When applied directly to relationships between healthy, balanced individuals, this is true. When applied to relationships within which there is the real possibility of violence, I don't think it's safe or prudent to be forthcoming at all times. I do think it's necessary to leave that kind of relationship, but the process for doing so is usually much more nuanced than our culture portrays it to be. Similarly, when the idea of "don't be a people pleaser; be your true self" is applied to a more broad definition of relationships, it puts the brunt of the burden on the "people-pleasers" themselves, without holding society at large accountable for normalizing and privileging some qualities over others. I say this as an autistic woman who has spent the majority of my nearly 39 years masking--both consciously and unconsciously. I view autistic masking as a form of people-pleasing/manipulation, but I also recognize it as a genuine survival technique that often remains necessary long into adulthood--or at least until one has muddled through enough years to achieve a position of real financial and relationship stability, thus providing a sense of freedom and safety. Unfortunately, I also recognize that not everyone gets to this point and that the barriers are often systemic. I'm a bit magically minded, and I actually agree with the notion that the world opens up to us when we open up to the world. However, I also believe that this is only by degrees. At the end of the day, the world is deeply flawed; manipulation is deeply human; and ending "people pleasing" behavior must go hand-in-hand with advocating for a society within which it's safer to be ourselves.

Neuro-diverse & chronically ill writer mom w/ big ideas. Donate: https://flow.page/kellilynngrey. Subscribe: https://thegreyway.substack.com/.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store