People-Pleasing is nothing more than socially acceptable manipulation.
“Care about what other people think and you will always be their prisoner.”
~ Lao Tzu
What is Manipulation?
Trying to change or control other peoples’ actions, feelings, and/or thoughts according to our own desires. Often times we manipulate our teens by trying to get them to feel negative emotions, like shame, guilt, or sadness.
Manipulation is a human skill that can be used for good and for bad.
What is People-Pleasing?
People-Pleasing is when we do something that we do not want to do in an effort to please someone else. People-Pleasing is socially acceptable manipulation. We we do it, we are trying to manipulate how the other person thinks and feels. It is lying, and it is typically a one sided sacrifice.
Often times, as parents, we are guilty of trying to manipulate our kids into people pleasing. We want them to eat certain foods to make grandma happy. We want them to do certain things that they don’t want to, because we think it will make the someone else feel better, but deep down we are hoping it will make us feel better.
Often times we are guilty of wanting others to People-Please us.
What are Manuals?
A manual is what we want someone else to do. It’s how we think they “should” think, feel, or act. We think that if the other person simply did what we wanted them to, we would feel a certain way.
Everyone has manuals. We have manuals for how we think our teens should behave. Our teens have manuals for how they think their parents should behave. It’s part of being human, but the more aware we are of our manuals for others, and other’s manuals for us, the more emotional suffering we can avoid.
So Now What?
#1 Increase Your Awareness.
Manipulation, People-Pleasing, and Manuals all have one thing in common . . .
They are all efforts to control or change someone else or something outside of your control.
It’s important to be aware of these, both when others are trying to control you, and when you are trying to control someone else.
As you increase your awareness, you will likely notice two things; you will see it when others are doing this to you, and you will see it when you are trying to do it to others.
#2 Increase Your Intentionality
I say this all the time, but be the change you want to see!
You can’t change your teen, your parents, your spouse, or your in-laws, but you CAN, 100%, change you.
Rather than focusing on what you want THEM to do differently (dropping their manuals or their manipulating ways) focus on what YOU can control (dropping your manuals or your manipulating ways).
Be intentional about how you parent your teens.
This will empower you. This will help you reconnect with your teen.
Often we are guilty of perpetuating People-Pleasing when we teach our kids to worry about “hurting someone’s feelings” or “making them feel bad.”
#3 Choose Love and Compassion
It’s not our job to get others to quit manipulating, people-pleasing, or to drop their manuals. That would be manipulating them to follow our manual.
But, WE DO NOT have to be the victim. We are not responsible for others’ emotions. We get to live our lives, how we want, and we can be committed to loving the other person no matter what.
Call to ACTION!
Get on a FREE consultation call with me today to see how you can stop pushing your teen away and start connecting with them right where they are.