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March 1, 2024


Trauma can look different in different people at different times for different reasons. 

Depending on what we?re exposed to, and what our own specific brand of relational pain is, we learn ways of coping. These methods are adaptive as kids. They were smart. They helped us to survive, to cope with adversity. 

Being people-pleasing and self-sacrificing may have soothed the tyrant in the house. To manage unpredictable moods. It may have therefore protected us from danger. Or it may have helped boost the spirits of a depressed parent – a necessity in order to get them to ‘see’ you the way we all need to be seen as children. 

Attachment and learned behaviours as children are all geared towards gaining love and therefore securing protection.

We then grow into adults, and we continue to use the same methods. But the problem is they no longer serve us. 

As kids, people-pleasing is survival, but as adults, it is maladaptive. It keeps us stuck in the habit of diminishing our own needs in favour of managing other people?s perceptions of us. We carefully curate how other people perceive us and this is the order of the day – rather than living fully authentically as we are. Though it appears passive and in the spirit of selfless behaviours – it is in fact controlling.

When we continue to subjugate our own needs as adults, it can lead to turbulent relationships, stress, resentment, underlying rage and worst of all – physical illness.

Begin to notice if you depress your own needs in certain situations, and if so, begin to get curious – what thoughts are going through your mind? Are they true? Or are they automatic and incorrect? Are they helping you live the kind of life that matters to you?