Dear People Pleasers, this one is for you my loves.
In the past, I’ve been one of those people that will turn myself inside out for people to like me. I’ve found it hard to say no and will compromise my own levels of emotional comfort just to keep the peace. It’s a pattern that I adopted growing up in a home where my parents would fight a lot. Don’t pity me. It’s the boring emotional backdrop for a majority of people on the planet. I would behave myself and do as I was told in order to create stability for myself. This belief of having to keep the peace meant that I was unable to genuinely give to others without my kindness being exploited. The person I was exploiting was always myself. I would say yes when I meant no. This repeated pattern slowly chipped away at the strength of my voice and the belief I had in myself.
Kindness can become toxic, but let me unpack this a little more for clarity so you can understand how not creating strong boundaries can corrode your spirit.
“We can never obtain peace in the outer world until we make peace with ourselves.” – Dalai Lama
Kindness is the currency of consciousness. We must always be kind when it comes to helping those in need and taking responsibility for the energy we put out there into the world. As manifestors, we remember that the energy we put out there will always come back to us. Sometimes tenfold.
However, there is a rogue variety of kindness that soothes our egos and placates our childhood wounds. It usually shows up as people pleasing, trying to be a martyr (which is being a giant pain in the arse) and doing backflips to gain approval.
Sometimes being kind can become a weakness if not done from a place of consciousness – even when you are a spiritual teacher. The crux of the issue and the belief is all about taking responsibility for someone else’s feelings.
You are not responsible for how other’s react, respond and feel.
However, you do need to be mindful when exploring this truth not to just give yourself permission to be a total dick. With this awareness comes responsibility.
To give an example of how kindness can be toxic, I spent 10 years plotting my escape from my first husband. We would fight and there would be punches, scratches, bruises and very dysfunctional behavior in all different directions. The cycle would churn away something like this…
He would beg for my forgiveness and my “kind heart” would give him another chance, and another one, and then another one. Thus, my kindness was toxic. His was too. The person I am today cannot fathom how long this cycle continued for.
When kindness comes from a place of uneasiness then it’s not true kindness. You’ll always sense this in your gut first. There is a shadow side to the conscious currency that can be taken and used by others when you least expect it.
Dr. Phil once said that people treat you how you let them.
Now I’m not saying to wrap your heart in barbed wire and never buy your loved ones special gifts as gestures of affection, but I would highly recommend that you explore the space it’s coming from and ask yourself the following four questions…
+ Am I seeking approval?
+ Do I care if no one knows about this gesture?
+ Am I doing this from a space of authenticity?
+ What do I want?
Manipulation is like a chameleon in nature. It’s a shape-shifting, morphable mechanism that can appear in many different situations throughout life. Your role is to remember to nurture your soul through engaging in true acts of kindness that come from a place of LOVE, compassion, and empathy. The great news is that you get to cultivate your super-powers of discernment through the filter of self-love, self-compassion and empathy for yourself as a spiritual being on a spiritual journey. When you have this awareness you’ll be able to draw some very deep lines in the sand that will be unable to be crossed. xo