4 Ways To Lift the Curse of The Good Girl

4 Ways To Lift the Curse of The Good Girl

You can be good to yourself first


As children, we are often exposed to a parenting style that has been passed down through generations. It’s fundamentally a societal shame.

The behaviour pattern creates a structure around a false belief that the parent is in charge, is the boss, is the only one to have an opinion, needs or emotions that need to be met.

In a recent Instagram post, Dr Nicole LePera (@the.holistic.psychologist), the “good girl” conditioning we receive in childhood creates an expectation that we should be agreeable, pleasant, polite and nice.

Dr LePera continued that this taught behaviour incorporates a training that the child does not express their feelings, especially anger. The child is encouraged to surrender all boundaries – just think of having to have your photo with Santa or hugging pervy old uncle Arthur at the family gathering.

The good child is also advised to hide their needs.

When a person parents with this behavioural style, the expected result is a good child. The actual outcome is a traumatised child who constantly seeks conditional love, in an attempt to heal a massive emotional wound.

From the child’s perspective, this consistent treatment creates a wound which contains low self worth, low self esteem and a sabotaging behavioural pattern of never feeling good enough.

The rigid parent instructs (who is a good child themself), teaches and actively guides their child to behave in a certain way – especially when out in public.

We are told that our behaviour is an extension of our parents capability of controlling us, which in turn apparently validates their role as a good parent.

What actually happens is the child becomes a super pleaser. They don’t know how to face their emotions because they are always too busy helping everyone else.

We are told as children, that if we aren’t good we don’t make the nice list – and it’s inferred that we are bad. The threat of santa not visiting is enormous to a child and the ultimate punishment.

A good girl grows up with the understanding that a good person doesn’t speak up, share their opinion or behave in a certain way

A good girl grows up with the understanding that a good person doesn’t speak up, share their opinion or behave in a certain way … because you know, the neighbours might think something bad of you.

Dr LePera suggests that this type of good girl is referenced as ‘mature for their age’.

However the sacrificing of your needs for others, sets up life long patterns of sacrifice, whereby you feel guilty as the adult for doing anything for yourself.

Girls who are encouraged to drop boundaries of their emotions and personal space automatically develop the freeze response.

This leaves the adult completely incapacitated to respond when triggered. The result is activated anxiety, an inability to express self clearly, and automated emotional dysregulation. And it stems back to when you were forced to ignore your feelings about that drunk uncle as a kid, and embrace that person because it would look like you’re being rude.

The result of being a good girl is that you crave being liked, because this is the behaviour that has been reinforced as a child – do what it takes to fit in and be accepted.

The child is warned “don’t rock the boat”, and the message is well received – act out at your own peril.

That warning is the actual curse for the child – a silent  threat of consequences.


This subconscious need for approval, fitting in and being liked becomes a hypervigilance of approval seeking.

Dr Lepera describes that when we aren’t frozen, we disassociate – we enter fawn phase. That translates to don’t create conflict, don’t rock the boat, appease at all cost.

Lepera states that the good girl doesn’t learn vital interpersonal skills like expression of needs, creation and enforcement of boundaries, or conflict resolution.

This need to suppress all the emotions creates a cauldron of unresolved, unexpressed emotions that simmer away, just ready to explode out like a volcano erupting.

Here’s the thing, denying the expression of the feelings, especially publicly with a side dish of shame creates two things.

Firstly, it generates fear. Fear to let go, fear of being judged, and fear of the unknown. All of this crap creates the disillusion that we aren’t authentic if we tap into our feelings bucket.

Secondly, if you decide to siphon off the feelings bucket, it has to be done in a controlled way or you are no longer good or there is something wrong with you.

Lepera’s advice is golden – “it’s not our role to get approval from those around us.

I am reminded of Regina Brett’s quote – “What other people think of you is none of your business.Another person’s response to you is their stuff.

If you’ve been raised by a good girl, then you haven’t been taught to connect with your own emotional response. Y ou’ve been taught to shove those feelings down into a deep dark abyss.

Modern psychology now understands that raising children as a good girl isn’t mirroring the resilience skills required to function adequately into adulthood – feeling secure within oneself.

Our role in life is to

  • understand and connect to our emotions
  • learn how to clearly express what we need and want
  • install boundaries or limits to ensure our safety.

