I was raised to be an educated, polite, and respectful girl. You might have been, too. I was taught to think of others and their well-being. I consciously made an effort to treat others how I wanted to be treated. In short, I was always trying to be a good girl .
Can you relate? You always behave well! You are always being obedient or well-behaved… The good girl syndrome refers to girls who often feel that they have to be something extraordinary in order to receive recognition. They don’t take it for granted that they are good enough. The consequences of good girl syndrome pervade the all-important aspect of life – relationships. Whether at work, with friends, at home, or with herself, the good girl will end up in the role of the doormat, pleasing, are agreeable, perform, perfect, pretending and/or proving herself.
But the good girl was always so good. She did what she were told. Ticked all the boxes. Made her parents proud. The challenge is that good girls end up pleasing. Good girls allow things to happen to them. They are agreeable, they don’t say no, even when they want to. They don’t ask for more or say something’s not acceptable. They don’t set boundaries; they go with the flow and don’t question. They take care of others often to the detriment of themselves. They take up less space. One of the difficulties with people pleasing is that it is very socially acceptable to be a people pleaser. Amongst women it is also totally acceptable and even socially acceptable to put others first. Do any of these tell-tell signs resonate with you personally?
- Do you have to do all your work before you allow yourself to rest or have fun?
- Do you have trouble speaking up for yourself or asking for what you want?
- Are you a stickler for rules (even minor ones like never wanting to be late, cut in line, or jaywalk)?
- Are you a people-pleaser who’s uncomfortable with conflict and afraid of disappointing or hurting other people’s feelings?
- You have a hard time saying no?
- You put others needs ahead of your own?
- You have an intangible urge to want to please everyone
- You feel that you are never good enough?
- Do you worry about offending or bothering people?
- Do you pride yourself on being thoughtful and helpful (even when it’s inconvenient for you)?
- Were you labelled a “good girl” as a child?
- You are afraid to be different and be true to herself?
- You have to do things and be in certain ways to be loved?
And the list goes on..
If you are a good girl like I was, most likely there were circumstances at home that lead to you adapting in order to make everything better at home.
If you are still recognising yourself as a ‘good girl’, I am here to support you. Get in touch with me so we can explore how I can help you to start taking the steps you need to rid yourself of this exhausting persona.