How To Stop People Pleasing In Sobriety

I describe myself as an ex-red wine girl and a recovering people-pleaser. And if you’re wondering how those two things are connected we’re going to dig into that, because as you start to navigate sobriety, boundaries are going to be your very best friend and people-pleasing will set you back.

How do you know if you’ve fallen into a people-pleasing pattern?

Here are a few signs…

🤔 Maybe you’re an overachiever who takes care of everything and everyone.
🤔 Maybe you’re the happy, agreeable girl who spends a lot of time “reading the room” to anticipate the emotions of others so you can put them at ease.
🤔 Maybe you’re uncomfortable with conflict and would rather stuff down negative emotions than share them with the people in your life.
🤔 Maybe you’re afraid to say no because you want people to like you.
🤔 Maybe you’re terrified of disapproval so you’re anxious, self-critical and a perfectionist.
🤔 Maybe you’re so busy meeting others’ expectations that you have trouble identifying your own wants, needs and feelings.
🤔 Maybe you’re externally motivated, anxiously seeking the validation of your parents, teachers, boss, spouse, children or friends.

It even sounds exhausting!

And those ingrained patterns of behavior can make you want to drink to check out from feeling overwhelmed, resentful, sad, lonely, stressed out, irritatated, unhappy or unappreciated

🎙️ I asked my good friend, Hailey Magee, a certified coach who helps people around the world break the people-pleasing pattern and master the art of self-advocacy and author of the book, Stop People Pleasing and Find Your Power to help me unpack people-pleasing, boundaries and why they matter in sobriety.

Hailey defined people-pleasing in this way, “People-pleasing is the act of chronically prioritizing others’ needs, wants and feelings at the expense of our own needs, wants and feelings. As people-pleasers, we struggle to speak up for ourselves in our relationships. We give past our limits to be liked by others; have immense difficulty setting boundaries; struggle to identify and leave toxic environments; and become involved in many one-sided relationships that are all give and no take. Often, we feel defined by how helpful, useful and supportive we can be to others”.

That last sentence is what hit home for me. 

When we’re people-pleasing we feel defined by how helpful, useful and supportive we can be to others. 

It’s said that people-pleasers often start out as parent-pleasers and I began people-pleasing at a young age. 


Growing up my family moved every 2 or 3 years to a new country on a new continent, which meant I needed to assimilate into a new school with different customs and culture. I felt like I needed to make friends quickly to fit in and shape shifting felt like the best way to do that. My parents were busy with work and each other so being happy, easy to please and extremely helpful was a way to gain their attention, love and approval.  

I’m not alone in that.

A lot of our patterns of behaviors begin when we’re children and have little control over our situations and environment. But as we grow up, people-pleasing can become an ingrained way of interacting with others that transfers to your friendship groups, romantic partners and workplace. 

So why is people-pleasing a problem? Isn’t it good to make the people in your life happy? 


Hailey says there’s a big difference between people-pleasing and kindness. 

People-Pleasing behaviors are rooted in transaction, obligation, compulsion or loss-aversion.

Here are a few examples:

🚩 People-Pleasing as a transaction: “I’m giving you this so you will give me something back.”

🚩 People-Pleasing as an obligation: “I’m giving you this because if I don’t, I’ll feel guilty.”

🚩 People-Pleasing as a compulsion: “I’m doing this because I have no idea how not to do this.”

🚩 People-Pleasing as a loss-aversion strategy: “I’m doing this because if I don’t, I fear I’ll lose you.”

Hailey shares, “People-pleasing stems from a disconnected relationship with ourselves. You might think about it as a form of self-abandonment. Even in the absence of others, many of us avoid tending to our basic needs; discount our own emotions; feel uncomfortable in our own company…we may engage in perfectionism, self-shaming and self judgment; struggle with distress tolerance, self-soothing and emotional regulation; or even engage in compulsions or addictions to avoid feeling our emotions”.

In this episode, Hailey and I discuss:

✅ The difference between people-pleasing and kindness 

Why people-pleasing behaviors are often tied to the pursuit of safety

✅ How to stand up for yourself

✅ Why you feel exhausted, frustrated and resentful after over-giving

✅ How to connect to your feelings, needs, wants, values and stories of self

✅ The difference between making a request and setting a boundary

✅ The big list of reasonable needs (that are not too much to ask or expect of others)

More Resources On How To Overcome People-Pleasing and Setting Healthy Boundaries In Sobriety

Ep. 5 with Hailey Magee: Codependency Recovery and People Pleasing in Early Sobriety | Podcast | Hello Someday Coaching

Ep. 106 with Hailey Magee: Growing Pains: Releasing Your Past Identity As A Drinker | Hello Someday Coaching 

People Pleasing and Over Drinking | Hello Someday Coaching 

Why High-Achieving Women Struggle To Set Boundaries | Hello Someday Coaching 

The Nice Girl’s Guide To Saying No. How to set boundaries when you’re quitting drinking.

Stop People Pleasing: And Find Your Power

4 Ways I Can Support You In Drinking Less + Living More

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Connect with Hailey Magee

Hailey Magee is a certified coach who helps people around the world break the people-pleasing pattern and master the art of self-advocacy. Her debut book, Stop People Pleasing and Find Your Power, will be released by Simon & Schuster in 2024.

Hailey’s refreshingly nuanced perspectives on boundary-setting and self-advocacy have captured the attention of millions on social media. Certified by Erickson International, she has worked one-on-one with over 300 clients, and her public talks and virtual workshops have welcomed tens of thousands of participants. She has written for Newsweek and The Gottman Institute, and has facilitated corporate workshops in partnership with WeWork, Women In Music, and a variety of other companies and organizations.

Hailey is dedicated to offering clear, research-supported strategies for change, helping recovering people pleasers, rediscover not only their power and agency, but their pleasure, joy, and sense of wonder. She currently resides in Seattle, WA.

Learn more about Hailey at 

Follow on Instagram @haileypaigemagee

Follow on Facebook @haileypaigemagee

Order Hailey’s book: Stop People Pleasing: And Find Your Power

Check out her on-demand workshops:

Want to read the full transcript of this podcast episode? Scroll down on this page.


Are you looking for the best sobriety podcast for women? The Hello Someday Podcast was created specifically for sober curious women and gray area drinkers ready to stop drinking, drink less and change their relationship with alcohol.

Host Casey McGuire Davidson, a certified life and sobriety coach and creator of The 30-Day Guide to Quitting Drinking and The Sobriety Starter Kit Sober Coaching Course, brings together her experience of quitting drinking while navigating work and motherhood, along with the voices of experts in personal development, self-care, addiction and recovery and self-improvement. 

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A Top 100 Mental Health Podcast, ranked in the top 0.5% of podcasts globally with over 1 million downloads, The Hello Someday Podcast is the best sobriety podcast for women.

In each episode, Casey will share the tried and true secrets of how to drink less and live more.

Learn how to let go of alcohol as a coping mechanism, how to shift your mindset about sobriety and change your drinking habits, how to create healthy routines to cope with anxiety, people pleasing and perfectionism, the importance of self-care in early sobriety, and why you don’t need to be an alcoholic to live an alcohol-free life. 

Be sure to grab the Free 30-Day Guide To Quitting Drinking right here.

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How To Stop People-Pleasing In Sobriety with Hailey Magee



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SPEAKERS: Casey McGuire Davidson + Hailey Magee


Welcome to the Hello Someday Podcast, the podcast for busy women who are ready to drink less and live more. I’m Casey McGuire Davidson, ex-red wine girl turned life coach helping women create lives they love without alcohol. But it wasn’t that long ago that I was anxious, overwhelmed, and drinking a bottle of wine and night to unwind. I thought that wine was the glue, holding my life together, helping me cope with my kids, my stressful job and my busy life. I didn’t realize that my love affair with drinking was making me more anxious and less able to manage my responsibilities.

In this podcast, my goal is to teach you the tried and true secrets of creating and living a life you don’t want to escape from.

