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36 | Exploring the fears that lie beneath excessive niceness and people pleasing

The Art of Speaking Up

Release Date: 05/27/2019

Do you ever find yourself being excessively nice or getting addicted to people pleasing in the workplace? If you answered yes, you are not alone. So many women struggle with adopting niceness and people please as a front to cover up and conceal our true feelings, opinions, and emotions. And this is an unfortunate thing, because when we conceal what we want to say and who we are, we can't bring our strongest and best selves to the workplace.

 

We may have a tendency to blame ourselves for falling into this pattern, but it's important to remind ourselves but this is a cultural condition that goes hand in hand with being a woman. Our society has trained us to be nice by causing us to be very afraid of what might happen if we are “mean.” Women are so easily labeled, alienated, and torn down for being “angry” or “crazy,” and this makes us afraid of what might happen if we express disagreement. We want to be liked so that we can avoid these cruel and unnecessary labels, and often we do this by leaning on niceness and people pleasing to ensure that we're protected from this very real threat.  

 

And what an unfortunate thing this is. Not only are we struggling to express what we truly want to express, we are also often getting down on ourselves for falling into people pleasing. Today's episode is all about accepting that this is NOT our fault, and beginning to take back our power.

 

One of the most effective ways to begin to unpack and dismantle excessive niceness is to understand what drives us to do it. In this episode I suggest a three-step method that anyone can follow to try to get down to the root cause of their niceness.

 

Step 1 is to begin to notice what specific situations cause your niceness or people-pleasing to flare up. Are there:

 

-Specific people

-Specific environments, or

-Specific types of interactions

 

that really trigger you and send you down a spiral of being excessively nice? Once you identify these situations, pick just one and move on to Step 2. Step 2 entails getting really quiet and asking yourself:

 

‘In this situation, what am I afraid of?’

 

Be very honest with yourself, and dig deeper and deeper until you get to the root cause. You will know that you have reached the root cause because it will trigger a strong feeling within you. When we are afraid of something, there is deep fear embedded in our minds and our bodies. When you explore your fears and you reflect upon what it is you're so afraid of, you will know when you have hit on the ‘thing.’ And once you know what it is, you can step back and reflect ask yourself if your fear is really true. You can also ask yourself if the fear belongs to you, or if you have adopted and picked it up from society. And then you get to decide if you want to carry this fear with you, or if you want to let it go and move on.

 

I hope that you enjoyed this week's episode, and be sure to let me know if you relate to this topic and if you tried the method that I suggested. As always, you can find me on Instagram at @theartofspeakingup or you can email me at Jessica@the artofspeakingup.com.

 

As always, thank you for listening!