Lepera offers up some gems of wisdom of how to heal this good girl wound through unlearning the patterns.

1. Recognise your emotional limits

The young good girl may have learnt that when you’re emotional your parent(s) react negatively. This may have lead to harsh punishment, rejection or the silent treatment.

This develops the hypervigilance pattern and fear of saying the wrong thing, getting it wrong and fear of failure.

It’s ok to to speak your truth. If this upsets another, their reaction is their stuff, not yours. You don’t have to pick it up and become responsible.

Know that if someone is upset, they can adult and express their feelings. If the other party doesn’t communicate – that’s ok too. It means you no longer have to search for clues.

2. Know your needs

Lepera states that the young good girl learns through repeated experience that their needs don’t matter. Learning to say / not say something or behave in a certain way to be polite, or not appear rude will over ride the discomfort of hugging the drunk uncle.

The key here is to connect into those bodily feelings and initial thoughts. Even a ten second breath or not responding out aloud, but acknowledging what you’re thinking and feeling starts the process.

Practicising the pause and reverse the swirling stress are two techniques which enable you to connect into what you’re needing.

3. Install and maintain boundaries

I cringed reading Lepera’s statement that most good girls have their boundaries violated. They key is learning to say no without the guilt, apology or guilt.

Here’s some examples:

  • I’m not available at that time
  • I’m not comfortable with that
  • I’m not seeking feedback right now
  • no thanks

4. Accept you aren’t for everyone

Not everyone will agree, understand or get your vibe. This doesn’t mean you’ve done something wrong – like it was when your parent didn’t approve of you doing something as a child.

People moving in their own path is simply an indication that you’re individual and doing your own thing.


Being raised a good girl can feel like a curse. But it’s just a behavioural habit. Habits can be changed.

The only person you really need to be good to and for – is you.

Want to read more like this?

This is My Roarsigned copies of my first published book can be purchased from this website.

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About Karen

Change Facilitator

Karen Humphries is a Kinesiology Practitioner, Health & Business Coach, LEAP & NES Practitioner, Intuitive Meditation Facilitator, and published author. She is a self-confessed laughaholic.  She loves being of service to the world with her humorous and positive approach to life, encouraging people to ‘choose to change and bloom from within.’ 

Karen Humphries, Change Chick, Change Facilitator, Kinesiology, Wellness Coach, Australian Bush Flower Essences, LEAP Facilitator, Trauma, Public Speaker, Cancer Ambassador, Blooming From Within, Traralgon, Victoria, Gippsland

Six Tips To Prevent Xmas Burnout

Six Tips To Prevent Xmas Burnout

I can vividly remember a time when I worked in both government and consulting jobs and there was enormous pressure to do a month’s worth of work in three weeks during the month of December. It was the classic case of kill yourself to get the stuff on the boss’s desk, and then you could take a festive break. And you’d need it from the burnout caused by nearly killing yourself to get all that work done.

Now as a small business operator, I’ve learnt this is the same. However being my own boss means that I get to plan when I’m busy and how busy I choose to be. These days are filled with a lot of self care.

I can remember a time when I felt completely burnt out and was way too tired to enjoy Christmas. How sad is that, that I’m too tired to enjoy the festive-ness of the season!??

Do you feel the same?

My husband still works in a retail job and deals with cranky customers for those six weeks in the lead up to the big day. He hates celebrating Christmas because he is exposed to the toxic energy of people running, people frantically buying up all the stuff. He is exposed to those burnout people. And he was completely over it.

Thankfully that’s not us anymore, because we’ve got strategies now.

We learnt to embrace our race at our pace. As a business coach now, I regularly share my tips on how to avoid burnout as a practitioner this festive season.

Here’s six tips to prevent burnout this festive season.

Tip # 1 – Plan Ahead And Dedicate Time For Family And Friends First

By booking time for commitments you want to keep with family and friends, you can then choose to work around these times. You get to remain in charge of your calendar and not be dictated of your availability.

Be sure that these special times and appointments are clearly marked in your diary. Over the years I’ve coped a lot of flak from family when booking way in advance in the calendar, but I feel awesome when I arrive to an event, feeling refreshed and have set aside time to be able to contribute to the meal by doing some food preparation and gift wrapping.