Each week, I’ll bring you tools, lessons and conversations to help you drink less and live more. I’ll teach you how to navigate our drinking obsessed culture without a buzz, how to sit with your emotions when you’re lonely or angry, frustrated or overwhelmed, how to self soothe without a drink, and how to turn the decision to stop drinking from your worst case scenario to the best decision of your life.

I am so glad you’re here. Now let’s get started.


Hi there. Today we are talking about


how you can stop people pleasing and find your power.


And my guest is Hailey Magee. She is one of my favorite people to talk to we actually met five years ago at a sobriety coffee of people in Seattle. She’s been on the podcast twice before.


Once on Codependency Recovery And People Pleasing In Sobriety that was my 5th episode.


And also, in Episode 106 – On How To Overcome Your Past Identity As A Drinker.


She also was kind enough to create a whole workshop for my Sobriety Starter Kit Course on Empowered Boundaries For Recovering People Pleasers.


So, I’m going to read her bio, but Hailey is awesome!


And I am so excited that she wrote this book, so that you all can learn from her as well.


Hailey is a Certified Coach who helps people around the world break the people pleasing pattern and master the art of Self Advocacy.


Her debut book, Stop People Pleasing And Find Your Power was just released everywhere books are sold.


She’s written for Newsweek and the Gottman Institute and has facilitated corporate workshops in partnership with We Work Women in Music and other companies. She’s dedicated to offering clear research supported strategies for change, helping recovery people pleasers rediscover not only their power and agency, but their pleasure, joy, and sense of wonder. And Hailey, I love talking to you.


Hailey Magee  03:03

I’m so excited to be here. Casey. It’s wild to think all the way back to Episode 5, up until now.

Casey McGuire Davidson  03:09

I know. Exactly.


And the reason I had you on Episode 5 was because I personally identify as a recovering people pleaser. Actually, I described myself as that. But it is something that so many women in sobriety need to deal with in order to take better care of themselves and set boundaries so that they’re not giving everything they have and then their only reward is a bottle of wine at night.


Hailey Magee  03:39

100% I think it’s so easy to just fall into that zone. And I was there, too. I just hit 5 years, about 15 days ago or so. And I remember those early days of sobriety. Feeling like I had to learn boundaries, because if I wouldn’t, I’d be drinking again, you know, so it was pivotal to my recovery.


Casey McGuire Davidson  03:57

Yeah, and I loved your intro to this book. You all have to read it but just describing both the Greenpeace person on the sidewalk talking to you and a really bad date that you went on, but will you tell us briefly your history of people pleasing what got you into this work?


Hailey Magee  04:15

Yeah, totally.


I mean, I say in the book that for so long, people pleasing was like the air I breathe, that I was not even aware I was a people pleaser because it was so fundamental to who I was.


Like, anytime someone asked, literally anything of me, like a canvasser on the street, or a guy on a date or a family member or a partner. My immediate response was just to shape shift and say yes and become what they needed me to be at all.


Casey McGuire Davidson  04:45

And so, why do you think you started doing that? I know your book goes into all the different models and ways but for you, personally, what kind of pushed you down that path?


Hailey Magee  04:57

Yeah, yeah, I mean, people pleasing can have so many origin. And for me personally, I think a lot of it had to do with dynamics in my family, and in my social life.


So, in my, you know, family of origin, in many ways, I was like a parent to 5 child. So, eldest daughter, right, classic. So, in many ways, it was on me to support one or both of my parents and kind of be a stand in spouse when they would have arguments or disagreements. So, through that, I learned like, Ah, my value comes from being emotionally supportive to others, and just putting my needs to the side.


And then, also, I was super bullied in high school. And I don’t talk about this a lot in the book, but those types of dynamics can totally create the people pleasing pattern within us, because we learn to be social chameleons, and do whatever it takes to fit in.


Casey McGuire Davidson  05:43

Yeah, that makes so much sense to me. I mean, I, when you were saying like, sort of scanning the room and, and seeing what people needed from you and shape shifting, I get that a ton.


But it was a lot because we moved so often. So, we move, you know, when I was 7 years old to Paraguay and South America. And then, when I was 9 years old, to Zambia in Southern Africa. And my parents were very, very busy. Very absent, because of work. And so, I immediately needed to make friends so that I wouldn’t be on my own or ostracized. So everywhere I went, I, kind of, scanned how people were reacting and who I wanted to be friends with, and tried to fit in with whoever was available.


Hailey Magee  06:33

Hopefully, and in that way, it’s wild, right, because in those moments, at least people pleasing was somewhat adaptive, it’s like, and who doesn’t want social belonging, like it’s something we need as humans.


And no matter what the origin is, I talk about this so much in the book.


People pleasing is one of the biggest misnomers of the 21st century, because it’s ultimately not really about pleasing people, it’s about securing safety in some way. And that could be like social safety, like I want to fit in and make friends. Because I’m new here. It could be physical safety and more serious cases, when there’s violence going on. It could even be like emotional safety, like, I’ll please you to know that I matter and that I’m valued.


And so, for so many of us, like, we developed a pattern with really good reasons. And it probably really worked for us and kept us safe for a while. But usually, we reach a point where we realize like, Ah, this is no longer serving me. And it’s actually, probably, really messing with me in a lot of ways.


Casey McGuire Davidson  07:27

Yeah, and it’s like, so many of those things we internalize. You know, with our inner critic, or how we act like when you’re a child, you have very, very little power. You’re in your environment. You’re in your school, you can’t really escape. So, those are often you know, like you said, it’s adaptive, right?


You are doing what you need to do, because you can’t sometimes leave a situation. But then, you become an adult, and you somehow don’t leave those behaviors behind.


Hailey Magee  08:01

Exactly. And when you become an adult, you have to rewrite your relationship to what power means. Because yeah, in the past, maybe your power was shaped shifting and getting people to like you, but now you have more. For many of us, at least we have more resources, we have more flexibility and freedom to leave unhealthy environments and like freedom to use our voice, you know? Yeah.


Casey McGuire Davidson  08:22

Yeah. And of course, not everyone does, right. It’s not that simple. If you’re married, and you have kids, and you’re financially dependent, or whatever it is, but you, in the book, which I totally want to talk about, talked about the difference between people pleasing and kindness. And that’s really interesting, because someone listening to this would be like, Well, why is it bad to please other people that isn’t inherently a negative. I love my children, I love my spouse, I want to. My boss is paying me. I want to do what they need me to do. Right? So, can you go into you, right?


People pleasing is the act of chronically prioritizing other’s needs, wants, and feelings at the expense of our own needs, wants and feelings. So, tell me about how you figure out where that line is?


Hailey Magee  09:18

Yeah. 100%. And I think the key soundbite in that definition is at the expense of because when we’re being kind to others, that often doesn’t have to involve neglecting ourselves in the process.


People pleasing does. And ultimately, the way I break the two down, because it can be murky, right? It’s being nice to my friend, people pleasing or like that just something we should all do. And ultimately, the biggest difference is that people pleasing is based in fear. Right? It’s about seeking safety. And so oftentimes when we people please, if you look at the motivation beneath it, it’s because either we’re afraid. I’m afraid of what will happen if I don’t. It’s loss aversion. I’m doing this because I don’t want to lose you. And it’s often transactional to like, I’m doing this so that I will get something in return from you. And that something might be safety, it might be affection, it might be security. But all of those reasons sort of indicate that we’re not intrinsically motivated to do the thing we’re doing. We’re doing it for some other outcome. And we’re doing it because we’re afraid.


When we’re operating out of kindness, it’s intrinsically motivated, like we’re doing it because we want to do it. And it’s really that simple. And it’s driven by desire. It’s driven by goodwill. I want to improve this person’s quality of life. And one of the most notable ways you can tell is, after you’ve done something out of kindness, you feel good, and you feel like your outsides matched your insides.


But when you do something out of people pleasing, you often feel this dissonance where outside you seemed really giving and generous. But inside, you often feel resentful, and fatigued and burnt out. So, that’s one of the best ways of discerning which is which.


