way, because Lord knows, we don’t need more shame in our life. We have enough mom guilt, Catholic guilt, Christian guilt, religious guilt. We have guilt from all kinds of places. We don’t need more shame and guilt. We just want to know people are coming to us with the loving, compassionate, caring sense that they have our best interest in mind.
Do you guys remember the t-shirt and the meme from long ago? Maybe it’s still popular but I haven’t seen it in a while, it’s ‘friends don’t let friends drink alone’. I think it’s even a song. And when I first saw it of course I thought that’s cute, that’s punchy, I like that. But deep down I don’t want my brain to grab onto that, friends don’t let friends drink alone. Because if I think about that, and subconsciously I’m programming my mind with that then I’m always going to want to drink when my friends drink.
And that could be a dangerous place because some of my friends never stopped drinking, they keep going until somebody hits the floor or falls over. And then we giggle, and we laugh, and we think it’s funny because we’re all inebriated. But since when is falling funny? I mean just think if you’re completely sober and somebody falls, you’re not laughing. Your logic brain is fully onboard and you’re like, “Oh my gosh, are they hurt? Did they hit their head? Did they break a hip?
At our age, women, we don’t need falling. And to be laughing about it, really, it just makes us think how did we get programmed to do this? How are we conditioned to think this way? And maybe in our 20s, that’s one thing. But I think we should be evolving from that thinking from our 20s. And we probably laugh and giggle because we just want to feel part of the clan. We want to be like, “Yeah, I would want people to laugh if I fell too.” And so we do it not to make others feel awkward.
And sometimes we do things when we drink to actually get validation and recognition from our friends. We might be that person that throws the parties all the time, or brings the fine wine, or brings the Tito’s to the party. That might be part of our identity and then we get validation and recognition for being that woman. And this can fall into people pleasing because maybe we don’t feel like bringing the Tito’s or the nice bottle of wine. But we do it for the recognition and to please others.
And this manifests everywhere in our life, when we buy things for our kids because we want to feel like a good mom and we want their recognition. It’s like, “Mommy bought me this. How kind you are mommy.” So we’re doing it for ourselves, not necessarily for the child. We might be just doing it for the recognition and the validation. Or this is what a mother or a daughter should do. A mother should buy things and spoil their kids. Or a daughter should take care of an aging parent rather than finding appropriate care outside the home, assisted living or something.
We have these shoulds. I should be doing this. Sometimes we compare ourselves to others like our friends; well they are doing this so I should do this. Or we compare the way we parent to the way we were parented. My mom always did this for me on my birthday so I want to do this for my daughter on her birthday. And I’m not saying it’s all wrong, I’m just saying evaluate it for this day and this age and for your daughter. Your daughter might have a different personality than you do. This day and age might be different than when our parents parented us.
Or sometimes we might spend outside of our budget because we want this gift to look cool and our friend to feel like wow, that’s so nice that they did this or just not to expose that we have money issues even. There might be multiple layers why we’re doing it, or we might be dressing fancier than we can afford as well. Sometimes we feel like we have to please people because we don’t feel comfortable that if we tell them what we’re truly thinking that they’ll actually like us.
If we’re ourselves and we speak our own mind or have our own views on a topic we’re afraid of putting that out there because we’re afraid that they won’t like our views and they don’t like our stance on a topic. Sometimes we do all the things. I’m sacrificing here, I’m sacrificing there. I’m taking care of everything. We have that martyr syndrome going on because we just want somebody to recognize us. We just want somebody to say, “Thank you for all that you’re doing.” That’s a form of people pleasing.
And the most insidious one I think is when we think this is what kind people do. Kind people always go out of their way for other people. Kind people always put other people’s needs before their own. And I’m not saying never to do it, but always to do it. That’s not good. And whenever I have that thought I always like to question it. Is this the kind thing I can do? Is this the nice thing to do? Is this something that’s going to fester inside of me because I didn’t say what I wanted to say? Is it because I’m afraid of conflict? Does my opinion on this subject even matter?
You want to get in touch with how do you feel about doing this or saying this. And also question what’s wrong with speaking your truth, because maybe there’s no downside to it.
