Here’s the thing about my mum. I love my mum. Dearly. And there’s also something I used to struggle with enormously in my relationship with her, as well as my dad for that matter.
Little did I know how this would impact my health and that I would end up living with chronic illness.
From the early years to adulthood it was extremely hard for me to be able to say NO, openly disagree and choose me when that felt right.
I felt too scared.
Instead I acted polite and remained quiet most of the time. I ‘behaved’.
It took me many years to turn that around. And awareness is still required from time to time to make sure I don’t slip into this old and unhealthy behaviour again, which I’ll explain in a moment.
Do you recognise this?
- Not saying no when you want to?
- Wanting to make sure everyone else is taken care off and having a good time?
- Putting others’ needs before your own?
People pleasing is a common behavioural trait for women living with chronic illness. And a very unhealthy one at that. It’s been linked to the cause of chronic illness.
And it’s no surprise really. Women are generally raised to be the care-givers.
And what makes it worse, society praises this kind of behaviour on a whole. People who are selfless and help others at all times are admired and highly spoken of.
Obituaries are a clear example of this!
But this selfless behaviour is exactly what creates stress and dis-ease for yourself and your body. And is not helpful at all- to you!
The only reason we put others first all the time or despite of our own needs, is not out of care or love, but out of fear. The fear of not being accepted and loved for who we are.
For when you feel loved and accepted (enough) for who you are, you are helpful, but you take care of yourself FIRST.
Just like putting on the oxygen mask first in an airplane.
This isn’t selfless. This is healthy.
You can help others AND take care of yourself. You can say no AND people love and accept you for who you are. (And if they don’t, they’re no good for you)
Practise therefore taking care of yourself and praising yourself, for your words are the only ones that matter most and create the greatest impact on your well-being, health and life.
Being selfish is healthy. You don’t have to please everyone.
P.s. Are you struggling to say no to others and say yes more to yourself? Here’s how I can help you. Also, share your experiences with people pleasing in the comment box. I love to hear from you!