Casey McGuire Davidson  11:00

So, it’s paying attention to those emotions like resentment, is it what are the emotions that you’re like? Okay, ding, ding, ding, this is where a boundary needs to be put down, or this is where I’m giving more than I want to.


Hailey Magee  11:16

Yeah, that’s such a good place to start. Because I, often, when I’m working with clients, this is where we begin. It’s like, what are those feelings, signposts that are like flashing lights that say, oh, I need a boundary here. Or at least I have an unmet need here that requires my attention. So, resentments like the heavy hitter, that’s always the first one. I say. But it could also look like anger, just pretty obvious, hurt, overwhelm, or the feeling that we’re being taken advantage of in some way. Any one of those feelings can signal for us that like, Oh, I’ve got an unmet need here that requires my attention.


Casey McGuire Davidson  11:51

Yeah. And, you know, I know we’ve talked about before that boundaries are really your best friend in sobriety, because so many women drink, because they’re doing all the things. They’re spent, they are running around, they’re not actually taking very good care of themselves. And so, maybe, at the end of the day, they just, I mean, I described myself as like coming home, wanting to shift really fast from like, fifth gear to first gear, because I was like, I have two hours to check out. And I would basically knock myself unconscious, with a bottle of wine over my head, like, looking back, that’s what I was doing, which is a crazy way to navigate life.


Hailey Magee  12:36

Oh, man, I relate so hard to that. I have so many distinct memories of just like, even when I was first building my Coaching business. Frankly, in the very beginning, like I would, it’s so stressful to start a business and I would work myself to the bone. And then I just remember at the end of the day, sitting at my laptop, feeling like my whole body was buzzing, because my nervous system was totally, like, hyper activated. And I was like, I got to get out of here. And in the short term drinking, Yeah, same knocked me out, made me calm down. But in the long term, it just never actually gave me the calm I needed.


Casey McGuire Davidson  13:09

So, were you drinking when you started your Coaching business?


Hailey Magee  13:14

For the first couple of months? I was, yeah, like I was sort of grappling.


Casey McGuire Davidson  13:18

You ended?


Hailey Magee  13:18

Yeah. Like, I remember when I got my certification for Coaching, you know, in Coaching Training, you have sort of mock Coaching sessions with your classmates. And one of the things I often would focus on is like, I really got to leave this drinking thing behind, and that there were a couple of false starts, you know what I mean, I had started and stopped a couple times. But once it became really clear to me that I just kept breaking promises to myself over and over again and eroding my own self trust. I was like, this has got to stop.


Casey McGuire Davidson  13:47

Yeah, I mean, I don’t think anyone listening to this hasn’t had false starts. I mean, I know I did, like a million times, and that back and forth is so normal. And one way I think to identify where you need a boundary to is your trigger. I want to drink, to not think about or to tolerate or to deal with ex, whether it’s your job, or your mother or social situation, or whatever it is the day.


Hailey Magee  14:20

Yes, I think that’s completely right. And ultimately, like, I think that goes into also identifying the need, like, because when I think back to those moments when I would drink to numb out usually what I needed if I really think about it was like I need like proper rest, or I need affection or respect in this relationship that’s bugging me, or I need time alone. And drinking doesn’t meet those needs at all. It just distracts from the fact that we’re so upset that they’re not met. Right. So, and that’s the way like boundaries are how we sort of allow ourselves to meet those needs without putting in the middleman of booze. You know? Yeah.


Casey McGuire Davidson  14:57

But when you talk about safety, And I actually wanted to ask you about this because I’ve heard two theories on this. And maybe they’re intertwined. One is that people pleasing is actually a way to control others the way they feel about you or micromanage them. And then, you’re writing about people pleasing as a means of securing safety. Are those intertwined? Are they different?


Hailey Magee  15:26

I think they’re exactly the same. I think the innermost motivation, like if you could strip away all the layers, it would be God, I just want to feel safe right now. But the way it manifests in our relationships with others is often you know, I’m going to shape shift, I’m going to manipulate your perception of me so that I can feel safe or feel affection. And this is one of the hardest nuances. I think, for folks early in the people pleasing recovery journey to grapple with is that, Yes, people pleasing is how we were taught to stay safe. And especially in our healthy relationships. People pleasing manifests as dishonesty, and shape shifting and not speaking up about what’s true for us, which can be experienced by others as everything from manipulative to controlling to hurtful. And that’s like, it’s a tough thing to hold all of that at once.


Casey McGuire Davidson  16:21

Yeah. And it’s hard to untangle, right? Because, you know, setting up boundaries, carving out time for yourself, doing less. Even those internal boundaries are what you need to do both in early sobriety and to get away from people pleasing. And yet the anxiety, it causes the amount of uncertainty and uncomfortableness you feel when you do that. That’s real. It’s almost easier to people please sometimes than to set a boundary and like sit there and worry about how people are going to react.


Hailey Magee  17:00

Oh, my God. Yeah.


Right. It is. Because it’s, we’ve been doing it our whole lives. So, it’s almost effortless. It’s like our language, our native language. So, people like us, right?


Yeah. And I think that’s the hardest part about this work, I would say, you know, there’s so much attention paid to like, what are the logistics of you know, start to finish? How do I set a boundary. And what I feel is often absent from those conversations, which a whole part three of my book is about. This is how to self-soothe through the difficult emotions that arise when we do this work. Because like, they will arise. And if we try to find a pain free or discomfort free path through boundary setting, we will never set boundaries, because it will never be perfectly comfortable at first.


Casey McGuire Davidson  17:44

So, we need like a toolbox that, you know, yeah, I know, when I’m working with clients, and we sort of, you know, there’s something coming up that they either feel like they’ll drink at or will want to drink over or just need to say no to reduce overwhelm, and stress. I’m like, Okay, we set the boundary, they set the boundary, but we talk about it. And then I’m like, the work is to sit with being uncomfortable about it. Like, it’s almost like stop talking now. And just wait, that’s the hardest thing.


Hailey Magee  18:18

I’m curious, like with your client, because I’ve got some things I think about with my clients, but when they’re sitting in that discomfort, what did they do? Like, how do they hold those moments?


Casey McGuire Davidson  18:29

Usually, they’re texting me. You know, I’m like, it’s going to be okay. And you know, it’s everything from like, she didn’t answer my text for 6 hours. Or, you know, they, they went quiet and didn’t say yes or no. They feel like they’re walking around on eggshells, and usually it’s just, you know, virtually emotionally holding someone’s hand and telling them it’s going to be okay and if it’s not, you thought you taught me this all you can do is set the boundary then it’s up to them whether or not they respect it, but that gives you information as well right? I mean, you literally taught me that.


Hailey Magee  19:12

Totally right. I mean, it’s all an exercise in identifying what’s in your control and working within that sphere and being able to somehow surrender that other’s reactions and all of that. It’s just not something we can hold. It’s actually kind of liberating when you let some of that go. But I think, when I think about that discomfort, God and flashing back to just so many memories of this, like setting a Dallas Psalm tell us oh my god, for me, I think the worst ones. I mean, this is still hard for me to be like I’m not fully healed, and I don’t think I ever will be but for me.


And I mentioned this in the book, in the introduction, like telling men I’d been on dates with, for example, that I was no longer interested in a second date. Something as simple as that was excruciating for me. I would literally have to invite my friends over to sit on my couch with me while I crafted this text message and have them all read it and get their approval. And then, I remember I would hit send on my phone, and I would just race my whole body and squeeze my friend’s hands. And it sounds ridiculous saying it out loud. But I felt like these, like other people were so entitled to me in my time, that sending a text like that felt evil. It was awful.


Casey McGuire Davidson  20:26

You know, if you do talk about one of those examples in the intro to the book, and I would think that some other people, this probably would have been me, would have actually avoided going on dates so that I wouldn’t have to ditch someone if they weren’t a good fit yet.