Tip #2 – Have A 100 Day / Appointment Countdown Till Xmas Campaign

After you have marked time for you in the festive season, calculate a 100 appointment vacancy count down till xmas. EVERY time I run this campaign, I quickly fill my forward bookings. I use ‘Buddy the Elf’.

And whilst I have some grinchy clients who groan when they see Buddy, there are those regular clients who will book a couple of sessions to ensure they can tolerate their mother in laws and visiting family who they only see once a year.

I always laugh when people tell me these sessions help them to stay out of prison, for without it their patience and tolerance of others would have taken a vacation to the north pole!

Tip #3 – Meal Planning & Food Preparation

Now I know this sounds ridiculous, but what do you find yourself advising clients – look after yourself first!

As a busy working mum who has an active social life, the month of December for me is filled with a huge variety of ‘end of year’ activities, catching up with friends etc. and then there are all the events for my daughter as well.

The last thing I want to think about is what to cook for dinner.

So, I plan a month’s worth of meals, which are quick and easy to prepare. I have variety to stimulate my palate and ensure that I maintain my calorie intake.

I dedicate half a day each week to do food prep for the week to limit the time I do before each meal. I want to be able to dash into the kitchen and choose less than 10 ingredients and pull together a nutritious meal.

Tip #4 – Continue Your Exercise Regime

In order to maintain my high vibe I have to move my body each and every day. So I schedule this time into my calendar.

Frankly you may call this ‘control freak’, but I call this keeping myself honest and dedicated to self. It also sends a message to universe that I am committed to self.

I am also demonstrating to my clients that I walk my talk. I am filling up my cup first and everyone else gets the overflow.

Tip #5 – It’s Ok To Say No

During December, sometimes friends and family may have to wait. But this is my choice because I don’t want to compromise my time with loved ones. I want to capitalise on the time we spend together and not rush it.

Therefore, I have most of my ‘delayed dates’ in January. Instead of spending an hour with dear friends and family in December, I can dedicate an entire day or weekend in January. Everyone wins and I feel so much more relaxed. We practice the pause.

This means that my vibrational energy remains high to be of service to clients. Those nearest and dearest to me understand I run my own business and feel happy that I prefer quality time with them.

December is a crazy clinical month for me. So, I limit what I do on weekends socially during this month and tend to celebrate life after xmas is over. I choose to see people after their burnout has finished and they’ve relaxed a little.

Tip #6 – Make Your Own Traditions

We’ve experienced a family rift because we weren’t gathering on the expected Christmas day event. If we are realistic, this is just another day of the year. Yes, it’s special for kids, but frankly you make it what you want to make it.

My husband almost loathes Christmas after working in retail for nearly three decades. So he hates shopping, even for groceries during this time. So we do things that are away from the crowds. We spend quality time with people who make us laugh and make our hearts sing. We click and collect our grocceries.

We minimise our exposure to the burnout crazies in town.

There is always silliness with my crazy festive hats. There’s also laughing at my dancing, of which it is intended. There’s always friends around my table rather than immediate family who are spread three corners of the state. Our extended families all work either for themselves or shift work. So to get us in the one place on the one day is a logistical nightmare. It makes sense that sometimes we have to do our festive catchups over the summer to create the alignment. It’s not about the one big day, it’s about the gathering.


Just do your best. If some year’s this doesn’t appease someone, remind yourself that their complaint is theirs and not yours. Just please you and respect others.

Embrace your race at your pace. Plan ahead so it’s more likely you can cruise along the festive pathway rather than careen towards a cliff!

Karen Humphries, Change Chick, Change Facilitator, Kinesiology, Wellness Coach, Australian Bush Flower Essences, LEAP Facilitator, Trauma, Public Speaker, Cancer Ambassador, Blooming From Within, Traralgon, Victoria, Gippsland

About Karen

Change Facilitator

Karen Humphries is a Clinical Hypnotherapist, Resource Therapist, Kinesiology Practitioner, Wellness & Business Coach, LEAP, NES + TBM Practitioner, Intuitive Meditation Facilitator, and published author.

Karen is a self-confessed laughaholic who loves being of service to the world with her humorous and positive approach to life, encouraging people to ‘choose to change and bloom from within.’ 

Karen sees the value in bringinh her tribe together for all to flourish.