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Are you tired of always putting others first, only to feel empty and unfulfilled?

In this episode of The Living Richly Podcast, our hosts, Eric, Kate, Rob, and Wendy, delve into the complex world of people-pleasing. From childhood trauma to societal pressures, they share their experience of breaking free from the people-pleaser trap and finding true freedom.

Discover the importance of embracing your needs, setting boundaries, and finding your authentic self. Get ready to overcome the exhausting cycle of seeking approval and learn to live richly… on your own terms.

Show Notes for Episode 40

Books mentioned today:

The Art of Everyday Assertiveness by Patrick King

Loveable by Kelly Flanagan

Key Concepts from Episode 40: Breaking the Chains of People Pleasing – the Journey to Personal Freedom

In this episode of The Living Richly Podcast, titled “Overcoming People Pleasing,” the hosts delve into the deep-rooted desire for community and belonging that often leads individuals down the path of people-pleasing. Rob, who had a troubled upbringing, shares their personal journey of becoming a peacekeeper and putting others’ needs before their own.

Rob tells how just before his mom passed, she wrote a letter to him that reinforced his identity as a peacekeeper and described him as someone who always cares for others. However, as Rob began to work on himself and confront his fears of abandonment, he realized the detrimental effects of constantly seeking approval from others.

The concept of a personal bill of rights, introduced in the book “The Art of Everyday Assertiveness,” becomes a valuable resource for Rob. He highlights rights such as saying no and changing one’s mind as powerful tools to break free from people-pleasing tendencies. He shares a liberating experience of exercising their right to change their mind, emphasizing the importance of embracing and creating a bill of rights.

The episode explores the confusion surrounding excessive apologies and its relevance in the discussion. Nonetheless, the speaker acknowledges the difficulty of the journey towards self-acceptance and the ongoing struggle with seeking validation from others.

The pressure to do more, serve more, and help more, fueled by societal and social media expectations, creates an exhausting cycle of patching oneself up. The speaker candidly describes the struggle of outwardly appearing happy while feeling miserable inside, pretending to be super parents or employees.

They stress that the most crucial aspect is defining oneself and knowing what truly matters rather than being preoccupied with others’ opinions. The speaker reflects on the societal pressures faced as a woman and a mother and its impact on their personal and professional growth. They regretfully acknowledge the energy wasted in trying to please others and the toll it took on their well-being.

The podcast also explores the challenges faced by men in people-pleasing. Men often feel pressure to fulfill certain roles and may engage in people-pleasing behaviours due to guilt and feelings of failure as fathers or partners. This can lead to a lack of focus on personal lives and low self-esteem.

To overcome people-pleasing, addressing the root causes, such as insecurities and negative beliefs, is crucial. The podcast introduces the concept of shame and describes how seeking validation through certain behaviours perpetuates toxic patterns. Living authentically and deliberately is emphasized as the polar opposite of people-pleasing, as it allows individuals to break free from others’ expectations.

The importance of open communication and trust in maintaining friendships is discussed, with the speaker suggesting that it is acceptable to provide reasoning when saying no to a friend’s request. However, they also acknowledge that sometimes, simply saying no without explanation is acceptable.

The episode concludes by highlighting that not all actions aimed at pleasing others are negative, as long as they come from a genuine desire or intention. The hosts encourage listeners to prioritize their own well-being and happiness, reminding them that living a life without growth is ultimately harder than the challenges encountered on the path to self-discovery.

Episode 40 Transcript

Breaking the Chains of People Pleasing – the Journey to Personal Freedom

Rob Dale:

Today, we’re diving into the art of saying no, breaking free from people pleasing and living life on your own terms. That’s up next.

Eric Deschamps:

Hi, and welcome to the Living Richley podcast I’m Eric Deshaun with 3 special guests today. so glad to welcome back, Rob Dale, like your your special guest today. Nice. no. You’re not a special guest. You’re here all the time, but we’re we’re joined by our significant others, Wendy Dodds and Kate Beard. we’ve had them on the show before, but this is the first time we’ve been all in studio together. And It’s gonna be great. It’s gonna be so good. Very exciting. Very exciting. but we’re we’re here today to talk about people pleasing. I think something that, pretty much every human being on the planet struggles with at some level or another. and maybe to open it up, if we were to try to explain what people pleasing looks like sounds like to a ten year old, how would we explain it to them?

Rob Dale:

What a great way to ask that. I I think for me, it would it would be, certainly way explaining it to a ten year old boy. I I only have a five year old mentality, so you I’m already gonna be here. You’re having to speak up. You’re having to up the tree. — gotta speak up. I it’s it’s when it’s when you’re always thinking of others and always putting the needs and the wants of others ahead of what you need and want. Yeah. that it’s okay to want to think about other people and this notion notion of not being selfish at the same time, we often even with kids, we teach them at a very early age that selfishness is bad. looking after your own needs is a part of, really taking care of even the needs of others. Yeah. Right. Absolutely. what about you, Wendy? Yeah. I I think if I try to explain this to a ten year old,

Wendy Dodds:

in simple terms, you say yes to the things that you need to do or required to do to make other people happy. And if you’re not saying yes to that, then You’re bad or you’re you’re you’re not a good person. So you need to to be a good person. You need to do all of the things you’re supposed to do.