So last week I showed up at my hair salon for my appointment to get my hair done and guess what? My hairdresser wasn’t there. She didn’t have the appointment written on her calendar but I had it written on mine. So I wound up speaking to her on the phone and I told her, “I’m really disappointed that you didn’t have my appointment on your calendar.” And I said it just like that, I wasn’t belittling, I wasn’t condescending, I wasn’t a hothead. I wasn’t yelling. But I did want her to know that I was disappointed.
And she went on and she apologized for it. She took ownership of it. She handled it with maturity. And then we just rescheduled the appointment. Now, let’s go back a few years and what my past self would have done, the Sherry of years past would have been like, “No problem, that’s okay, I understand, yeah.” I would have made a whole big thing that it was fine, but then what would I have done? I would have went home seething, storming, ruminating about it, mad, angry, taking it out on my family and then finally caving in and giving into the drink because that would make me feel better.
I would feel vindicated that I got to drink because somebody ticked me off. I would be blaming the situation rather than taking ownership of my feelings. Now, please don’t mishear this and say this gives you a license to be a jerk, and an idiot to somebody and to put people down, or to be passive aggressive. We’ve seen people do that. No, I just wanted her to know how I was feeling. And I believe that is the most loving and kind thing I can do. Because here’s the thing, we learn from our mistakes. We make errors.
I didn’t make that error mean she’s a terrible hairstylist and I’m never coming back to her again. I just told her that I wrote it down, we talked about it and she didn’t. And now that she will learn from that, not just for me but for others. She’s just getting started in her business, her systems and her computer systems all need to be worked out. There’s still some kinks. And so I need her to see the flaws just like I need people to tell me my flaws in my system, because it makes me have better systems. It makes me provide better service. It escalates the learning curve.
And here’s the thing, I think we are thinking a lot of us we’ll do anything and say anything to avoid conflict because we think all conflict is bad. At least that’s my brain and how it used to operate, that conflict was bad. Unless you engage in conflict, and when I engaged I had to win. My agenda was to win at all costs. I don’t have that mindset anymore. I don’t see my emotions as triggering and as activating as that way anymore.
Ever been in an airport where they cancel a flight because of weather? Oh my gosh, I cringe when that happens now. I used to cringe when it happened before. You see all these hotheads and people get so angry and they think if they yell louder they can find and overpower the weather, and all of a sudden a plane is going to show up that could take off when it’s lightning outside and thunderstorms. No, you’re not going to win. I hate to tell you, no matter how angry you get and how much you put down the person behind the counter you’re not going to win.
And this story is funny because I was just telling the ladies a few weeks ago in Drink Less Lifestyle that I used to be one of those hotheads. I used to be that fiery redhead that was like, “Hey, I need to get on the next flight available. Even if it’s on another airline and it’s not your airline.” I used to try all the things to get my way.
And I was telling them specifically about this trip I had and I got stuck in Barcelona a few years ago. And I’m on the phone with British Airways because that was one of the connecting partners, and then American. And it turns out, I’m yelling and screaming and just acting with not much maturity. Yeah, I wound up staying in Barcelona for two extra nights. And I wonder if that was by chance or by design. And it’s funny to me because later on I had a similar issue come up where I got stuck in Barcelona but I was put on a flight later that day and I handled that one very calm.
So I don’t know if it has to do with my emotions or not, I’m not saying that’s the cause but it’s just quite coincidental. And I bring this up because it’s such a key component to why people over-drink, because we over-drink because of our emotions. We always look to alcohol to take us to an additional or a different emotional state. I say additional if we’re feeling good, we want to add on top of it. And if we’re feeling bad we want to escape it.
We get to that place where we just want our emotions to be muted, to go away or to go on 10 times what they feel like if they’re good emotions. So if you don’t learn the skill of emotional management for all of them, particularly the bad ones, I find you can always find a reason that you’re going to want to over-drink. Then that’s when people say, “There’s a slippery slope and I don’t know why I overdo it.” Well, we know why.
And now my brain has learned how to become results focused rather than emotion focused. I think a lot of us get tied up in our emotional based focus and we forget about the results that we want to create for our lives. Just like today, I could have sat in my sadness. I could sit with my dog. But I didn’t, I didn’t let my emotions take over the results that I wanted to create for today.