Hailey Magee  20:43

Yes. I mean, yeah, it’s like, if I have to avoid this whole thing, just to avoid those moments, I will, you know, yeah. And yeah, for me, it’s something I’ve learned that I consistently find seems to be the most impactful exercise for my clients, when they’re all stressing about a boundary is playing out the mental movie of okay, well, what if you decided to never set this boundary, you succumb to the fear, you never set it. And imagine what your life looks like, you know, 6 months from now or one year from now. And by playing out that mental movie, what you give yourself the gift of is not just being worried about the short term pain of that uncomfortable conversation. But instead, you think about the long term pains of not changing. And those pains are usually substantial.


Casey McGuire Davidson  21:32

Yeah, I mean, that’s, that’s what is so true that in order to change, it’s the idea that staying the same is more painful than doing something uncomfortable. Exactly.


Hailey Magee  21:46

And it’s so easy to forget that in the moment when all you can think about is how, you know, stress you feel right now, but it pays dividends for our long, long term selves.


Casey McGuire Davidson  21:57

Yeah, absolutely. Some of the descriptions in your book, I showed you my book when we were starting to Jack because I am like the underline or circular, you know, dog ear pages. But this one in particular, I was like, Oh, this is me. You talk about Sophie and how she learned that being permanently cheerful was a way to get attention from her distant parents. So, she was the bubbly one, the agreeable one. And that resonated with me so much, because in my family, you talked about being the oldest child. I was the younger child. But my sister was much more hard on my parents. And my parents were working a lot. They were out a lot of evenings. We basically were in other countries. And our housekeepers were our primary caregivers. So, I always tried to like, be extra nice to my parents to soothe basically my sister being a bitch to them, because I didn’t want them to be upset. And this cracks me up, my parents would go play tennis, when I was 6 and 7 years old. And they would leave to go play tennis on the weekends. And I would literally wait till they left, bring up, clean the entire house, and they go hide in their bedroom. So, they would like went off and be like, who did this? I mean, mind you, we had a fucking housekeeper who lived with us. Like, it’s so best. I mean, it’s that like the perfect example of like, let me get your shit at 7 years old.


Hailey Magee  23:36

Oh my God, I am smiling so big right now, because I did the same exact thing. Casey, literally, swear to God. Yep. I had for me. I think it was maybe the dynamics were slightly different. But um, you know, I think, you know, one of my caregivers really, really grappled with like depression. And so, I very much internalized at like, I have to be the bubbly sunny one. And I swear to God, when they would go take a nap. I would go into hyper clean mode, and I would clean the whole downstairs and I would wait with that expectant little smile when they woke up and came down because I wanted to it was exactly that same thing. Like how can I single handedly shift the emotional tone of this family and I think so many of us who are people pleasers, we’re probably all cleaning kitchens. Not knowing my god.


Casey McGuire Davidson  24:19

Right. And you. I think he posted this on Instagram, and everyone should follow Hailey on Instagram because she has the best account. What’s the name of your Instagram @haileypaigemagee or?


Hailey Magee  24:32

Yep, my full name. Hailey Paige Magee. That’s right. Okay.


Casey McGuire Davidson  24:35

You had one post where you said, people pleasers usually started as parent pleasers. And I was just like, Oh, yeah.


Hailey Magee  24:45

Riots. I mean, and it’s wild. I think understanding those origins. I think for anyone listening who’s like, where do I start? Like I’m a people pleaser, this is so overwhelming. Like, I really do think that understanding the origins of where this comes from is so important. And because it really helps you have self-compassion when the pattern is so hard to break. Like, if that’s literally where you learn that you would be loved and safe and seen. No wonder, you know?


Casey McGuire Davidson  25:13

Well, so where do people start? If they’re sort of listening to this? And they’re like, Yes, I am very attuned to the emotional tone of other people. I am constantly scanning the room trying to figure out how I can make people like me or approve of me or whatever it is, what’s the first step?


Hailey Magee  25:35

Yeah, completely. So, I think, often the cultural narrative usually goes right into boundaries, right, where like people pleasers need boundaries, which like is not untrue. But I actually think that before we get there, we need to remember that, like, we can’t advocate for our needs, if we don’t know what our needs are. And we can’t speak our truth if we don’t know what it is that we feel. And frankly, most people pleasers are like fundamentally disconnected from those basic aspects of self, like our feelings, our needs, our desires. And so, the first step is really in, I often just think of it as like, coming home to the self, which involves like, sort of building this regular practice of like we talked about earlier, like identifying when you’re feeling uncomfortable, and asking, like, what is that feeling? What do I need in this moment? It sounds so simple, almost as to be cliche, but it’s cliche for a reason. Because only then can we like, establish enough of a self to then go out and advocate for in our relationships with other people.


Casey McGuire Davidson  26:38

Yeah, absolutely. And one of the, the sort of, clients you write about in the book is Kaylee. And your story of working with her reminded me of some of my work with my clients, not all of them, but some of them, where you ask about them. And they start talking about their spouse, their boss, their children, what everyone else is, is going through, rather than focusing on themselves. Can you tell us about, sort of, how that happens? And why?


Hailey Magee  27:15

Oh my god, yeah, completely. And this is so common, I think, and I’ve done it, too. It’s like, it’s exactly like we described. So many of us in childhood or in other difficult adult situations, learn to be hyper vigilant to those around us, right. We just, like you said, monitoring the room, scanning people’s faces for how they feel. And that was kind of our pathway to safety. And so, now as adults, we don’t even, this is so ingrained, often, we don’t even realize we’re doing it in real time. But when it’s time to talk about what’s going on in your life, we immediately focus on, Well, my husband is this and my friend is this, my parents just like, my client Kaley did in the book. And in those moments, the invitation is to actually pause and be like, okay, and you know, what, what do you feel right now? What is it that you think you might need?


And I swear to you, when I asked my clients this, when they’re in a similar pattern, it’s incredibly normal for them to pause, and kind of stop talking. And take like a solid minute or more to actually be able to identify like, what the heck do I feel a need right now? It’s really hard. And I want to normalize that because I think people struggle with that, and then feel shame. But it makes so much sense if you’ve developed another orientation.


Casey McGuire Davidson  28:29

Yeah, and you said that a lot of people feel like it’s selfish, if other people are, you know, quote, unquote, suffering more than they are.


Hailey Magee  28:41

Totally right. And this is where it’s almost like our empathy can kind of be a challenge because it’s good to empathize with people. I really appreciate nuance in this work. Like, we have to empathize. Of course, we should have compassion and care. And God, if my partner is like having a major health issue, or my friend is having a horrible day, like, of course, I want to extend myself for them. But once empathy then results in self abandonment or self-neglect, right, you shouldn’t be leaving yourself behind in your empathy. Yeah, so we have to come home to ourselves even then.


Casey McGuire Davidson  29:15

Yeah, I hate the word selfish. And I always try to replace it with self-care. Like you’re caring for yourself. You’re not being selfish. By doing XYZ. The other one I hate is guilty pleasure. I’m wrong. Why can’t we just call it pleasure? can it just be pleasure?


Hailey Magee  29:35

Right, guilt-free pleasure? Well, it’s an honestly, it’s 100%. And if you can’t shake the people pleasing part of you, it’s, I mentioned this in the book,


Research shows that people who practice healthy selfishness, which is basically the simple act of tending to one’s own needs, and little pleasures along the way, on the whole those people actually report having more are happy and satisfying relationships with other people. So, research shows that investing in yourself in these small ways, literally benefits other people and your relationships with them.


Casey McGuire Davidson  30:11

Yeah. And if you can’t take care of yourself, that’s when you’re doing everything for everyone else, but you’re resentful about it. Right? I remember. At some point, I was like, banging around the kitchen. And I was, you know, nobody was helping me, and I was being all whatever, total murder. And my husband said to me, babe, are you doing this for us? Because if you are, you can just stop because nobody wants to be around a martyr.


Hailey Magee  30:41

And I was like, damn, oh my God.


Casey McGuire Davidson  30:45

And of course, I was like, screw you. Fine, I’m going to go sit down, but like, I was happier. Right?