Kate Beere:

And if you’re not, then you’re not a good person. Yeah. And I I think we, like, you touched on this, Robert. We teach our kids so young. that to put everyone else above themselves, certainly how I was raised, you know, you were the quiet kid in the room. Like, that’s people pleasing in itself. in its simplest form. So you’re taught from a young age to not put your own needs first. Right. Right. It’s like you’re you’re you’re barely showing up out of fear that you’re gonna put somebody out. Yes. right? So you you I know for me, it, it often showed up in not having my own voice

Eric Deschamps:

again, not not even thinking that my own needs were valid, right, that somehow it was selfish. And I think in the environment that Rob, you and I grew up in. We’ve talked about this one of the earliest episodes when the when the show launched, that, self sacrifice and selflessness were held up like virtues. They were right there, with godliness, almost. Right? and so you were always it was we not only did we have the human being people pleasing thing kick in, but we had this religious overlay of you have to self sacrifice. You have to put yourself first. and I remember coming to the conclusion, last year at some point, how selflessness actually the way it’s usually lived out is actual bullshit. because at the when you think of being selfless, it means no self. right? So self comes absolutely last all the time. And yet it’s incredible

Rob Dale:

how when you talk to people about people pleasing, one of the first things many people will say is, well, I I’m not a people pleaser. Like, that’s not me because we we know it’s bad. The term people pleasing. But as soon as we talk, we change that language from people pleasing to selfish or selfless, immediately people then embrace, oh, no. But I am selfless. and and they not and in most cases, we don’t make the connection that, in in in so many situations, they’re the same thing. the the idea of, again, being selfish, selfless is, is is the same as people pleasing. And so one bad It all depends on the words. Right? 11 is bad. We don’t like men. One is always is a virtue. and and and so that’s what keeps people kind of in the trap of always people pleasing is because they’re using the wrong language to identify what it is. Yeah. Absolutely.

Eric Deschamps:

Where does it show up for you guys the most?

Rob Dale:

Oh,

Wendy Dodds:

yeah. I think, We could write books on this.

Kate Beere:

I’m in on that one. I think for women, I think there’s a bit of a different dynamic. I think, women tend to put themselves last a lot. Like, we’re always you know, if you have kids or your parents are are aging or your your partner, whoever are friends, we put everyone else first. thinking we’re doing good, thinking we’re helping because we want to, but we’re not filling our own cup. And so, you know, what I’ve learned is if I don’t fill my cup, I can’t show up in a way that helps them because I’m depleted and I’m in that space of I’m drained. So they’re not getting the best version of myself, but we’re not taught that it’s okay to fill your cup. Right. And so for me, I know, being a woman often, it’s just that that the tendency at young age were taught. Everyone else’s needs come before ours consistently.

Eric Deschamps:

Yeah. It’s like you end up showing, as like a fraction or a shadow of your true self, because you’re operating on fumes half the time. you’re barely making it and you’re trying to help other people. Jason Spears, who was on the show not long ago, talked about living his whole life trying to help others

Wendy Dodds:

while secretly, like, just the suffering and despising himself because, you know, he his life was just on on on on on empty all the time. Yep. Well, and I think that’s what society teaches us. And I think social media as much as we love what it does. It’s also very much a double edged sword because everywhere you look, it’s, you know, do more, serve more, help more, which, you know, give gratitude more. All of the things that we know we’re supposed to do and to Kate’s point, especially from a, a a woman’s perspective or or being a mom, and it’s funny. I was talking to doctor Sherry about this a couple of weeks ago when you think about having a cup that you want filled for yourself, but then you’re continuously putting holes in your cup and then trying to duct tape it and patch it up. And everything just keeps link leaking out. Right. But but I’ve I’ve said this quote before, and and I think you’ll probably relate to it as a mom to Kate. outward smiles inward screens. Right? It’s it’s the masks that we wear to say yes, yes, yes, but on the inside, you’re dying because you just don’t want to be yes anymore.

Rob Dale:

Yeah. You know, I think for me, it where it often shows up, and I would I saw this for so many years was because I I got validation. I I was when when I did, you know, kind of was pleasing people, keeping people happy, doing all the things, you know, running around, taking care of other people’s needs before my own. I would get all these comments back about you’re such a good person. You’re so kind. And you’re such a wonderful person. And so because I wasn’t 1, I wasn’t loving myself or giving myself that validation, and that’s it it just it caused me to almost become addicted

Eric Deschamps:

to the behavior — Yeah. — because of the response I got and the validation I got as a result of it. Well, Kelly Flanagan would say that that’s a form of shame. He he when he was on the show, he talked about this notion that we often think of shame as bad things we say to people and we shame them, right, because they made a mistake or we shame them because of how they show up. but another form of shame is, oh, when I act this way, you like me more, right, or I I’m more popular or I seem to get more acceptance. And so to your point, we end up chasing that validation, but that is toxic fuel. I mean, you you chase it. It never quite It’s I suppose it’s like the first hit. You never can quite make up that first high. And so you’re constantly chasing it rather than investing in yourself defining yourself and how you wanna show up in the world. And and we talk about wearing masks. It’s like we we we play as actors on a stage somebody else writing the script, whereas when we talk about living richly, it’s about defining yourself in the world choosing the kind of life that you want and then living that out as deliberately intentionally as you possibly can. But people pleasing, it’s almost the direct opposite It’s like, think of it as gravity. You’re trying to live your best life and it’s pulling you back, right, into people’s expectations.

Wendy Dodds:

Well, and I think if we’re really honest. It’s a lot easier than anything in life. It’s a lot easier to just say yes. Yeah. Then to say no. Because when you say no, then you’ve gotta deal with all of the after effects around the implications of saying no. Where So many times it’s just easier just to how many times of you as a mom — Yeah. — and working full time just saying, yes. Okay. I’ll do this. Yes. Yes. Yes. because it’s just so much easier than

Kate Beere:

saying no. Yeah. It’s and it’s it’s hard sometimes, you know, and then I’ll I’ll just go to the mom role, but, like, when your kids ask you for stuff, Like, you wanna be there. You wanna be present. You wanna, like can you drive me here? It’s 11:30 at night. Sure. I’d love to. I’d love to, really. Like, so right And there are times where you’re gonna Take an Uber. Yeah. Like, I’ll drive you. But there there are times in that balance And the mom guilt a thing. Mom, I think parent guilt is a thing. I I won’t just, you know, it’s not just moms, but that guilt factor really plays into it. Yeah. And I you’re right. I I do think there’s parent killed, but

Rob Dale:

it is interesting, and this is what I love about having the 2 of you on the show. is that it’s finally gonna get good. If, yeah, it’s it’s, the — It’ll finally be worth watching. The IQ level has they just, right?

