A Course in Miracles Blog

People pleasing is hell

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When you are a people pleaser, it means that you hide yourself from others. You do this by putting a mask or "persona", a facade or "face" over the top of yourself, showing to the world only what you want them to see. You present yourself to them as all smiles, nothing going wrong, everything is great, as if you're amazing and happy and "fine" when in fact you're dying inside.

It may seem that in this effort to please others you're trying to please them, but you're not. You actually are trying to hide yourself from them so that you only show them what you think they will approve of, in order to hide what you think they will not approve of. It stems from secret sins and hidden hates, self condemnation and self judgement, by which you perceive yourself as flawed. You're not making them be pleased with YOU, you're making them pleased with a FAKE person that doesn't even exist.

The persona you put on as a fake self, a cover over your hideous insides, cuts you off from others and from yourself. It is the most horrible state to experience, emotionally. A sense of embarrassment, shame, being harshly judged. By you.

Make no mistake, what happens when you people please is you separate yourself from your oneness and openness with other people, and you also separate yourself from yourself. You lock yourself in an internal prison where no-one ever really sees who you are and you don't let anyone in. You don't share anything with anyone and you are too afraid to be vulnerable.

The funny thing is that by being exposed and vulnerable you become invulnerable. It's only when you think you need to hide that you develop something that needs hiding. Your dark secret sins are nothing in the light. They don't exist.

But hiding yourself behind this mask is your idea of an attempt to protect yourself. You think that it is shielding you from the threats of others, that if you will just show them a smiling face that seems agreeable and not upsetting, they will not hurt you. It's a coping mechanism to try to defend yourself. The problem is, you are attacked by your own defenses.

Because by believing that someone else is judging you harshly and that you have to put up the smiling-face shields, you are also condemning yourself harshly. And that self condemnation can result in the most horrendous deep emotional pain way beyond anything another person could seem to inflict on you. Deep, deep shame and embarrassment and the sense that you are very wrong. It hurts you. You hurt yourself, by pleasing others.

And newsflash, other people do not want your pleasing, and they do not want to be pleased. Not if they are unconditionally loving. They didn't ask for you to defend yourself or present yourself that way. You're not really doing it for their benefit. You just think you are. You think they are the one who judges you, when all along it is yourself judging yourself indirectly through what you think they think of you.

The simple truth is, you cannot be yourself, while you people please. You are not being honest or authentic. You are not free. You're not free to simply express yourself and let the chips fall where they may. You're not free to open up and be vulnerable or hurt or emotionally upset or to let people help you. It's a state of being very cut off and alone. It's the opposite of health and the opposite of life.

By hiding behind a persona/facade all you do is feel ignored, judged, not-belonging, dissociative, and wishing you were somewhere else. Because you are somewhere else. You're not present. You're not being yourself. You're trying to be something you're not. You're trying to portray yourself as some kind of image that has nothing to do with who you are. And this image is destroying you. Because so long as it stands in for your identity you are imprisoned and trapped and weak and afraid.

No-one can be happy when they are not being true to themselves. No-one can be happy and relaxed and free from fear when they are trying to show up as "always positive" when that's totally unrealistic. That persona, puts you into the darkness. It puts you in the shadows and turns you into a shameful guilty sinner lurking behind this public image of yourself that hides your dark evil ways. And if only you'd come out into the light you'd see that you are not even remotely evil. It's the darkness that's the problem, not you.

Learning to simply just BE YOURSELF is the entire curriculum of spiritual awakening. To be as God created you. To be so accepting and natural in being who you actually are, free of pretending and cover ups and denial. Pleasing others denies your soul. Learn to tell the world to fuck the hell off. You don't need to be pleasing anyone, not one single person. And if they don't approve of you, that has nothing to do with you. You will make yourself suffer far more through your rejection of yourself than anyone else ever could.

Be free. Be you. Be visible.

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