“You’re so sweet and smiley.”
“Look at her, lets call her smiley”
As a child, the adults around me nicknamed me “smiley’.
I liked it and I learned that the adults were happy when I smiled. I got attention, was accepted widely and knew how to be a delight to have around.
Over time it became a mask that I wore to hide how I really felt and as I made my way through multiple traumatic events as a teen, into adulthood, the pretending I was always happy created a hollow feeling inside.
I became afraid of being anything other than happy because I didn’t want to upset anyone.
As an adult, my “charm” became a tool of manipulation. I could manipulate how others perceived me and control how they felt in my presence - if I don’t make a fuss they will feel great and that’s all that matters.
This had a huge impact on the way I showed up with men. It became very easy to please the men I dated and orchestrate how they experienced me.
Appear to want and need nothing was my mantra - that is how you control the world around you (and never get your needs truly met).
I could pretend to be fine, pleased and satisfied on demand.
“I’m fine. That’s fine. Yep I’m good.”
Inside the dragon sleeps.
People pleasing is a legitimate experience for many, so may even call it a condition. I don’t want to dismiss that the behaviour to please and abandon one’s own needs is rooted deep in many of us. It can take years to deconstruct. Despite that knowing, taking responsibility for this compulsion has been one of the greatest freedoms in my adult life, and especially as a woman.
“The fear of upsetting another becoming more important than our own needs.”
What might look like innocent is actually highly manipulative and incredibly unsatisfying over a period of time.
It took me a while to realize this: You are constantly trying to control others because there is something you don’t want to feel.
I was avoiding feeling the discomfort of potentially not being liked or being rejected.
Letting to go of my “charm” was hard because I benefited greatly from keeping it.
The world is full of people pleasing charmers that manipulate to get that they want.
The recovery from “pleasing” has been a sloooooow transition. I had to learn how to speak “emotions” and match what was happening in my body to words.
A breakthrough came for me when I chose to admit to my partner all the places where I’d been lying and only sharing the 40% of what I wanted (VERY, VERY, VERY COMMON FOR WOMEN) and what I’d been feeling. This commitment sparked many more breakthroughs.
I choose to learn to ask for what I need and want with love and skill.
I choose to learn to give loving feedback.
I choose to learn how to name how I actually felt around others.
I regularly say that I feel disappointed, sad, upset, scared, angry.
I do this without explaining myself.
Some men don’t like this because they had to wrestle with making it mean something about them if I was upset.
I starting realizing that this isn’t my responsibility to manage how they feel or if they are upset.
I am willing to be in the presence of an upset man and not make it mean I am too much.
This is an absolutely game changer in a relationship.
I don’t give away my power and he gets to be with his own emotions.
I decided that my only job is to speak the truth with love especially when it’s uncomfortable and even when my voice breaks.
It has been the journey from Girl to Woman.
The little girl manipulates.
The sovereign woman makes clear bold requests and receives what she wants with ease. She doesn’t rush her man when he needs time to digest the request.
You can reclaim a huge amount of power by being willing to be too much, too emotional, too feral, too loud, too Unleashed and LOVINGLY ask for what you want.
No one gets to decide what is “too much” other than you.
To mark this moment in time, I have been taking a lot more “non-smiling” pictures. This photo is a favourite for this reason.
I love the opportunity to reveal my essence, my eroticism and my tenderness through the lens. I get to take the pictures and I get to choose which ones to share with the world.
One of my clients said to me yesterday that it is inspiring to work with me because of what it feels like to be in the presence of someone really using their gifts to hold others.
She is in my Fully Unleashed programme and it is inspiring her to use her own. That is exactly what this work is for. Tap into your own gifts and unlock the power to use them.
You don’t need to smile when you don’t want too.
Your emotional experience is yours to own and when you are willing to be fully revealed as the REAL YOU you automatically filter out those that are not for you.
Have you had the experience of sharing what's actually true for you, dropping the smile and allowing others in to really see you?