Wendy Dodds:

We could have told you that from the start.

Kate Beere:

we tried. We tried.

Rob Dale:

But but they’re really you’re right because I I know I I chuckle because my response often would be with my kids. Get an Uber or or I’ll pay for the Uber, but, you know, you’re I’m not going to get you. and and there would often be, well, I’m gonna ask mom instead of I’m gonna ask dad because I know what dad’s gonna say. And — Right. Now that, again, we’re we’re we’re generalizing. There’s obviously exceptions to that. but that very much is the role that needs to be played. There’s a their expectation of so much of people pleasing, I think, comes out of the expectation of role. And when we haven’t defined and you said this a bit earlier, Eric, when we haven’t defined who we are and what our role, how we show up, someone else would define it for us and then we fit into whatever that role is. So even as a dad, there’s certain expectations that you behave a certain way. You react to a certain way. and people pleasing is you is is you find it anytime you fit into the

Eric Deschamps:

role that others expect you to play your people pleasing. Yeah. Yeah. And I think for men, what’s interesting is, again, I the the the gender, of a perspective here is really fascinating to me and and I’ve spoken to enough, men. I mean, like, thousands of people that we’ve had conversations with as our in our coaching business, And a lot of them, the people pleasing comes from a place of deep guilt, feeling like they’ve fucked up as a dad, feeling like they’ve fucked up as a partner, throwing themselves into their work because it’s, in many ways, the only place they feel successful. and and they try to show up at home, but this they’re and and so they’re giving up many men have just given up on themselves and are just I know that was my story. You know, like, I I talk about where people pleasing ultimately, what’s the root of it? Cause I think we’re gonna talk about, tips and strategies of how people can overcome, but really, you gotta get underneath the surface and figure out what is it that is that is, what insecurity, what what what self esteem issues, what beliefs are you holding on to, that make you so, prime, right, for falling into this trap.

Rob Dale:

The book, the art of everyday assertiveness. Great book. Great book. You had recommended to me originally. and what I love about the the how that book wraps up is is an actual action plan on how to become assertive

Eric Deschamps:

to be able to do that. You have become a bit more of an asshole. I I not an asshole, but assertive. But isn’t it? I use it language deliberately because isn’t it funny when you’re a people pleaser and you start to now find your own voice, often that’s the how the people closest to you per se to find it. Yeah. Exactly that. what I really liked about,

Rob Dale:

in that book, the authors, they talk about the notion of to identify if some if you’re in a situation where you are falling into that trap of people pleasing, uses the the acronym fog. Right? Fear, obligation, and guilt. Love that. So if you are feeling if you are if you are, you’re acting out of a fear of the response to someone else of what might happen if you don’t say yes, all of that. If you’re doing it out of an obligation, or you just made reference to guilt. If you’re doing it out of a sense of guilt, in all three cases, guaranteed you’re doing it for the wrong reason. And you’re doing it out of that people, please. Right. Yeah. And I think for women, when we talk about assertiveness,

Kate Beere:

there’s a whole other level that comes up, which is I’m gonna assert myself and women get perceived as she’s really bitchy. Like, that’s the word I’m gonna use. She’s too aggressive. Why is she speaking her mind. So who does she think she is? Right. Like, you and I could say the exact same statement in a business meeting and a professional setting,

Eric Deschamps:

and mine will just get her differently because I’m female. Right. Right? That just — That’s a thing. It’s such a thing. Right? When when we talk about root causes, right, if we can explore that per minute because I think, we often go and and we’ve talked about right from the beginning, the outset of the living room podcast. We said this is not going to be like the average show. It’s not an easy button. We’re not gonna give you quick hacks and tips and tricks. Yes. We’re gonna talk about strategies. We’re gonna talk about the way forward, but often what we’re explaining is the very core foundational shit in our lives. It actually is the breeding ground right for all this negative behavior in our lives, but also offers where healing comes the potential for you to redefine your So if we explored that for a minute, so I I just talked about how for me, it was that guilt that I fucked up, so much. Like, what about you guys? Like, when you think of some of those foundational issues, what does that provoke for you?

Kate Beere:

It’s worth for me. Self worth is probably the, you know, you could say that’s the root for so many things, but when you don’t feel whole or worthy or complete as you are, you’re likely to wanna make your surrounding as calm. Right? You that’s a calm environment. If everyone else is is happy, you’re the peacekeeper. We’re good. Right? So but that is a worthiness that, like, who you are is not okay. It’s not enough to just be. Right? So if for me, it’s 100% that. It’s like I’m gonna I’m gonna make sure everyone else in the whole space around me is good and happy and calm. because then somehow that means it doesn’t matter if I’m okay and calm. If you are all okay and calm at the end of the day, then I’m okay. Yeah. I think Or

Wendy Dodds:

at least that’s the story. We tell ourselves. Yeah. Maybe. Maybe. Yeah. Maybe. Just a little bit. Yeah. I think self worth is a good one. I think self ownership and responsibility would be one for me. I mean, even, from a career perspective, you know, being able to do more and be more and climb that corporate ladder. And when I get here, then it’ll be okay. And and I’ll be happy. And then when I get here, you know, then I’ll be okay. And you know, it’s okay that I’ve been working 12 hours a day and and but it’s fine. I’m gonna get that next promotion, and it’s just as a woman and as a mom, you know, trying to Always do more to, you know, feel, you know, I’ve taken responsibility of my own life and my own career and look at me. Like, I’m self starter and self initiative and all that kind of stuff, but it just ends up burning you more into the ground. And then, you know, hindsight, I look back you know, 20, 25 years ago, and, you know, where did it get me? Of course, like, in a good place now, but you start to see how all of that pleasing chips away at you.