Hailey Magee  30:51

God, I think it’s really cool to, like, flip the script in those moments. Like in healthy relationships. With people who have our best interests at heart. The majority of the time, people don’t want us to be running ourselves into the ground for their benefit. Like, if they truly knew that we were doing these actions, feeling resentful, feeling angry at them, feeling burdened, and overwhelmed, they would probably have the same reaction of your husband, like, please don’t put me in this power dynamic I never asked for.


Casey McGuire Davidson  31:17

You’re making me miserable. That’s right.

Casey McGuire Davidson 

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Hailey Magee  31:21

And I feel your resentment radiating off you like a flame. You know, I’ve totally been that person too. And that can help to remember when you flip the script, it’s like God, well, I wouldn’t want someone to be acting like that, for my sake.


Casey McGuire Davidson  31:33

Yeah, yeah. So, you said, if it’s a healthy relationship, they wouldn’t like it. Tell me about sort of the dynamics of an unhealthy relationship, how you identify what that is?


Hailey Magee  31:47

Yeah, these categories are so broad. But if I had to sort of pick out some general guidelines, you know.


In a healthy relationship, it’s like I said, like people who generally show you through their actions, that they have your best interests at heart, the majority of the time, and like, none of us are perfect, and we all make mistakes, but there’s that sort of basic layer of care.


Whereas, in an unhealthy or a toxic relationship, there’s normally like, very little reciprocity, at the extensive ends, obviously, there could be like violence or aggression. But then also, it’s like, you often exist to serve the other person in some way, in a way that is negative in a way you didn’t really ever agree to or want. And so, in those relationships, it’s difficult because there are partners and friends and people out there in the world who will love it, if you’re a people pleaser with them. Right? They will love an imbalanced dynamic, where they get to receive your over giving and give back very little in return. And so, it’s hard, right? Because we have to be mindful of those dynamics where yeah, there are people who will want you to people please, and they will not be your people. And we should avoid them, if we can, you know. Or at least, at the very least, set boundaries with them to protect our own needs in the process.


Casey McGuire Davidson  33:03

Sometimes, it’s not even that they don’t care about your needs, but they’re not going to set the boundary for you, because it makes their life easier. Like, I had to learn that my boss was never going to set that boundary for me, which would have been more comfortable for me, right? I want to be like, Oh, I’m sending emails at 9pm, she should figure out that I’m working too hard. And tell me not to work after 6pm. Okay, that wasn’t going to happen, because she’s thrilled that I’m working till 9pm. So, you know, you almost have to do that, yourself. And in relationships, you’re almost, if you’re setting boundaries, or standing up for yourself or not over giving, you’re changing the established dynamic, right, you’re changing the rules completely.


Hailey Magee  33:53

And that can be really, really jarring. And some, you know, some relationships survive that beautifully, you know, they managed to navigate a new way after some transitional period, and some relationships only can be sustained due to our self-abandonment. The  only reason they’ve gotten this far is because we’ve neglected ourselves and not set boundaries along the way and painfully, like those are the relationships that will disintegrate when we start standing up for ourselves more, you know.


Casey McGuire Davidson  34:21

Yeah. So, how would you think about broaching that conversation about you know, save and people pleasing in a marriage for a very long time, meaning, doing everything for your spouse, or taking on 80% of the workload in the household, even though you have a full time child, whatever it is, and now, you know, you’re stopping drinking you realize this as a trigger, you realize that you need to carve out more time for yourself for self-care, because you’re no longer you need to not be spent at the end of the day. How do you approach it? That conversation of sort of, hey, I’ve been doing all the drop offs and pickups and staying home from work, when the kids are sick that that needs to change.


Hailey Magee  35:10

Yeah, I know, these conversations can feel so scary. And a trick that I think is really beneficial, especially when we’re setting a boundary that makes a change to like a long standing pattern in a relationship, just like this is going into it, you know, making the case for why this boundary is actually beneficial to the relationship with the person you’re saying it to. So, if it’s my spouse, and I’ve been overworking and doing all these pickup drop offs, and I need more time to myself in sobriety, like it might just say, like, you know, Hey, babe, like, I’ve been noticing, I’m feeling a little overwhelmed and resentful. And I really want to feel close and connected with you. And in order to do that, what I’m going to need is a little more reciprocity in these areas. I think it can be really helpful to emphasize the mutual benefit of your boundary when you’re setting it with someone close to you. And that’s not just like lip service, there really is mutual benefit. Because if you have that alone time, your spouse will probably be someone you wish to connect with more and feel more goodwill towards. So, it benefits them even if it’s uncomfortable.


Casey McGuire Davidson  36:18

Yeah, yeah. No, that that makes a lot of sense. And I was telling you, before we hit record that I’m really excited, because I just asked the author of the book fair play, to come on my show. And she said, Yes. And I’m thrilled because she wrote this whole book about how to renegotiate the balance of who does domestic work in your relationship with your with your spouse? And it’s just such a common issue and a common need in married couples, even when they both work full time? Hmm,


Hailey Magee  36:57

God, it’s so pervasive, right? And it’s hard because it’s easy to imagine how those conversations could be or become really adversarial, like me versus you, which makes sense if you feel resentment, and you’ve been doing more than your fair share. But I also think that yeah, sort of seeing it more as a team, like, what relationship? Are we trying to preserve the health of long term? And what means allow us to do that, you know.


Casey McGuire Davidson  37:22

Yeah. And also, sometimes it’s not that everything needs to go on your spouse, like I took a lot of the money that I saved, not drinking, to like, join a gym with childcare and to hire babysitters, and to get a house cleaner. Like I say, 550 bucks my first month, not drinking, like that’ll pay for a lot of that stuff.


Hailey Magee  37:46

I love that. It’s such a good move to calculate how much you’re saving. It’s like, Oh, it’s my favorite.


Casey McGuire Davidson  37:50

My money saving app is like my favorite.


Hailey Magee  37:54

I can only imagine. Do you have a calculating? Like even now? Okay, yes.


Casey McGuire Davidson  37:59

And do you know, I was on Good Morning America, which is insane. Anyway, and it was because CNBC sent me this request about money saving during Dry January, and I answered all their questions for the interviewer. And then at the end, they were like, can you save your own money? And I was like, oh, yeah, I saved $48,000 Not drinking in 8 years. And I took a screenshot of my like sobriety counter that calculated, dollars saved. And they put, you know, they were like, this woman saved $48,000. And then Good Morning America contacted me the next day, being like, can you come on the show to talk about it? But yeah, I probably saved $50,000 right now.


Hailey Magee  38:42

That is surreal.


Casey McGuire Davidson  38:45

My husband will tell you. I’ve spent it all on your athletic Brewing Company beer and like, whatever. And I’m like, Yeah, but not I’m poisoning myself. So, I’ll take it.


Hailey Magee  38:57

Yes, exactly. That’s amazing.


Casey McGuire Davidson  39:02

I’m just saying, use some of the money you haven’t spent drinking on, making your life easier.


Hailey Magee  39:07

Oh, my God. Right. And I think I’m curious if you’ve experienced this with yourself or your clients in a similar vein to people pleasing. How sometimes being kind to ourselves, or even taking care of these basic self-care needs can actually sometimes create just as much discomfort inside as like setting a boundary with someone else because it’s so freaking foreign. Right? Yeah.


Casey McGuire Davidson  39:30

Yeah. Okay. So, you, in your book under discovering our needs, talk about how we discount our needs or why we’re uncomfortable. Say, even if you have the money to do something or make like just for yourself, why do we feel selfish or feel like we shouldn’t take care of our needs?


Hailey Magee  39:54

Hmm. There can be a couple of different reasons. You know, first of all, All, if your needs are just straight up, never given the time of day by your caregivers, obviously, you’re going to internalize the idea that your needs just don’t matter.


Second of all, if you were in the presence of someone who really grappled with mental health issues or addiction in the family or other difficult dynamics, you may have learned that your needs kind of mattered, but the other person’s needs mattered way more.


