One of the biggest barriers to making the decision to break up, staying broken up, or breaking up with your self-esteem in tow, is people pleasing in an attempt to influence and control the other person’s feelings and behaviour.
In this situation, you think that you’re being ‘nice’, ‘loving’ etc., but when you examine what’s behind the thoughts, feelings and actions that encompass your patterns and habits in this area, what becomes apparent is that trying to be The Good Girl/Guy, is a means of avoiding and running from other feelings that you’re afraid to confront.
Here’s why: People pleasing is about doing what are often theoretically good things, but for the wrong reasons. Until the hidden agenda is revealed, it keeps you stuck in a painful loop where you’re trying to get it met while also blaming that person directly or indirectly for why you’re still there and suffering.
Now, that’s not to say that this person isn’t potentially saying or doing things that play into your propensity to be liked at all costs, but it is this lack of awareness about what’s behind your behaviour that drives you to keep engaging or certainly delaying on doing the right thing. Basically, it’s not that this person is The Best Thing Since Sliced Bread.
Are you being ‘nice’, ‘loving’ etc., because it’s a healthy connection, or are your pleasing activities motivated by the fear of confronting certain feelings/responsibilities and taking the next step and moving forward?
Here’s how you find out: What do you consistently feel about or around this person? Anxious, resentful, guilty, angry, vengeful, blame, shame, sad, victimised, powerless, helpless, owed, obliged, rage, or even depressed? If you’re experiencing reoccurring visits from any of these emotions, these are notifications that you are doing you a disservice and that the boundaries are very blurred or absent between you and this person.
You cannot make loving, caring, respectful, trusting decisions for you, never mind another person, if the boundaries are absent or blurred, because it makes you unable to distinguish your feelings, actions, personality and character from theirs.
Healing and moving forward with love is only going to happen when you are honest about the baggage behind these feelings.
When I struggled to break up and in some instances, do No Contact, it’s because I experienced feelings associated with abandonment, which I then fed with various thoughts and action habits that exacerbated those feelings further. It’s no wonder I struggled to have endings when I was responding as if I were running the risk of alienating a parent and experiencing a devastating wound.
Breaking up and letting go isn’t supposed to be easy but they’re a necessary part of life. Without loss, we don’t grieve and make space for something else that we didn’t anticipate. We don’t heal pain, fear and guilt and we’re often unaware of the impact that this emotional baggage has had. If we’re always clinging even when we know that a person and the relationship we have with them makes us less of who we are not more, we are settling for less.