Understanding People-Pleasing Behavior

People-pleasing, also known as the “fawn response,” is a coping mechanism that people use to navigate their lives ¹. It is a pattern of behavior characterized by an excessive need to make others happy, often at the expense of one’s own needs, desires, and well-being. People-pleasing can be a deeply ingrained behavior that stems from past experiences, especially traumatic ones.

The Link Between Trauma and People-Pleasing

Trauma, especially in formative years, can lead to people-pleasing behavior ¹. Trauma survivors may develop people-pleasing behaviors as a way to avoid conflict, seek validation, and fear rejection. People-pleasers believe that by constantly accommodating others, they can secure validation, avoid conflict, and feel safe and regulated.

How EMDR Intensives Can Help

EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) intensives are a type of therapy that can help individuals overcome people-pleasing behavior ². EMDR intensives involve longer therapy sessions, typically 2 or more hours, allowing individuals to delve deeper into the therapeutic process ³. Here’s how EMDR intensives can help:

– Increased Awareness: An EMDR therapist can assist you in becoming more aware of your fawn response and how it influences your life. This heightened awareness is a crucial first step towards change.

– Exploring Guilt and Boundaries: Therapy can help you evaluate situations with a critical eye to determine if you’re prioritizing others’ needs over your own. You’ll learn to set and assert boundaries, prioritizing your own well-being.

– Breaking the Cycle: EMDR intensives can help you recognize that people-pleasing is a trauma response and not your fault. You’ll learn to be kind to yourself throughout the process and understand that healing takes time.

What to Expect from EMDR Intensives

EMDR intensives are a condensed and intensive program designed to expedite the healing process ². Here’s what you can expect:

– Extended Sessions: EMDR intensives typically involve longer therapy sessions, allowing you to delve deeper into the therapeutic process.

– Comprehensive Exploration: The extended timeframe can facilitate a more comprehensive exploration of trauma and the related issues.

– Rapid Progress: EMDR intensives are designed to facilitate rapid progress, helping you overcome people-pleasing behavior in a matter of days.

People-pleasing behavior can be a complex and challenging pattern to break, especially when it’s deeply ingrained as a response to trauma. However, with EMDR intensives, you can overcome people-pleasing behavior and develop healthier patterns of behavior. Remember, healing from trauma is a journey, and it’s okay to seek support along the way. By understanding the roots of your people-pleasing tendencies and taking steps to address them, you can begin to reclaim your own agency and build healthier, more authentic relationships with others.

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