So, self-suppressing them was kind of just part of the way. And honestly, over time, I think many of us just become so disconnected from our needs due to these patterns that we just reached a point where we’re like, either I don’t have any or other people have it worse than me, so I shouldn’t complain. Or I should be stronger than this, because I’ve been through so much in my life. So why do I need? You know, I don’t know, affection or whatever it is.


Yeah. I tell this ridiculous story in the book. Oh, yeah. Hell, no. It’s I can’t believe I put this in there because it’s still something I’m embarrassed about. But it’s in about the silverware because I sat down. It’s a discussion point.


Casey McGuire Davidson  40:56

Okay. That is weird. Although, I might have stolen some of the silverware from my college dorm room to take for my first apartment. Like, I’m embarrassed to say I’m really not stealing stuff normally. But I think I did take a step but silverware story.


Hailey Magee  41:18

Oh, my God, I love we’re just opening the box of secrets today.


Casey McGuire Davidson  41:21

College is going to come for me. I will pay them there. I’ve donated over the years.


Hailey Magee  41:27

I made up for it for those three forks, I still, but yeah, in the book, I tell this like just like, you know, hilarious story, basically. Which is true. Which is that for me, like there’s different categories of needs, right. And for me, I think my material needs like physical objects that I could buy from the store was always something that I really struggled to prioritize. And I’m not talking about, like, fancy decorum, or like paintings from I’m literally talking about, like, for the longest time I had two forks, because I live alone in this like, small comfortable apartment. And I rarely had more than one person over at a time. Because like, oh, all I need is 2 and my friends would come over, multiple friends at once, which often happens and they would just rip me man like they’d be like, Hailey, what is wrong with you?


Casey McGuire Davidson  42:18

Like you, you can literally afford more silverware like wrote down that you invite. You invited your friends to bring their own silverware to ya.


Hailey Magee  42:26

Can you bring some? Yeah, could you bring some spoons or some forks? It’s crazy, right? It’s, it’s wild. And I still remember that. When I was working on breaking this pattern and trying to prioritize myself more. I was like, alright, baseline, I’m going to just start with some silverware. Like there’s other things that I dream of buying, but I don’t want to tax my nervous system that bad. So, let’s start with the silverware. And it was something like a, you know, 16, 18-piece set was nothing fancy. Pretty sure it was like 20 bucks on Amazon, right? But the feeling of abundance that I felt when it arrived, and I like unpackaged it. I was like, oh my god, like why am I not doing this more? But it ran that deep, like, foreign? I, I have so many forests right now. Can you see it? Since then, I have just lived so abundantly. You should see my salary.


Casey McGuire Davidson  43:14

You deserve it.


Hailey Magee  43:19

And it’s funny. But I think the reason I included that extremely vulnerable story in the book is because I know from working with clients that there are so many things that to the average person would seem so effortless to prioritize. But these patterns can run so deep and even something like buying silverware. For someone like me, it was like a radical act of self-prioritization. It felt radical. And I celebrated it after. And I think we should celebrate those small victories because that’s how we paved the way to bigger stuff, you know? Yeah. Yeah.


Casey McGuire Davidson  43:50

And I think that what I hear from a lot of clients, and this is not something I personally struggled with, because I am a huge fan of leaving my children to go on vacations and stuff. But if you work full time, or if your child has special needs, or whatever it is, if your spouse travels a lot, and you’re the stay at home primary parent, they feel very, very guilty, getting help hiring babysitters, putting kids in kids club, because, you know, with working parents, they already their kids already go to daycare for you know, 30, 40 hours a week or if they’re the stay at home parent, maybe their spouse doesn’t think that they should pay money for someone else to take care of the children even for a short period of time because that is quote unquote, your job. Even though you’re doing your job 20, 477 days a week, you know, get breaks, right or what app or their child they’re like, no one, you know, no one can take care of my child the way I do, and yet you’re emotionally spent If you do need a break, and if you’re rushing from work to childcare, every single day without a break, you’re going to burn out. And if you’re staying home with your kids all day without any kind of a break, and, and you’re their main source of entertainment and socialization and feeding, I mean, you’re exhausted, right?


Hailey Magee  45:20

Oh my god. So I, I am not a parent yet. But oh my god, I can only imagine, right. Like, holy cow. And it’s kind of like that idea of like, making time to rest before your body makes you make time to rest. Because it’s in a sustained way, I imagine what parent under that type of schedule wouldn’t just completely burn out. And then subsequently, like not really be able to parent like, it’s kind of like that vicious cycle we talked about earlier.


Casey McGuire Davidson  45:47

Yeah. So, you wrote that we discount our needs, because we judge ourselves for having this need. We think we’re too strong to have this need. We use other struggles, others the struggles of other people to discount our need. And, or you had to more. We anticipate our needs will go unmet. Or we reject the need as being too much work. I mean, it feels like we could always find a reason to feel overwhelmed, feel resentful, feel burnt out even feel like we’re just not having any fun anymore. And yet, find some reason that we should not be able to do that.


Hailey Magee  46:35

I think that’s so true, there will always be something. And there might always be someone in the world who’s struggling more than you who you could theoretically prioritize, you know, no doubt. And in those moments, like, it’s hard, I think one of the most profound ways to just work with that is just think like, unless I make a change sometime soon, like my life will always unfold in this way. I remember having that it felt profound at the time, but I remember I was like, in these old cycles of over giving, and it just hit me, it was like, no, no hero is coming to save me from my over giving, like, no one’s going to fall out of the sky and be like, Hailey, it’s time to take charge and meet your needs like that will not come. And it’s really scary to take that leap of faith and be like, I kind of have to be my own hero here for a minute. Because if I don’t, I will spend literally the rest of my life doing exactly what I’m doing now. And it’s a harrowing thought, you know.


Casey McGuire Davidson  47:27


You’re allowed to be happy, like, not just productive, not just a caregiver.


In your book, you list you, you have a lot of lists, which I love.


The first one I circled was the list of basic needs, that all people share. And of course, their shelter, food, clean water. But other ones that you had on there that I think some people might not categorize as basic needs were relaxation, acceptance, support, love, respect, empathy, honesty, acknowledgement, you know, to matter, purpose, peace, balance, creativity, play, time to grieve and time to celebrate. For a lot of people, they wouldn’t think that, for example, balance, or relaxation, or, you know, some of these other support our basic needs they’re entitled to.


Hailey Magee  48:27

I know, it’s, I love that list for that reason. And I think the reason those items are on that list is because a need, I don’t know about you, but when I was in like second grade, they were like, here’s what animals need, you know, and it was like food, water, shelter, we’ve all heard that list. But the definition of a need is actually not just that which is required to survive. The definition of a need is that which is required for our physical or psychological well-being. And when I learned that it really like, took me by surprise, because that really expands the definition and expands what goes on that list. Because the truth is the absence of any one of those things you just said, like play or balance or time to grieve and celebrate, will result in being psychologically unwell, which signifies that your needs are not met. You know, yeah.


Casey McGuire Davidson  49:19

Survival versus well-being. I mean, that’s very, and a lot of us need to shift that mindset from one to the other.


I remember, I can’t tell you the number of women that I’ve had conversations with, and not just women who struggle with alcohol. I mean, I’m thinking of women who I’ve worked with in corporate jobs or my good friends, who, you know, in theory have done everything you know, on the path quote, unquote, right that you get approval for, like say, maybe they, you know, graduated college and got a job and got promoted, maybe they bought a house, and they have a husband or spouse of some sort, and they have kids, and they are not happy. And they can’t figure out why, of course, I’m like, You’re overwhelmed. You’re exhausted. Your boss’s a fucking nightmare. You know what I can tell them? Why. But they literally ask themselves, is this what adulthood is? And am I meant to just suck it up and grit my teeth and put my head down for another decade? You know, because I have responsibilities.


Hailey Magee  50:26

That’s brutal. And it sounds like a lot of these women. This is reflecting much of my experience, too, is like, if you were to look at their lives on paper, they might be checking all the boxes of what we’ve culturally been told, success looks like, right?