Rob Dale:

yeah, I think that it’s all of these are great. For me, I it it it really started out with a little bit of that self worth, because of all the turmoil and and the the the stuff that I have shared in previous episodes about my life and and growing up and all of the the stuff that went on, that yearning for community was there. The yearning to belong, and I found that by people pleasing, by keeping other people happy, by focusing on their needs, I felt a belonging. Yeah. And and I remember, and I I look back on it now as part of the healing process for me I think I I believe in in the episode where I share my story. I I talk about one of the things that happened was, when my mom passed away right before she passed away, she had been battling cancer for about 6 years. She wrote letters, kind of goodbye letters to my sister, my brother and I. And, my letter, there was a section in there that I got so angry about when I first read it. Her intentions were good, of course, but She wrote in there about how I don’t need to worry about you because you always take care of everyone. You always look after everyone. You’re the peacekeeper. was the language she used. And I remember for a lot of years, that became an identity,

Eric Deschamps:

for me. Right. you are one of the first people. You and Trevor, were, individuals who started to challenge even that language when I would use that language in conversations. Right? I felt like I still remember a very difficult station that we were having around some some issues that we were sorting through. And, I and it it was hard for me to do it because the people pleaser in me didn’t want to say this to you, but I remember saying to you, I don’t need you to be the peacemaker right now. I need you to show up and

Rob Dale:

say what you need to say and say what you need to say. Exactly. And so so I think that was it be I mean, it was obviously a a such a core part of my personality that that literally in her dying words that would be something my mother would identify me as. Yeah. so it was such a in it was such an And, you know, we talk about, again, this, none of this is easy. The this journey, it’s hard fucking work — Yeah. — to do this. Yeah. I and and I’m not there. I would say of any area of the living, Rich Lee, that I still find myself I debate or challenge. I’m way better. There’s oftentimes, you know, Wendy and I’ll have conversations and she’ll she’ll even say, are you sure? I wanna make sure that you’re okay with this and you’re not just doing it because, you know, I would like like, she’s very good at checking in on my motors, which I so deeply appreciate when she does that, but I’m I’m so much better now, but it’s still an area that I can fall into as a as a challenge is is going back into I gotta keep other people happy here and doesn’t matter if it means I’m not happy. Well, on that note, would you go get us all a cup of coffee?

Wendy Dodds:

please. No. Yeah. And a snack. Yeah. Snack. And and some baileys and baileys. you know what I love about what you said, when you said to Rob back then, I don’t need you to be this. And I love that so much because those are the kinds of people that you need in your life when you start to say no to things. that don’t serve you. So I’m gonna talk from a female perspective. There’s always judgment, and people start to kinda navigate and weave their way out of your life. because all of a sudden, you’re not the same person. So I love that having somebody like Eric to say, I don’t need you to be this right now. I need you to be this. coming at it from a front, those are the kinds of people that we need in our corner. And for you and I, when I’m in what so we’re very similar in terms of saying yes, p all the things that we’ve talked about. But I — — get us a cup of coffee. hell no. But I love that. — isn’t working.

Rob Dale:

Eric, give me a copy. Okay.

Wendy Dodds:

but I love that you will call me to the carpet, so to speak. not talking about that, by the way. Wrong question word. Another show because

Eric Deschamps:

up on living, Richard.

Wendy Dodds:

But you’ll be very open and transparent with me, and that are those are the kinds of people that you need in your corner. Are the ones to you those difficult questions when

Eric Deschamps:

you know other people won’t. Right. Right. And it’s, when it’s coming from someone where, like, Rob and I have known each other a long time, like, a dearest friend, the trust level is so high, but I still knew that in that moment, it took a lot for me to say it. Right? But I knew that you would receive it in the right spirit, but this is the the whole point of, like, it was a Ken Blanchard who many decades ago wrote in his book, the 1 minute manager feedback is the breakfast of champions. And and in our growth journey without having that feedback that the the the the people in our lives that make us feel safe and loved and accepted as we are and yet are willing, right, and and have been invited to to to to kinda give us that reflective feedback when we need it, I think we continue to fly blind a lot. I agree. And I think, you know, saying no is it’s hard. Right? When you start saying no, it’s really hard,

Kate Beere:

and you talk about having a good community of people around you, I think it’s when you say no to the people, those, like, if you’re saying no and those people stay, and they don’t give you a hard time and they don’t shame you about saying no, then those are your people. The people that have a hard time with you saying no aren’t your people. Exactly. That’s not the community you want around. So good. So good. There’s enough shame going around.

Wendy Dodds:

There is. Yeah. But you’re Circle should sorry. Your circle should always wanna see you win. And they should always clap for you regardless of what your decisions are. And if they’re not, then it’s time for a new circle. Yeah. Which can be really hard too, especially if you’ve had people in your life for many, many, many years. Yeah.

