When I was 17, I was still a virgin. I had done my share of making out in cars with some of the boys from school, but they always refrained from going too far. At that time, birth control wasn’t everywhere and going “all the way” was out of the question.
That summer I took a writing course. The out-of-town teacher, a man in his twenties, read from his published work and I was enthralled. When he asked me out for dinner at the end of the workshop, I was flattered and exited. He took me to the expensive restaurant in the hotel and afterwards, said he wanted to read me something. Enchanted, I followed him to the elevator.
He moved quickly once we were in his room and being the quintessential people-pleasing Good Girl, I went along with what he was doing, sure he would stop before things went too far.
Within minutes, it was over and he was stuffing himself back into his jeans. He hadn’t been physically forceful. Or brutal. He had simply used my Good Girl People-Pleasing stance to rape me.
I didn’t tell anyone for over 20 years. But it definitely catalyzed me to help both men and women speak up and learn the skills to Say The Unsayable.
The Price Tag of People Pleasing
I wanted to share this story because we tend to think of ‘people pleasing’ as something we shouldn’t do, like we shouldn’t eat junk food, but we often don’t see its debilitating and soul-destroying affects. For both men and women. I want to wake people up about it.
Most women are somewhat cognizant of our people-pleasing. But we often minimize its price tag to our emotional wellbeing. Men
do people-pleasing behaviours as well. Regardless of your gender, people-pleasing robs us of our ability to stand for ourselves and steals any chance we have of being our full selves.
How Much of A People-Pleaser Are You?
Want to see where you fall on the continuum of people pleasing behaviours? Read the statements below. Check mark all the bahaviours you currently engage in.
You get nervous when other people get upset with you.
Even when your own schedule is more than full, you give your time to someone else.
You apologize for small, unimportant things like being 2 minutes late or unintentionally jostling against someone.
You laugh when other laugh even if you aren’t amused.
You give in and go along with another even when this involves doing something you either don’t want to do or don’t feel is right to do.
You feign interest even when you aren’t.
You apologize when others have a strong emotion & feel responsible for their emotions.
You avoid giving your opinion when you imagine it will be
You say ‘Yes’ when you don’t want to.
Saying ‘No’ is very difficult.
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