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I met with someone for coaching last week, and the long story short of it is she so afraid of rejection that she people-pleases.
She puts on a nice appearance. She suppresses her true thoughts and feelings, and does whatever it takes to be liked so that she never ends up alone and unloved.
What do you think the end result of her strategy has been?
She’s alone and unloved, as has been for many, many years!
She lives alone with her cat, is so fake with people that she doesn’t believe she has any real friends, and is chronically single (and not happily).
Her people-pleasing seems to have backfired on her. In seeking to prevent rejection she’s ended up in a situation that exactly mirrors what being rejected by everyone would look like.
Could a person really be so naive as to use a completely useless strategy like this one?
The dark truth of course is that her real strategy is to be alone, because love has always been painful for her. She’s deliberately keeping people at a distance with her people pleasing. Her fakery acts as an invisible wall that no one can breach.
It’s just that it’s subconscious. She wasn’t aware of this until we broke it down together. Now that she sees it, she has no doubt whatsoever that she’s deliberately preventing people from getting in close.
If you also want to break out of this self-destructive pattern, you have to take risks with rejection, awkwardness, and hurt feelings, because what you’re really afraid of is actually having someone love you.
If you don’t take these risks, you guarantee that you’ll be forever alone.