Rob Dale:

Yeah. But it is and that’s it’s always interesting to me when we, you know, you go back. This is episode 40. Wow. Right? And And so when you go back over the 40 episodes, the 39 episodes before this one, the the the recurring themes that we find that show up that are absolutely essential to living richly. Community is one of those themes. Yeah. And and even when it comes to healing of yourself of the people pleasing, you know, challenge, community plays such a a critical role in that. and having the right people who will call you out and will stay when you when you say no when when you and and you just see who those people are and it becomes so so important and so critical to have them in your — Absolutely. And I think it needs,

Eric Deschamps:

it our closest relationships is where this gets the toughest. Right? I know for me and my love previous love relationships, like romantic relationships or with my kids or with my friends, this is where it is the scariest, right, because you as you begin to take those steps, I I’ve talked openly in the show about my, you know, everybody leaves me. That was a a super script, that I’m a freak. And I I right? I’m I’m I’m different than everybody else and that I don’t deserve the grace and love. And as soon as people get to know me, they’re gonna take off. So for me and my personal relationships, the closest ones, There was so much fear that if I don’t keep you happy, if I don’t do what I know is going to make you you know, fill your cup, you’re gonna leave. and as I began to work on that and and make some headway, what was interesting is to watch relationship shift, and some shifted and some shifted right out of my life. And that is hard, but you gotta ask yourself what’s harder it’s hard. You said it’s hard fucking work when you start to work on this stuff and start to look at yourself and and and make those those tough decisions to begin to shift and evolve. but it’s even harder to live your entire life

Rob Dale:

out of fear, obligation, guilt. Yeah. And and I love that you you just shared that we we talked about this kind of offline one time as we are just looking at the the podcast and, kind of where the conversations have gone and it’s it’s been always interesting to me because we talk about past relationships and and and, you know, that when we started to really lean into the living, richly, how those relationships, shifted. One of the things that I am you know, what we’ve talked about offline is is at no point do we shift the blame and save the other person’s fault. In fact, we look again because the everything about — We

Eric Deschamps:

attracted it because of what we were putting out into And we weren’t being fair to these individuals

Rob Dale:

when we weren’t being our true authentic self. When that shows up, and I think that it’s why I’m sharing, kind of pointing that out is important for people to understand. When you start to show up authentically, when you start to, say no, when you stop the cycle of people pleasing. There will be others. There will be individuals in your life that will leave. It’s not their fault. They’re not bad for doing it. it’s because you are finally demonstrating who you truly are and some people are not gonna connect to that. Yeah. You’ve fundamentally changed the dance.

Eric Deschamps:

right? You were you were doing the with your dance partner when you changed the dance. Well, that’s it. You were doing the waltz before. Now you’re dancing the tango, and it Either that’s going to work itself out, or it’s not. But I think that’s that fear of losing important people in our lives or people period is a big a big factor.

Kate Beere:

Yeah. Yeah. Giving yourself permission too to put your needs first. I mean, that’s that’s a really big statement. So to to actually be able to put your needs first is maybe one of the hardest things. When you talk about people pleasing, It’s for some whatever underlying root cause, you don’t feel like that’s okay. Yeah. Whatever that is for you, you’ve somehow set up that story. Yeah. So starting to give yourself permission to do that is so hard. And that first no is maybe the hardest.

Eric Deschamps:

Well, well, let’s talk about saying no for a minute because it’s, like, it we it’s hard. It’s hard. It’s hard. I wanna also talk about the I’m sorry thing, but Let’s I wanna talk about you doing the tango. I’m still still thinking about that. That that that that’s a different show.

Rob Dale:

We’re not doing that today. so many shows to come. There is no show where you do the tape. I’m

Eric Deschamps:

gonna talk to our producer. I think I could get it slotted in. Right, Steve?

Rob Dale:

He’s here. He’s here.

Eric Deschamps:

but, like, why is it so hard? Like, we’ve talked a number of reasons, but let’s explore that further because often when again, you you do some research on. I need to stop people, please. We’ll need to start saying no more. Yeah. I can intellectually wrap my head around that, but it’s not the head that’s the problem here. it’s the heart. It’s the beliefs. It’s the all the stuff under the surface. Why is it so hard to say no? Well, and so I would say because

Rob Dale:

saying no is not the first step. And when — Go ahead and turn this on a dime. Right. And when we when we — You did back to people pleasing and peacemaking. No. When we when we start at okay. First step is to say no. I think we missed the point. The the you’ve got to first, the first step, and Kate, you already alluded to it. The first step is recognizing your own worth recognizing that you are important. Your needs are important. You matter. radical, self acceptance. Right? Another running theme, and it has to start there. And that’s why I think so many people fail at this. and why when they say no, they say it in a in the in the wrong way. Right. And they say it in a way that comes across as as as as attacking somebody or as in, you know, adversarial, whatever because they haven’t started with the the where the first step is, radical self acceptance. When you when you are coming out of radical self acceptance, your reasoning for saying no changes

Wendy Dodds:

and how you then present that note to someone else changes as well. Now a 100%. 100%. part of it is so saying it as a a an where it can come across as an attack, but we often say no with an apology attached to it. No. I’m sorry. Right. With an apology or a but. So I think such a good point around figuring out, like, what your radical self acceptance, self worth, like, why is it important to you? And then learning to not have to justify and as women. We it’s I know it’s the same for men as well, but I’m just speaking on — Yeah. — on behalf always Trying to give a reason as to why we can’t do it instead of just saying, no. It’s no but or I’m sorry, but And how do we take away that attachment from that and be assertive in what our decisions are? And being com like, I know with my kids,

Kate Beere:

sometimes I’m used with one kid in particular. I won’t point them out, but I have used — Let’s guess. It’s like — Yeah. Let’s guess.

Rob Dale:

so I — Probably me.