Casey McGuire Davidson  50:39

They look great, but internally, they’re unhappy. And they’re like, why am I unhappy? I have, you know, all my, all the people I meet would be like, Oh, my gosh, her life is so good.


Hailey Magee  50:53

Man, I went through something so much like this, just last year, I had just finished my book, which was a huge undertaking, and I was so burned out like, and I remember, I had never felt this burnt, like, actually burned out, like my sense of like, life is meaningful, and I am productive. Like it all just completely dissipated. And I was so run to the ground. And I challenged my burnout for so long, because I was like, Hailey, look at your life on paper.


You know, I was like, Yes, got this book deal. You have this many followers, you’re financially secure, like all, you know, you have a great partner. And yet, I was like hideously out of balance in my life. And you know, what was missing? Was those things you just read from the list of basic needs. It was Ray breasts, you know?


Yeah. So, I really, really deeply believe that those things are fundamental. I think we need them. You know.


Casey McGuire Davidson  51:45

Yeah, completely. And, you know, you like I said, You are meant to be happy. You are not meant to grit your teeth for a decade. That’s actually one of the reasons I named my business way back in the day before I was doing Sobriety Coaching. Hello, someday was like, the idea of those conversations with the women I worked with, where you No, no, you are not meant to grit your teeth for another decade. Like, that’s the idea of like, hello someday. I’ll be happy someday. I’ll travel someday. All work, less hard. Someday, I’ll quit my job, whatever it is.


Hailey Magee  52:21

It’s such a good reminder. And I love that title, because it brings it right here into the present like, Yep, so wild that we’ve internalized this idea, versus many of us have any way that adulthood should be majority suffering and just trying to get through?


Casey McGuire Davidson  52:36

Yeah. And of course, when you look at other people, you’re like, I have a house, I have a job, I have financial security, I live in a safe community. Right? If you do that comparison, then you do discount your needs and egg. You know, it’s like that idea of like, first world problems, right there is that there is that poll of like, what do you have to be unhappy about?


Hailey Magee  53:01

What which is, I can imagine why that would be so easy to get distracted. And that’s why a huge part, like what I write about in my book a lot, and just the feelings chapters, like, we need to listen to our bodies. You know, I don’t know about the women, you think of all the ones who are like, I have the job in the house and the husband, and I still feel like crap. But I think often our bodies are sending us signals all the time about what the true state of our being is, and we’re so quick to discount them. And yet, it’s wild because our bodies like if you look at emotion, how people experience emotion around the entire world, not just in any one culture, we all experience emotions, like similarly in the body. So like, you know, depression is experienced, like a full body shut down. Whereas anger is experienced as like shooting energy through the limbs. And this is literally our body sending us messages all the time. It’s a great first way to start if you’re trying to figure out what is it that I need? And what is it that I actually feel like listen in.


Casey McGuire Davidson  53:58

So, how do you tune in to your body?


Hailey Magee  54:02

Yeah, a great resource for this. Because I can speak a little bit to it. But Hilary McBride wrote this amazing book called, The Wisdom Of Your Body. So, if anyone listening is like, Ah, that was where I actually quoted her quite a bit in my book in the feelings chapter because so much of what she writes about is like, coming home to your body as a source of information. And just literally, it’s again, so many of these things sounds simple, and yet, they work.


Just taking a moment, which most of us never do in a day to sit for like, one minute and just notice bodily signals going on. So like, do I feel clenching in the chest? Is my heart beating quickly? tightness of breath or shortness of breath? Do I have a headache? Right? Is there pain in my temple? And simply from that we’re getting a signal that like something maybe it’s off or there’s something we need, and often our bodies, it’s a great tool for when we have all of these markings of a happy and successful life. Because I know that in some of those jobs where I was like, I’m so happy and successful at the end of the day, my heart was racing, my temple hurt, and I needed to go to bed.


Casey McGuire Davidson  55:05

So yeah, and that, that is something when you think about your body that it is hard to discount, you’re like, Yeah, first of, all problems, but everyone deserves to rest. If they’re tired, everyone deserves to, you know, move their body, if they’re feeling stuck, everyone deserves to eat if they’re hungry, right? Right.


Hailey Magee  55:24

It’s like we’re each having an internal experience that’s super valid, and often painful.


Casey McGuire Davidson  55:31

Yeah, that’s something that you know, in terms of, I always talk about self-care. And so, retreats. And when women are very overwhelmed, and their schedule is packed, I really recommend the one thing that I used to do when I was sort of in acute times, or whatever overwhelmed, sad anything, is I used to, you know, wake up in the morning and lay there for a minute and ask myself, what can I do to take care of myself today? And what that required me to do is to do like, a body scan, an emotion scan, and a schedule scan. So, take care of myself, am I tired? Am I lonely? Am I overwhelmed? Am I anxious? Like, okay, if I’m lonely, maybe I need to call a friend, if I’m tired, maybe I need to rest if I’m, you know, what, if I’m, you know, need more excitement or joy in my life, then maybe I need to plan you know, anything walk to Starbucks, people watch, do something, but, and then you do a scheduled scan. And it’s like putting that intention that I am going to do one small thing to take care of myself today, even if it’s a 20 Minute. And like that is enough, weirdly to get you back into some kind of a positive zone.


Hailey Magee  56:52

Hmm, I love that so much because of how practical it is. And just even if it’s 20 minutes, I think that’s huge. Because not only do you get the benefit of like the self-loving action, whatever it is, but then you also get the sense of self-respect and self-trust that comes from like, I can trust myself to hear my needs and act on them. And I think that’s the sort of hidden self-betrayal that many of us experience when we do get in the habit of neglecting our needs. It’s like my needs aren’t met. And alongside that is the emotional pain that comes from feeling like I can’t trust myself to act on what I need. And I felt that a lot when I was drinking. Like, that was like the biggest pain point for me. It was like, I want to trust me, you know. And I think a key aspect to in some of this stuff is we often will wait until we’re feeling inspired or good or happy to act. Act in positive ways, right? So, if I feel really bummed that I’m like murderer, I’m probably not going to do the good thing for myself. But often, it’s important to remember that we can act our way into a new way of feeling, instead of waiting to feel our way into a new way of acting, which I know is kind of like a brain bubble. It’s kind of confusing to make sense of, but it’s true. It’s like we can take actions to support the new feelings that we wish to feel, instead of just waiting around to feel good enough to act in a self-loving way. If that makes sense.


Casey McGuire Davidson  58:18

It does. It does. It’s almost like you’re waiting to feel better before you do something that will make you happy. Like, you know what I mean? Exactly.


Hailey Magee  58:29

Yeah, like feeling better often comes from our actions. Yeah.


Casey McGuire Davidson  58:33

Yeah. One thing that I’ve also heard that I loved your I had to laugh your big list of reasonable needs. And that cracked me up. But it was so perfect. Because so many people when their kids are told or even if they have an unsupportive partner or something, they’re too sensitive to needy too demanding too much. And you talked about how they start to doubt and suppress their needs. Because they’re, they’re told, right? You’re too sensitive. You’re just being too sensitive, right? If they’re not being respected or criticized or something.


Hailey Magee  59:21

Yeah, it’s this really weird vicious cycle that can happen. Because, you know, you think about childhood, maybe you had some emotionally distant or unavailable parents, right? Then you grow up, you date someone, maybe they’re emotionally unavailable and they tell you that these basic needs for like affection, or being told with words that you matter to them, and you’re important to them, or curiosity, Hey, how was your day? What’s in your heart right now? That’s basic things are often internalized as too much. And I put that list in there because I do think every single item on that 25 I think it’s 25 item list is a completely reasonable thing to need in a healthy relationship. up. And it’s important to have some baseline of that so that you can practice discernment. When someone says that’s too much what they might be saying is, that’s too much for me. But that’s not the same as saying your need is objectively too much for anyone.


