I see a huge problem among us women, especially when women are in a relationship.
This problem is the problem of pleasing all the time. Most women would pass this off as ‘oh it doesn’t apply to me’, I’m cool and I would never be one of those silly pleasers!
However, in my experience, many women like to think they’re not acting like pleasers, but they actually are.
The Difference Between Pleasing & Giving
More often than not, truly giving to someone is counter-intuitive.
It’s not something many of us have been taught. And many women mistake pleasing for giving.
Here’s the trap: Your own feminine mindset.
What is valuable to men in a relationship is not the same as what is valuable to women.
Most women will read this and nod, yet continue (for the rest of their lives) to give to their man in the same way they always have.
Which is in a way that the man doesn’t perceive value.
Sure, most girlfriends and wives will at least ‘hit the spot’ with a man every once in a while.
But because we are human and as women we have a feminine bias, we will make the mistake of trying to give what WE think is valuable, rather than what the man truly perceives as valuable.
Sadly, many of us then wonder why the relationship is failing, why he is pulling away, and why we’re becoming another divorce statistic.
It’s not anyone’s fault. How are we supposed to know what we’ve never been taught?
Pleasing and giving are two very different things.
What I’ve noticed is that most of us operate more from a pleasing place than a giving place, and we are not consciously aware of it.
So what is pleasing and what is giving? Let’s work out what the difference between a woman pleaser and a high value woman who truly gives is right now.
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The real difference: Pleasing vs Giving
Pleasing is about you. Giving is about adding real value to the other person.
When you try to please someone, you’re coming from a place of selfishness or fear. It’s about your survival and it’s inherently just about you.
What has pleasing got to do with fear?
We please because we harbour a fear of loss of love, and desperation or neediness.
And you are looking for something in return; whether that be a reaction, or approval, or to get out of trouble (a mistake I’ve made).
Here’s something important:
It’s not that you can’t ever need or want somebody’s approval or have fear.
The point is that you don’t want to live there, and consistently act from that state of emotion. Because the truth is, when you get used to being a woman pleaser, you tend to make a real habit out of it. It’s hard to break!
So let’s talk about giving.
Giving comes from a place of resourcefulness, attunement, and pride.
Giving is what you do when you truly care about somebody.
You care about their future, and what they really need – not what they want, and not even what they seem to want or say they want.
Examples of pleasing…
#1: Cancelling On Others When Your Lover Demands Your Time
A good example of pleasing is the woman who makes plans with her friends, but when her man calls to meet up, she changes her plans with her friends. Largely because, inside, she feels bad for saying ‘no’ to her boyfriend.
Why? Because she feels she might lose his love. Those poor friends!
#2: Making too many plans with others and “doing too much”
Doing too much for the people around you and taking on too much in order to “keep everyone happy” is a class example of being a woman pleaser.
You are attending to so many demands and ‘requests’ of your loved ones that you can’t keep to your plans and you end up late for people or having to cancel on people.
Worse still is the example of when we are so scared of losing people’s approval that we actually do wrong by them. For example, when you are so much of a pleaser that you are too scared to call someone up and say:
‘I’m so sorry, I’m going to be late by 30 minutes’.
And because you’re too scared, you end up disappointing people because you kept them in the dark.
So much for ‘pleasing’.
More like avoiding, right?
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#3: Parents giving their children everything
…In order to compensate for their own emotional and physical absence.
And then saying that they do it out of love.
I’m not saying they don’t love their child. But this act itself, more often than not, comes from a place of not wanting to lose the child’s love, affection or even the attachment of the child.
After all, the more dependent someone is on you, the more safe we can feel within that relationship ourselves. At least we sometimes trick ourselves in to believing this.
Too bad children are so dependent on you, until they’re not.
The ‘K’ Word
The classic phrase used by a pleaser is: ‘keep him happy’ or ‘keep her happy’.
A lot of women strive to ‘keep’ a man happy. Can you see what I’m getting at here?
If you’re not a pleaser, there’s nothing wrong with the word keep, because you’re genuinely keeping someone in the sense that you give so much value to someone that they’re a raving fan of you.
But a pleaser woman’s ‘keep’ is very different from a high value woman’s keep.
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Pleaser women become low value women
We all value people who are givers, even if being around them scares us or makes us feel inadequate.
And even if their actions make us angry and resentful at first, because givers are valuable women.
I mean truly valuable.
However, we don’t truly value pleasers. People who seem to value pleasers are people you don’t want in your life.
Because pleasers actually extract more value than they give, due to being out of attunement with you.
A woman pleaser tends to end up irritating her man and others around her, because she thinks she’s being ‘nice’, but she’s really just taking a whole lot of value – more than she truly gives.