Kate Beere:

I’m like the other child in the equation. That’s true. Yeah. But sometimes I’m like, no. It’s just No. Like, it’s just no. And then but that never lands. Right? And then there’s all this debate. And I’m like, no. Sometimes it’s just no. I don’t need to rationalize it to you. I don’t need to explain it to you. It’s it’s just no. But then I can go away, and mom guilt kicks in. And I’m like, Like, I could’ve just, like, could’ve figured that out or I could’ve done it. And so also being firm after to be like, no. Like, it was okay for you to say no. Like, to — Yeah. — I think sometimes in the in the moment you can get really passionate about it. And then afterwards, you’re sort of, like, You second guess it, but it you have to stay strong all the way through. And I’ll also add on to that being a single mom as well. Oh, yeah. Because you’re saying no. and — Yeah. — you know, for me being a single mom, sometimes it’s still in the back of my head,

Wendy Dodds:

will do you know, should I say yes just Not to be the favorite parent, but, you know, are they gonna ask dad for something else? So it’s it’s not that it’s not the same if you’re, you know, you know, the families together, but but I I do find I struggle with mom guilt around — Yeah.

Kate Beere:

— saying no Oh, maybe I’ll just say yes. Right. Well, and, like, on that, depending on custody, like, I have week on week off with my kids when I have them, I feel that I I’m all in when I have them. Right? I I can be not all in when they’re with their dad, but when I have them, I then I feel like I need to show up as this, like, big —

Wendy Dodds:

Yes. — amazing. Super mom. Yeah.

Eric Deschamps:

Right. Yes. Call me cough. Right? Yeah. It’s a but it’s a real thing. It’s a real thing. But you think about expectations. Right? The we we hold these unreal I I love how Sherry will often ask me the question when I’m wrestling with something. you know, it it is that expectation, Eric, in line with reality. And so we hold ourselves to the super, well, super dad, super mom. We hold ourselves to these the limitations that are unrealistic and then feel a need to do it. And whether it’s at home or, I mean, for some, it may not be at home so much. Maybe it’s the people please are at work who constantly is just taking on more work as the boss heaps it on, because they don’t wanna let somebody down. This fear of letting other people down, this fear of disappointment, this fear of they’re gonna think less of me, reinforces the need that it’s actually not what people think of us that matters most. I know this is gonna easy to say, but this is where the work lies. I’m convinced is when I know who I am, when I have, right, we talk about your your defining of self Who am I? What matters to me? how do I wanna show up in the world? when we get a sense of that, then I think this stuff becomes much easier to overcome.

Rob Dale:

Right? I love, again, going back to, that book, the art of everyday assertiveness, which I think is — We’ll put that in the show notes for sure. It is the, it’s the bible of this this subject for sure. And I I’ve seen it is the other the other thing that is introduced in there that I have embraced. I’ve got it in my notes as a separate note, as a reminder, and that’s your personal bill of rights. Right. So — And and there’s a number of them in there. Right? I have a right to say no. Right. I have a right to be wrong. I have a right to change my mind. Yeah. and it’s interesting how not how often, because it hasn’t happened a lot. It has happened where I found myself in a conversation with someone and I’ll refer to the bill of rates. I’ll say, well, actually, I have a right to change my mind. I remember something around somebody one time. They’re they’re kind of making fun and joking because I got a dog. And, oh, you said you’re never gonna get another dog, and now you got a dog. I said, yeah, I have a right to change my mind. And I was and it was, like, And they didn’t have an issue. They were like — Liberating. — like, yeah, I guess you do. Right? It’s so liberating. — mind. It’s okay. And it’s and sometimes and so embracing that and creating that bill of rights is a is such a healthy piece of finally being free of this this syndrome of of people pleasing. Absolutely. And and let’s talk about this sorry thing, shall we? I’m sorry. I’m sorry. What?

Eric Deschamps:

I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I’d like to introduce any propane perhaps that we might explore. but let’s face it. I know we, as Canadians, it comes more naturally to us. I mean, we’re kind of It’s kind of a self deprecating thing. We we say all the time. and yet I came to realize at some point last year, I remember having this conversation with you is that every time we say, I’m sorry. As as a matter of fact, if if any one of us starts to track how often we say in a day, we might be shocked. how often we use it. We use it in emails. We use it in texts. We use it in conversation. And every time we say, I’m sorry. we were apologizing for how we’re showing up in the world. And I would say about 75% if not more of the times we say, I’m sorry. there’s no reason to be sorry. This is not a sorry moment. what do you guys think about? Well, that’s one thing you say often, actually, because Oh, I’m sorry. Hey, Rob. I’m still waiting on that cup of coffee. Oh,

Rob Dale:

it’s not gonna be you. That better?

Eric Deschamps:

Much better.

Wendy Dodds:

It’s so habitual, though. Yeah. And we say it without thinking. And I think over the years, like, for my own personal growth, I think I’ve done a decent job at being more assertive in who I am, what I want, what I deserve but I still catch myself and you’re great at this, especially in texts where I’ll say, I’m sorry,

Kate Beere:

and you’ll say, But you have nothing to be sorry about. There’s nothing to be sorry about. And then I’ll think, right. Yeah. But it’s so — So what’s so interesting is or not interesting because you guys are close, but Eric always says, no stories required in my text bag. You do that all the time because I’m always like, oh, sorry. sorry. I didn’t get back to you or sorry. He’s like, no, sorry. He’s required. Always. Yeah. It was an exercise I began to actually track how often I was saying it. And over the course of several months, it almost disappeared as it’s almost disappeared from my vocabulary now. I still slip up from time to time, and then I just apologize.

Rob Dale:

I apologize for calling. — for saying sorry.

