Welcome to this week’s episode of Charlie’s Toolbox today we talk about what comes with the lifestyle choice of self-prioritization. But before we get started, please take this time out to like, follow, and subscribe to my YouTube channel and podcast at Charlie’s Toolbox. This is a free way to support me, and it helps my content rise to the top. Also, if this episode touches you, please feel free to sign up for my newsletter on charliestoolbox.com. It is delivered to your inbox every Thursday.
So, let’s get started…
I didn’t think I was a people-pleaser because I didn’t exhibit people-pleasing tendencies in the typical sense. I didn’t think I felt the urge to please others at my expense. I thought I made decisions based on what I wanted and then I saw a video from a psychologist, and she quickly burst my bubble.
This psychologist, whom I am so upset that I cannot find the video nor the name, discussed being the child of a narcissist. She suggested that children of narcissists often lead to adult people-pleasers. The reason is that the strategy children use for survival is the same framework as a people-pleaser.
When you are a child of a narcissist, you are often trying to be liked by your parent. So, you do things like trying to be seen as good in their eyes. Or you become extremely observant and recognize patterns to predict their behavior to cater to their needs. The child does this because they do not want to experience the wrath of their parent. They’ve seen it firsthand when they tried to exert themselves, be themselves, or do anything different from their parent's expectations. They experienced violence, brutality, and rejection from their parent and that was intolerable to their child -mind. So, that child learns how to suppress themselves to be liked, and that carries into adulthood.
In the traditional sense, I didn’t care about being liked. However, I went to extreme lengths not to be rejected or singled out. I became introverted and shy. I hid myself and made myself as small as possible so that I would never be a target. I shied away from the spotlight because the idea of being a target and the possibility of rejection made me shudder. I always knew what people liked and did not like and became that so that I never had to face rejection.
But little did I know that this behavior was prioritizing others and a form of people-pleasing. I was changing myself for an imaginary audience and predicting the needs of that imaginary audience so that I didn’t have to face rejection. Once I learned this, I had the biggest ah-ha moment that led to therapy, healing, and the person I am today.
This person is me-centric, my life’s philosophy is me-supremacy. There is no such thing as being too indulgent in myself because I am making up for lost time. I am learning what I didn’t in childhood. I am building a muscle that is helping me enjoy myself and my life as much as possible.
Me-supremacy is a phrase I made up to describe this process I am on to reclaim everything I lost from trauma. That includes my self-worth, self-identity, and connections between body and action that were severed in childhood. This muscle was built slowly with small steps to prove I could and to feel the joy and discomfort of that and then resulted in large steps. The process of getting there, I will discuss in the next episode, episode 75. However, In this episode, I will lay out the pros and cons of this so that you can make the decision for yourself and know exactly what you are getting into when you start prioritizing yourself.
Get reconnected to your body.
When you are a people-pleaser, you learn to ignore your needs. Your body may say, “No” I really don’t like that and you will ignore that to make someone else feel better. If you do this long enough, you forget what your desires feel like. You forget the part of your body that signals when you are uncomfortable or pleased. So, when you stop people-pleasing and start listening to your needs you begin to reconnect with your body again. You start to trust its signals and make decisions from there. You start to see your body as a resource and learn quite a lot from it.
You like yourself again.
When you prioritize yourself, you start to vocalize your needs. Most times, people will accept your needs and you will start to think hey what I want isn’t too much, too big, or irrational. You start to say things from the heart, and it is well received. You start to think wow I am a loving person, I can connect with people heart to heart, and I do know how to be vulnerable. You start to say things and feel a profound sense of pride in your words. You start to do things from your true self and feel a profound sense of pride in the things that you like. You start to believe that you are interesting, creative, and beautiful. You start to take interest and curiosity in your mind, body, and soul. These parts of you already revealed so much and now you are excited to learn more.
You have a different relationship with major themes like money, love, and health.
You don’t use these things to hide or distract yourself from the profound pain you feel from not knowing yourself. Instead, you develop a different relationship with them. You use them as a resource to get to know yourself more. You use them as an act of love or in service of you. You place boundaries around them to make sure that they are honoring you always. These are just a few pros, but they are substantial. Now, let’s get into the cons.
You may be misunderstood.
You’ve been operating this way for decades. A sudden and drastic change like this will lead to confusion and misunderstanding. You will have to know what relationships are worth explaining and walking through your changes and which aren’t worth that energy.
You may have to distance yourself from your family.
More than likely, you are a people-pleaser because of some dynamic within your family structure. So, they will expect you to get in line and continue living under their rule. You can have a conversation with them, and they may be open to it. Or they may not and will fight you and abuse you so that you can get in line. You can keep trying to help them understand, which is not required for growth. Or you can save yourself the energy and distance yourself and do what you need to do to grow.
You may have a different relationship with your friends or no relationship.
When you prioritize others, you neglect your needs. The more you neglect your needs, the more you attract friends who are leeches. So, you may have to consider that some of the friends you have around you are because you lack boundaries. Or they knew you would do anything for them. So, you will change the dynamic of this friendship. Or you may realize that you never really had a friendship, to begin with, and find yourself leaving the friendship or your friend may abandon it. Unfortunately, this comes with the territory, and you may have to be prepared for this.
This isn’t an extensive list, but this is an important list of the pros and cons of reclaiming yourself and the future that entails. If this episode touched you, please feel free to like, subscribe, and follow. Also, if you want more self-help tools please be sure to go to my website at charliestoolbox.com and sign up for my newsletter.