And so finally, I want you to think about people pleasing can actually be a way that you lie. You say yes when you mean no. And really investigate why you do that. Could it be that you were like me and that you wanted to avoid conflict at all costs? Maybe you volunteer for something because you feel you have to rather than wanting to. And notice if you do that, you’re complaining about it the whole time. You’re grumbling. You don’t want to do it. But you said yes when you meant no.
Or maybe you go with the flow a lot and you don’t really speak your mind. And then you feel like you get lost and you don’t really know what you want because you never put a stake in the ground, you never say what you want. And there’s damaging effects to never speaking up for yourself. And here’s what I want to offer, conflict is a part of life. It’s a normal part of life, conflict will always be there. There are seven billion plus people on this planet, friends. And we are not going to agree with all of them. And we’re not going to agree with all parties that even live under the same roof.
Conflict is a part of life, it’s a skill that you can learn to manage and navigate in a tactful, adultful manner. And here’s the thing, what if people do disagree with us, so what? What do we make that mean? People disagree all the time, they agree to disagree, there’s no problem with it. We’re not going to be killed or we’re not going to die because of it. It’s just a disagreement. One party can think one way and another party can think another way. But our brain loves to operate that everybody should think like I do and that’s just not true. That’s just not reality.
And here’s the thing, every time you get into conflict you actually may be one that changes your view. And if you don’t, at least now you really know what you believe in. Conflict builds resilience. Conflict builds independence. And when we handle conflict right it builds our self-esteem and our self-concept, so it is a good thing.
I mean just look around at the world, we can see all forms of conflict happening out there. And we can use conflict as a reason to polarize ourselves from other people or we can use conflict as a way to consider other people’s views even if they disagree with our own. And we can unite under that premise as well.
So the bottom line I want to leave you with on people pleasing is that it’s exhausting. You’re trying to make all these other people happy but where does that leave you? Tired, worn out, bitter, resentful, sad, depressed, feeling defeated, feeling like you don’t matter.
And I find that chronic people pleasers often turn out to be chronic complainers and they turn to overdrinking because they’re bitter, they’re resentful, they can’t know how to take out time for themselves. And the only way they do that is by symbolizing hey here’s a glass in my hand. That means mom’s off duty. That means I’m off duty. That means I’m not responsible. But deep down is it solving anything? Still miserable, still anxious, still depressed, still stressed out, alcohol doesn’t solve anything. But your brain thinks it’s a magical solution.
And just think about it, people pleasing costs you your authenticity because you’re hiding your true beliefs and your true wants. You may be even hiding it from yourself. You may not even be connected with what that is. People pleasing costs you your goals, you’re living for other people but not for you. Or maybe you’re living for other people’s opinions of you and not your opinion of yourself.
People pleasing can cost you your integrity because you don’t stand up for what you fully believe and you don’t commit and go all in on yourself. And you’re not always acting with honesty. And people pleasing can also cost you your happiness because you are not living the life you want to live. You’re doing the life for others.
And here’s the thing, you’re doing the life that you think they want. They may not even want the life that you’re giving them. They might not even want all the help you’re giving them, not if it’s coming with bitterness, and resentment, and needing to check out at the end of the day. So stop doing this to yourself. Stop creating this mental tension and all this anguish, start recognizing your own needs and putting them sometimes above other people’s needs. That’s what we’re called to do.
And this is exactly the work we do inside Drink Less Lifestyle. It’s creating that lifestyle where drinking isn’t used as a coping mechanism. It’s where we don’t use alcohol as an emotional solution. We make peace with it and we create freedom from it and freedom from the need to drink. And we become women who can take it or leave it.
And I invite you to apply for this amazing program and join us. Within 12 weeks your relationship with alcohol will be transformed.
Alright my friends thank you for listening today, and I’ll see you next week.
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Thanks for listening to Drink Less Lifestyle. If you’re ready to change your relationship with drinking now check out the free guide, How to Effectively Break the Overdrinking Habit at sherryprice.com/startnow. See you next week.