Eric Deschamps:

Ma’am, Ma’am, no, but I literally am even in my, you know, having to reschedule a meeting, something as simple as rescheduling a meeting with a client. Right? And the leading freight, I’m sorry for the inconvenience. How about thank you for your flexibility and understanding? Change the language. because I am convinced. We talk about the power of the mind. We talk about the power of language and how words are the language of belief And when we articulate into the, when we articulate, externally, when we when we say it out loud is what I was just trying to say there. When we say out loud, our subconscious registers that language and says, you did something

Kate Beere:

wrong. Yeah. You you take your power back when you stopped using it. You you you truly do. Yeah. I recently was just dealing with something personal. And I I didn’t feel the need to apologize, and I think we talked about this, but I always over rotate, and I’m always the one who over apologizes to be the peacekeeper. Right? So I’ll always that’s how I show up, and and I just decided that I wasn’t going to. And it was amazing how strong I felt afterwards because it wasn’t on me to make the situation better. I was very clear on my my pant in my position and not once did I use the language? I’m sorry. Not once. Yeah. And it was empowering though because you get your power back. I love that language. Yeah. It it is freeing. It is free. Yeah. Free when you can get to that point. So so how do we get to that point?

Eric Deschamps:

Yeah. Well, I yeah, let’s talk about strategies. Like, I just talked about the I’m sorry piece as of when I continue to work on, but what are some things you guys are currently working on or, like, have worked on that have been useful to you or helpful to you in overcoming people pleasing.

Kate Beere:

I have.

Wendy Dodds:

I hope, like, 9 things to say.

Kate Beere:

Like, always, I’m just gonna who’s gonna go? I’ll go. Okay. Pause. like pause. Someone asked you to go somewhere or do something or take on a new piece of work or your kids ask you something, just pause. don’t say yes. Don’t say no. Take a minute and think about sort of the the why. Right? So, like, okay. Is this gonna affect me? There’s just we don’t we feel this immediate to be like, yes, no, yes, no, maybe. I don’t know. And maybe it’s not an answer. So just pause and take the time to think about, is this something that you really wanna do. Oh, I love that one. I I was gonna

Rob Dale:

add this. is examine your motives. Yeah. Right. And so and I and you you need the pause to That’s why I love that you started with that is is in that pause to be able to reflect. Do I want to to what what what’s my What’s my gut reaction? Do I want to say yes? Do I want to say no? Am I interested in this? Not examine your motives before you then

Eric Deschamps:

on. I love that. And I think a great lens to use to do that is am I doing this out of fear, obligation, and guilt? Is there a should, must, or have to attach to this. And if I’m sensing that, I better pause even more and think twice about my answer because chances are I’m doing it for the wrong reasons. And if there’s a get to, then you

Rob Dale:

talk to you about that. Yeah. I know. Thanks. For more, check out that few months.

Kate Beere:

shameless. But if it times I get to, then that’s a positive. It’s not a have to. It’s I get to. Oh, I’m excited. Okay. That’s a yes.

Eric Deschamps:

as as opposed to, I don’t need to do this. Yeah.

Wendy Dodds:

that the pausing is great. I think especially in today’s society, we are such an instant gratification society where a text comes through, why do we need to respond right away? What like, why why do we need to answer right away? which is interesting because apologize for, like, I didn’t answer you within 2 minutes. I’m sorry. Sorry for the delayed response. You’re like, is my classic line. ago. Right? But it’s funny when my kid when I don’t respond right away, if one of my kids is texting me one in particular.

Rob Dale:

If you’re listening. If you’re listening.

Wendy Dodds:

Stop that shit. But especially if I’m in the middle of teaching a class, I can’t respond right away, but then I’ll get the Mom. Mom. Hello. Hello. Hello. Mom. Mom. Mom. Mom.

Eric Deschamps:

Mom. Well, Robin, I do that to each other.

Wendy Dodds:

so familiar with those phones. Yeah. But, yeah, not not having to respond right away. And then oftentimes in my head, I will categorize on a scale of 1 to 10. How do I feel about whatever’s being asked of me? Whether it’s, you know, hey, friends who wanna go out for dinner or somebody asking me something at work. Like, how do I feel about this on a scale of 1 to 10? And then I’ll revisit it in a couple of hours because I don’t need, like, nothing is going to fall apart in a couple of hours. and then I’ll revisit where I am on a scale of 1 to 10 and decide if I’m and I use that fog analogy quite often, especially after reading the book.

Eric Deschamps:

I find that really helpful. Yeah. Yeah. It I think, again, being very mindful to say that no is a perfectly acceptable answer, right, that, it it doesn’t require And I think this is something I I have so much learning. I feel like I’m a complete novice at this one because if it’s a no, I feel this need to tell a story about why I can’t do it and — Yeah. — defend my not even defend defends the wrong words. I justify. Thank you. justify the fact that I’m saying no because I feel so terrible.

Kate Beere:

right? I don’t know if you guys struggle with that as well. Yeah. But I I think we we lie too. Sorry. We make up excuses. We lie all the time. We’re like, no. Sorry. My ants in the hospital. Like, we — Yeah. Yeah. We all do it because we don’t feel good. You’re at you’re at Died last night. Right. No. The other — — came out July.

Rob Dale:

It was incredible. She came back to life. And, how did she read the hospital? It was in the national inquiry. Yeah. You know, I I I think another one is BOK that you can’t control the other person. Yeah. There’s no problem. You don’t carry the weight of how they respond to your no. be responsible

Eric Deschamps:

for yourself and to others. You are responsible for your own thoughts feelings, emotions, actions, reactions, and decisions, you are not responsible for somebody else’s. And I know that that was a groundbreaking sort of revolutionary shift in my thinking when I realized, that I’m responsible to you to treat you with respect, treat you the way I would expect to be treated but I’m not ultimate responsible for how you feel based on my decision to perhaps say no.