Yeah, yeah. And, you know, some things that I that I saw in there, you know, the need for others to communicate their care, using words like I care about you, I love you, You’re important to me. On the flip side, I need alone time is not an unreasonable need, right? Or I need autonomy. I need others to keep their words I need it equitable division of financial responsibility and childcare, right? Where people are like, You’re too needy, You’re too sensitive. It’s like no, I it is a reasonable need to not be criticized.


Yes, exactly. It’s not. Be criticized to not be controlled. Right.


And what someone is, again, yeah, what they’re saying when they say, you’re too much is what they’re saying is, I am not willing or able to meet you in this need, which is a different thing. Because then it gives us the opportunity to say, Hmm, there are people out there for whom this probably would be an effortless need. And I got to tell you, like when I was dating, before I met my current partner, we’ve been together for about two and a half years, I was in the cycle, because I updated this series of like, emotionally unavailable partners, who seemed like constitutionally incapable of giving me any sort of like affection or compliment something as simple as like, I love you, or you look nice in that dress, or I care about you like it was devoid of all communication. And I asked, I talk about my book, when you have an unmet need, the first thing you do is usually ask for it, because they might not know you need that, or they might show care differently. So, I would say like, Hey, it’s actually, it’s really important to me to have this. Could you do this? And my partner’s would say yes, but their actions would never reflect it. And so, by the time I met my current partner, I had really begun to wonder, I was like, Is this too much? Like, am I so needy to tell you?


Casey McGuire Davidson  1:02:17

You look nice, or I care about you, or I love exactly like, am I so clingy, and like dependent to need those things.


Hailey Magee  1:02:22

And I’ll never forget, when I met my current partner, who I love and is awesome, he would just like so effortlessly, without even thinking twice. Just communicate in those ways with me. And it took me so by surprise, and it really affirmed this idea that like, there are people out there problem. I wasn’t the problem I need wasn’t the problem. It was that they were not in a place of availability where they could meet my need, but it’s not always us.


Casey McGuire Davidson  1:02:53

Yeah, well, do you? Have you done the work to be like, Why was I attracted to someone who wouldn’t, you know, reciprocate this need?


Hailey Magee  1:03:02

Absolutely. And I think so much of that, for me, and for many folks I’ve worked with is kind of this this codependency paradigm where it’s like, oh, I can see that they don’t do this. But once they see how committed I am, and how in it I am, they will change for me. And that will be a sign that I’ve succeeded in the relationship.


Casey McGuire Davidson  1:03:21

Trying to fix people. Yeah.


Hailey Magee  1:03:25

And trying to get to, you know, change them into versions of themselves, who would meet my needs, instead of being discerning from the outset, and saying, Can they meet my needs? Yes or no?


Casey McGuire Davidson  1:03:35

You know, yeah, absolutely. Well, and I assume that that’s harder with parents, you talked about, you know, the things that you would do being sort of the adult or parental FIDE in childhood, how do you reestablish those boundaries? Hmm.


Hailey Magee  1:03:54

Oh, man, this was big in my family. Because I did come to a point where I realized, you know, through therapy, as like, I see these roles in cycles, where I’m kind of like the familial Peacekeeper and the emotional support. And eventually, the way I handled it was, I sort of had like a big one of those classic like Big Sit down chats with both of my parents, where I was like, I recognize some dysfunctional dynamics in our family. And like, I’m no longer willing to play these roles.


My mom had actually booked us a trip to Hawaii as a family. And I remember when she booked that, my whole chest sank because things were, they felt to me so dysfunctional at home. Like there were marital issues, and issues with my sister, and none of it was being addressed or spoken about. The idea was that we would all go on this magical trip and keep all these resentments hidden and just perform our ways it.


Yeah, exactly.


And it was the biggest thing, I think, to this day in a boundary context that I’d ever done. She’d already put down some money for things she was in the plan and I just my whole body was like, I cannot go on this trip and continue to play This performative everything’s okay? Role. And I told her, I wasn’t going, and I couldn’t go, which led me to have this sit down and explain why. And it was like, so terrifying Casey.


Yeah, it was one of those boundaries where I felt just the most immense guilt and anxiety for days after. And I swear to God, like sometimes it still comes up. I was very privileged in that both of my parents, once some time had passed, were able to receive what I was saying and find new ways forward.


Casey McGuire Davidson  1:05:35

And it took us a couple years to find a new equilibrium and feel when the moment they weren’t just like, oh, we’d never realized it. Let’s change right now, that didn’t quite happen.


Hailey Magee  1:05:43

I think there was so much shock, you know, and this is one of the tough things because like when you’ve been pretending everything’s okay. And then you suddenly reveal that it’s actually really not okay, and it hasn’t been for a long time. It’s really hard for people to receive that with just like, oh, okay, great. Let’s work on it. Because usually, the feeling is like, shame and defensiveness and fear. And I think there was some of that. And understandably, you know, scary.


Casey McGuire Davidson  1:06:10

Well, you go through so much more in your book, will you tell us because obviously, we’re talking about setting a boundary or connecting with your feelings. But in your book you go through, like, more specifically, how to have those conversations, what to do next, how to reintroduce play, and all that good stuff? Well, you just kind of tell us what you cover in your book.


Hailey Magee  1:06:33

Yeah, I’ll give you the breakdown. It’s divided into four parts. And each part kind of has its own roadmap.


So, the first part is all about just finding yourself again, reconnecting and coming home to the self, you’ve not long neglected. So, like feelings, needs, desires, values.


The second part is like the juicy roadmap of standing up for yourself. That’s when we get into making requests of others, setting boundaries, identifying our reasonable needs, knowing what we can and can’t control, all of that good stuff. And that section also actually covers how oppression and systemic injustice can kind of affect the extent to which we can break the people pleasing pattern, right? Because so many of us are doing that to like, stay safe.


The third part addresses growing pains. So, anxiety, guilt, self-doubt, fear, it’s all super normal on this journey. So how do we self soothe through it so that we’re not controlled by it? And then the fourth way,


Casey McGuire Davidson  1:07:30

I thought that was really, really good. Well, I loved the whole book, but in terms of self-soothing those emotions, I mean, that is something that anyone can use, regardless of whether they identify as a people pleaser, and those emotions also, when you’re quitting drinking, or an early sobriety that the emotions that you normally drink over. So, I just want to give a plug that I’m going to start using in my coaching, but you’ve got some really great tips in there.


Hailey Magee  1:08:00

Ah, thanks, Casey. Yeah, I mean, that emotional self-soothing part. Again, I feel like it’s often under addressed, but it’s like 50% of the work easily, you know. So that part was super fun. And then, the closing part is all about, kind of like, how your life becomes enriched when you stop people pleasing. And it gets into these really fun, like juicy conversations about people pleasing and sex, and how you can bring more of your desires into the bedroom, it looks at play and creativity and how to lean into those things. And it talks about how to be discerning when we’re trying to make decisions about taking care of the people we love without leaving ourselves behind in the process. So that’s the breakdown, or Part?


Casey McGuire Davidson  1:08:42

No, that’s really interesting. And you know, I’m sure people pleasing and sex. Oh, my God, we could talk for an hour about that, because of the way women are conditioned to act right during sex and perform and all that stuff. So, that’s really interesting to hold on.


Hailey Magee  1:09:01

That’s my favorite chapter. So, anyone reading, I’m pretty sure it’s chapter 19. But yeah, it’s awesome.


Casey McGuire Davidson  1:09:06

Well, I love talking to you. I always learned something. I just want to give a plug for this book. I told Hailey before we jump on, I read a lot of books for my podcast because I interview so many people and you know, I usually don’t have Authors on if I don’t think their work is valuable and good. But Hailey’s book is really good. It is well researched and an easy read and practical tips.


So, if you identify with any of these, definitely pick up and stop people pleasing and find your power.


Hailey Magee  1:09:40

Thank you so much, Casey.


Casey McGuire Davidson  1:09:43

Yeah. All right. Well, we’ll keep in touch.


Hailey Magee  1:09:47

Yes, absolutely. Thanks for having me.


Casey McGuire Davidson  1:09:49

Of course, anytime.


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