People Pleasing: The Silent Killer

“Many women are in recovery from their “Nice-Nice” complexes, wherein, no matter how they felt, no matter who assailed them, they responded so sweetly as to be practically fattening. Though they might have smiled kindly during the day, at night they gnashed their teeth like brutes -- the Yaga in their psyches was fighting for expression.”

Some ways she (the people pleaser) loves to manifest:

You dim or shrink yourself to make others feel more comfortable.

"I’m afraid that embodying my fullness will push those smaller than me away and I’ll be removed from the pack."

You don’t speak your truth because you’re afraid it might hurt people’s feelings.

"I can’t handle my own truth so I’m, therefore, afraid that you’re too fragile to handle my truth and our shared fragility means more to me than being in my power."

You anticipate what others are feeling and needing. You energetically contort yourself to meet all of the silent or voiced needs you feel.

"I’m afraid that if everyone doesn’t feel good or okay, something deeply uncomfortable might ensue. Because I don’t trust myself to be in discomfort, I definitely can’t trust others too. I’d rather push away the uneasiness at all costs, even if it means abandoning myself in the process."

You avoid confrontation.

"I’m afraid to be in discomfort. I’m afraid of the high-sensation experience that is confrontation. I’m afraid of the branch of intimacy that is confrontation."

You’re much better at sugar coating than you are at being direct, clear and honest.

"I’m afraid of standing in what I have to say, I’m afraid my truth will make me a monster. I won’t hold my truth, so you can’t either."

You aren’t in touch with your sacred No. Saying yes to everything is more comfortable. You self-validate through all that you do for others; through being there for others, even when you haven’t been there for yourself.

"I am resourcing worth through saying yes. My worth comes from other people relying on or needing me. I’m scared to take, so instead I will always give."

You anticipate when someone is upset or harmed by you and are prepared to dole out “I’m sorry’s” before you’ve even had a chance to reflect and decide whether you actually are sorry.

"It’s my job to dissolve or clean up other people’s uncomfortable emotions. I am not holding space for these uncomfortable emotions within myself."

Why do we people please?


Fear of the full spectrum emotional experience.

Fear of uncomfortable intimacy with the self.

Fear of uncomfortable intimacy with others.

Fear of losing a reliable place to source worth from.

Fear of ultimately, being alone.

Fear that we won’t be loved & accepted if we aren’t people-pleasing.

Fear that we don't know how to feel or be nourished without it.

What does people pleasing energetically communicate?

I prefer being small.

I prefer to give my power away.

I prefer to cover things up or suppress them.

I prefer to be the hunted, not the Huntress.

Where’s the seduction in people pleasing?

It makes it much easier to play the victim.

Much easier to play the martyr.

Much easier to play the helpless rabbit who everybody steps on.

Much easier to stay comfortable, safe and small.

Much easier to not work on your boundaries.

Much easier to not embody your Queen.

Much easier to not have to find the fiery & steadfast Animus or the masculine warrior within.

Much easier to not release, from her shackles, the Wild Woman.


“Like the word wild, the word WITCH has come to be understood as a pejorative, but long ago it was an appellation given to both old & young women healers, the word WITCH deriving from the word wit, meaning wise… the ogress, the WITCH, the wild nature, and whatever other ciraturas and integral aspects the culture finds awful in the psyches of women are the very blessed things which women often need most to retrieve and bring to the surface.”

If I’m being honest, the people-pleaser inside of me is FED UP.

She’s exhausted.

She’s angry.

She’s reached a point where the fire inside of her refuses to be ignored, refuses to be left in smoldering ashes time and time again.

Her skin feels tight.

Her body feels tense.

She is desperate to be released.

Desperate to walk through the alchemical fire and come out wild.

Desperate to run through the forest barefoot, screaming.

Desperate to dance naked, releasing.

Desperate to call all the pieces of her power back that she’s given away throughout this her lifetimes, by staying small.

Who is she?

Who is the people-pleaser when she rips off her clothes and shows herself?

What does she want you to do?

What does she want you to say?

Could it be that people pleasing is a pattern or archetype that we perfectly orchestrate and live out, in order to commune with the Wild Woman?

Could it be that inside every people pleaser is Baba Yaga, screaming and clawing her way out?

Could it be that inside of the sweetest nicest girls lives some of the messiest, witchiest, savage Wild Women?

Listen to the voice suffocating underneath the people pleasing.

She is pining for your attention.

Determined to be seen, to be felt, to be heard.

Determined to get one dirty foot into the door of your experience, so she can finally breathe.

“A good deal of literature on the subject of women’s power states that men are afraid of women’s power. I always want to exclaim, “Mother of God!” So many women themselves are afraid of women’s power… if men are ever going to learn to stand in it, then without a doubt, women have to learn to stand in it. If men are ever going to understand women, women are going to have to teach the configurations of the wild feminine to them.”

All quotes sourced from Women Who Run With the Wolves, by Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estés.