Rob Dale:

Yeah. And I and I I think that there are situations. Listen. I I don’t I don’t think there’s anything wrong with as, you know, with a friend. I love one. They ask you if you can do something and you say no, and you give them a bit of a reason why it’s not as I I hear what you’re saying earlier about justifying it. sometimes it’s helpful for them, you know, to be able to explain here. I’m choosing not to do this because I, you know, got something else on her. I’ve just been I’ve been going too busy right now. I’m really tired. I’m just I’m not really interested in going out. There are other times, though, and I think because we we think they have to justify we do that all the time. There are times when you could just say no. Well, how come we really want you to come out? Just really not interested in going to that. I’m gonna choose to not and to be able to to end it with that conversation. So it’s a learning curve. I for me as well, that there are times when I I feel like it’s just it’s kindness — Yes. — to to give a some more explanation as to why you’re saying no so that they’re not misinterpreting it from a a different perspective. But at the end, there was there if they trust me and they know that I, you know, I’m I’m committed to them, they’ll understand if I’m saying no and I’m not giving a reason, they’ll think the best, for for me anyway. Well, I love how you drew that distinction that it not everything that we do is people pleasing. If and and some people pleasing is not bad. If it’s motivated out of a get to or I want to,

Eric Deschamps:

you know, I I love doing stuff for you. I love making you happy. Right? Well, that’s not an obligation. It’s not done out of fear. It’s not done of it’s done out of love. It’s done done out of affection. now if I was negating my own, self in that process, and I think this happens a lot in relationships where people lose themselves and the other person and they almost become like a carbon copy of the other. They abandon their own pursuits, their own hobbies, their own thinking in order to fit in. I think that’s where we’re moving into some negative territory, but I think, listen, kindness,

Kate Beere:

acts of love. This is to be encouraged, just check your motives and make sure you’re not losing yourself in the process. Yeah. And I think you can hold each other accountable as couples. Like, there’s lots of times because you are very generous and you do a lot of really nice things.

Eric Deschamps:

But and I’m not getting Rob Coffee. No. That’s That’s wrong. That’s wrong. You will.

Kate Beere:

But we check-in. Like, I’ll be like, I’ll be like, are you sure you’re okay with that? Like, I’ll always check-in I’m like, you know, I’m okay or it’s not and you’ll you always say, no, that makes me happy. I’m like, okay. But we do check-in with each other to make sure that, like, because I know your tendency can be to over rotate. So I’m like, are you sure, like, do you is it good? So we do that. And I think holding each other accountable is good too. And I love that. I love that. We’re gonna talk about boundaries on the next show. I mean, boundaries is a huge part

Eric Deschamps:

of breaking free from people pleasing. So let’s we’re we’re to save that subject for the next episode on the importance of setting boundaries. But in the closing moments of our show, final thoughts from each of you about people and over coming this, what advice would you give? What closing words would you wanna give to our audience today?

Wendy Dodds:

I think, I I mean, people ask me this all the time, especially with events that have gone on in my life or the last few years. And and the best thing I can say is It’s practice. It takes practice. like, there’s no easy button. There’s no easy way around learning how to do this, you know, your mind is like a muscle. It’s no different than if you’re training a body part in a gym, the more you do it, the stronger you become at being more assertive, but in a way where you’re, still projecting kindness, But it’s practice. So practicing with small things to say no, and that will eventually then lead to the bigger things. But — Yeah. And I, like, To add on to that, just

Kate Beere:

start. Yeah. Right. Just start. Just just, you know, practice starts with one no, right, and just and see how it feels. and then be kind to yourself, it’s gonna feel yucky. It’s gonna feel uncomfortable. You’re gonna feel like you’re likely letting someone down or you’re disappointing someone. So be kind, be kind to yourself. Yeah. I understand. I think it’s important

Rob Dale:

to remind yourself that you matter. you matter. You fucking matter. Get in front of a mirror. Look at yourself in the mirror and tell the person that you’re looking at you matter. your needs matter, your wants matter, how you show up matters your authenticity matters. that is for the first step to be in free of the plea pleasing other people of of always saying yes, even when you want to say no is getting to that point. Start to believe. Tell yourself over and over and over again until it starts to sink in just a little bit that you matter.

Eric Deschamps:

Yeah. I think that the the day you quit being the general manager of the universe will be your most happiest day ever where you you just give up to you just surrender the need to please other people and live as a slave to other people’s expectations, other people’s definitions of how you should show up at the very foundation of living richly, who do I wanna be in the world, right, and then pursuing that? This has been such a great conversation looking forward so much to the conversation that we’re gonna have next on the next show on setting boundaries, because it’s such a big part of what we do. we wanna thank you for tuning in today. We wanna encourage you to, visit our website at living richly.me/actactact where you’ll find all kinds of resources, that, and where all the show notes and everything else can be found there on the website, so that you can follow through including the book that we talked about today, the, the art of everyday assertiveness. Yep. And and we wanna encourage you to to, to like

Rob Dale:

to share this episode and, most importantly, one of the things we wanna encourage you to do is check out our Instagram page. you’ll find that living richly dot me. we provide all kinds of short clips from these episodes

Eric Deschamps:

that you can kind of have little snacks. When you wanna have a living richly snack, you can check out the in ground page, and there’s all kinds of great reels and and stuff that you can have. You can look at. You can share great way to get these clips, the little clips of of some of the main talking points of our episodes. And finally, if you’re looking for some help on this front, we do offer coaching programs and services where, if you’re looking for some 1 to 1 or group support, feel free to reach out to us, and you can ping us, at, right off the website, and and we’ll be happy to get back to you. Wanna thank, Kate Wendy and Rob for a great conversation today and looking forward to our next one. And thank you, Living Richley Nation for dialing in today and listening in, and we look forward to seeing you on the next show.