Not to mention, it’s actually easy to manipulate pleasers and we don’t ever truly respect or trust the people we can manipulate (let alone value them).
An act, a message, a gesture, done from a place of attunement and pride, knowing that giving won’t take away anything from you (unless you have poor boundaries and low self esteem).
Giving is something you do because you already have so many internal resources that you can afford to give to others who matter to you.
See, woman pleasers have little to no internal resources (little value).
This is because the ‘feel good’ moment, (the ‘high’ you get) from pleasing only lasts so long.
And it’s like a bottle being emptied the minute it is filled, and then needing to be filled, again and again.
I can attest to the difference between pleasing and giving because I’ve done both in my life.
I’ve gone and pleased people and felt the awful after- effects.
It never works out – even if it does for a day. In fact, I’ve ‘pleased’ – only to find that those ‘friends’ I wanted to please actually didn’t really value me.
No wonder they didn’t value me though…I wasn’t even valuing myself!
I’ve given so much also, that I came to recognize just how rewarding the act of truly giving is.
I’ve had moments where I’ve given in ways that no-one would expect me to. I can say that it always works out.
“What you give, you get to keep. What you fail to give, you lose forever”.
Giving adds to your high value as a woman, but pleasing never does.
Examples Of giving?
- Making someone else feel significant and important.
- Giving them resources to feel good and to feel appreciated, rather than trying to ‘keep them happy’ out of fear of losing them. You give to them despite your fear of losing them (and therefore your actions are coming from a place of resourcefulness and high value, rather than fear).
- Giving could be telling your man that you need time to yourself. Time to re-charge so that you can come back to the relationship with more to give, instead of seeing him every time he says he misses you.
- Giving could be offering a BJ when you don’t want sex (don’t feel pressured though).
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How to give instead of Being A Pleaser: 2 Exercises
Now, learning how to truly give to a man (or to anyone at all) is not something you can easily learn overnight.
It’s a big topic, much too big for this article in itself, and it’s a learning process.
Nonetheless, here is a start on what you need to do to become a giver rather than a pleaser:
#1: Get out a piece of paper, right now.
Write down every decision you have made (or that you can remember) out of a need to please someone in the last month.
Next to each of those decisions you’ve listed, write down the consequence of that decision.
How did you feel after making that decision?
How did the person you wanted to please react? Did the reaction you wanted last? Did the reaction you hoped for even occur at all?
#2: Find a new Focus.
Stop focusing on the fear of upsetting people and instead, focus on something more resourceful.
You will upset people in this life, that is inevitable. Your needs are naturally in conflict with the needs of others, a lot of the time.
So accept displeasing people as a fact of life!
Instead of focusing on how you might ‘upset people’, how they might get angry at you, or how you might ‘disappoint people’ or ‘make people dislike you, start using some new language.
Here’s how you do it…
As soon as you notice yourself reacting out of fear, ask yourself, what would really benefit me as well as this person right now?
Where am I truly at?
Where are they truly at?
How important is it really that I give them what they need, just to please them?
Will it increase my own resentment towards them and towards myself if I just did something to please them?
(Because this is often what happens with pleasers…they give a lot and then they resent the people they think they ‘gave’ to, because they know, somewhere deep down inside, that what they gave wasn’t perceived as value).
And so they’re wasting all their energy without getting any real appreciation and love in return.
You may be scared to speak up in a situation where you feel your opinion is not as ‘clever’ or ‘right’.
Or, you might fear that by speaking up, people will ostracize you.
In fact, truly giving to these people would be to actually stand up with certainty and either share, or tell the truth. Whatever the situation calls for.
I hope this helps you to get out of pleaser mode, because none of us truly enjoy being a pleaser. It’s a habit that comes from fear and stress, and it never truly makes your life better.
It’s much more valuable for you and for the people that you love, to focus on giving value. When you give true value, you’ll find that others will naturally be raving fans of you, and you will have real respect for yourself!
By the way…
I just want to ask you a question: can you share with us why the word ‘keep’ in the phrase ‘keep him happy’ is dangerous?
Share with us below, your experience with pleasers and givers. Looking forward to hearing from you.
(By the way, I’ve just published my brand new program titled “Becoming His One & Only!”…Click HERE to find out more details and how you can get your man to fall deeper in love with you and beg you to be his one and only)
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Renee is the founder of The Feminine Woman & co-founder of Shen Wade Media where we teach women how to show up as a high value high status woman whom easily inspires a deep sense of emotional commitment from her chosen man. Together with her husband D. Shen at Commitment Triggers blog, they have positively influenced the lives of over 15 million women through their free articles and videos as well as 10’s of thousands through paid programs through the Shen Wade Media platform.
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