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Are You Abandoning Yourself So They Feel Peace?

“If I express myself fully, then it’ll likely cause my loved one to feel [embarrassed/anger/etc.] . . . so I better not say or do that thing. I better be a good girl/boy.”

How familiar. How bizarre.

What this creates? Performing your way through life instead of being yourself as a confident, empowered, self-assured person.

It’s unfortunately very common for folks to feel good only if their spouse/child/business partner/employee behaves “appropriately.”

If this other person is not behaving under the expectations I’ve set for them, then I feel embarrassed. This, my friends, is a flavor of co-dependency.

I’ve lived most of my life in co-dependent relationships, and the experience goes something like this: “I like myself only if you like me. I trust myself only if you trust me.”

I found myself shapeshifting my way through life, especially around certain people, as an attempt to not upset them. This way of living cost me my confidence, my self-trust, my self-love, and it caused me to abandon my own needs to fulfill others’ needs to avoid feelings which then turned into my blame and resentment towards them because I couldn’t be who I wanted to be. So, for them to feel “good,” I had to perform well and be a good girl. For me to feel good, they had to feel good. Do you see the cycle?

So, if you find yourself as a “people pleaser” or someone who shape shifts around certain people, this episode if for you.

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