From a somatic therapy perspective, people pleasing can be seen as a response to chronic stress and trauma, which can lead to a disconnection from one’s own body and a tendency to prioritize the needs of others over one’s own.
According to somatic therapist Dr. Arielle Schwartz, “People pleasers often have a history of trauma or chronic stress that has left them feeling overwhelmed and disconnected from their own bodies. They may have learned to cope with this stress by trying to control their environment and please others.”
Somatic therapy emphasizes the importance of reconnecting with one’s body and developing a greater awareness of bodily sensations and emotions. Through somatic practices such as mindfulness, breathwork, and movement, individuals can begin to tune in to their own needs and desires, and learn to prioritize self-care and self-compassion.
As Dr. Schwartz notes, “Through somatic therapy, people can learn to identify and release the patterns of tension and holding in their bodies that are associated with people pleasing. They can develop a greater sense of self-awareness and self-compassion, and begin to live a more authentic and fulfilling life.”
In essence, people pleasing can be seen as a coping mechanism that developed in response to chronic stress or trauma, but through somatic therapy, individuals can learn to reconnect with their bodies and develop a healthier relationship with themselves and others.
If feeling and feeding your needs is hard for you, you’re in good company. Get in touch to see if somatic coaching can help support you in overcoming people pleasing tendencies.