Highest Self Podcast 514: How To Stop Being A People Pleaser And Claim Your Inner Bad Bitch with Rosie Acosta


This week on Highest Self Podcast I am back once again with my bestie, Rosie, to dive into how to transform from being a people pleaser to being a bad bitch with crystal clear boundaries. We are both sharing all about our own journeys and pulling back the curtains on what this evolution looks like.

This episode is all about…
– Signs that you are a people pleaser and why you might not realize it
– How to go from people pleaser → bad bitch
– How to give from your heart and not from wanting to be liked
– Different ways people pleasing shows up in different relationships
– Paying attention to your energy when giving/receiving
– Discernment when saying yes
– The ultimate fear of a people pleaser
– The power of reciprocal relationships, acknowledgement, and properly holding space
– What it truly means to be a “bad bitch”
– And so so much more!

In your trauma also lies your gifts – so being a people pleaser and being able to see things from a higher perspective and solve everyone’s problems lies many skills that are powerful tools for you to use to your advantage. Now you just need to navigate the balancing act of being there for those you love while simultaneously fully showing up for yourself and honoring + creating boundaries that empower you.

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Intro + Outro Music: Silent Ganges by Maneesh de Moor

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Episode #514: How To Stop Being A People Pleaser And Claim Your Inner Bad Bitch with Rosie Acosta
By Sahara Rose

[00:00] Sahara

Bad bitch energy is, you know, they say, bitch – babe in total control of herself, the acronym. 

[00:07] Rosie

Oh my god! This is…

[00:08] Sahara

But to me, it is someone who is authentically themselves. They are expressed, they are bold, they are empowered, they’re self-sourced, they’re not seeking outside of themselves for validation and they stand out in their own unique way that is quite inspiring and refreshing to be around, because they’re not seeking that…like, if you think about the people pleaser, it’s like “Are you good? Are you good? Are you good?”, it’s trying to get everyone to like them, which, actually makes you dislike them because you don’t even know who they are. Whereas the bad bitch is like “This is what I’m going to do, so I’m going to do it”, and that’s magnetic, because we want to be like that, so, we actually think that’s going to draw people away, but we’re like “Holy shit, like, how do you have those boundaries like that?”


[01:01] Sahara

Welcome back to The Highest Self Podcast, my name is Sahara Rose and this Podcast is all about taking spirituality and making it modern, grounded, real, relatable, so we can actually serve our needs.

[01:13] Sahara

And I love bringing my besties in, who you’re going to hear today, Rosie Acosta, to talk about the subjects that we are voice-noting about, that we are pondering about and curious about, because, the truth is, what we’re experiencing, I’m going to guess, you’ve experienced too. And especially if you’re someone that listens to this Podcast, I’m going to make some assumptions about you, okay? I don’t mean to be judgmental, but I’m going to guess that you’re that person that helps all their friends with their problems and that, as a kid, you were really good at, maybe, being parentified, and being there for your parents, and being the responsible one, you were given a lot of accolades for it. And maybe when you’re in relationships, you tend to over-function, and over-give, and you know, you really want them to like you, but you notice if might fall into some people pleaser tendencies. And you might find yourself being the one who’s planning trips, and figuring things out, and giving, and giving, and giving, and then, all of a sudden, you’re like “Why am I the responsible one?” 

I’m going to make another assumption – maybe there’s a little bit of co-dependency going on, maybe a little tidbit, if you’re feeling called out, it’s okay, it’s because I resonate, I am all those things too. So, welcome, you are not alone here!

[02:21] Sahara

And you know, in our traumas, come our gifts. So, the fact that, as young children, we were very mature and we were there for people, is what made us be able to see things from a higher-level perspective. But then, later on in life, that becomes us feeling like we need to solve people’s problems, or if we see there’s a void, we fill it in, and then we end up being resentful in our friendships, in our relationships, because we’re giving, giving, giving, and then we feel like we end up in relationships and friendships with people who are just taking, taking, taking, and we’re being taken for granted. 

[02:52] Sahara

So, if you’re nodding with me and giving me a “Hallelujah, amen”, then we’re in the right place because my friend Rosie, who’s a fellow people pleaser, is…people pleasers anonymous, but now turned bad bitch, we’re going to be talking about how to transform from people pleaser to bad bitch because that has been my journey.

[03:10] Sahara

If you haven’t noticed, the past yeah, I have majorly transformed into my ultimate bad bitch energy (and it’s just getting started), and part of it was from looking at these tendencies of people pleasing, co-dependency, over-giving, over-functioning, over-responsibility, so instead, I can be self-nourished, and confident, and feeling like I’m giving from a place of heart rather than from a place of feeling like I need to do this for you to like me, because there’s a major vibrational shift in that.

[03:38] Sahara

So, without further ado, let’s welcome my best friend, Rosie Acosta.

[03:42] Rosie


[03:46] Sahara

Yeah, that’s my best friend, and in a bitch contest, you win first place, you win first place. Okay.

[03:51] Rosie

That was an intro.

[03:53] Sahara

That was an intro because, I mean, this shit is the topic in our lives right now. We love talking about things that are, like, pressing and relevant for us.

[04:02] Rosie

This is true.

[04:03] Sahara

So, let’s talk about it.

[04:05] Rosie

So, I – hi, my name is Rosie, I’m a recovering people pleaser.

[04:09] Sahara

Hi Rosie. 

[04:11] Rosie

It is so…I mean, it’s one of those things that I feel like a lot of people can relate to, and I think it’s one of the things that we tend to put on the back burner as something that we don’t want to deal with or bring light to. Because so many of us are in that space or in that state of people pleasing, you know.

And when I think about it from a higher vantage point, as a recovering people pleaser, and you and I have talked about this before, it’s like, what is the root cause? Like, what is happening underneath the surface that causes us to be people pleasers, right?

[04:50] Sahara

It goes deep.

[04:51] Rosie

It goes deep. And I think that, for us to really be able to break free from it, because, again, I’m a recovering people pleaser.

[04:59] Sahara

No more. Those days are long gone.

[05:02] Rosie

Those days are long gone.

[05:03] Sahara

Shen ain’t pleasing no one, but herself!

[05:04] Rosie

I’m a savage with my boundaries, you know that, I’m a beast. I mean, there are times where it falls off, we’ve talked about that. 

But I feel like, for me, one of the biggest things that I struggled with in the beginning of my people pleasing turnaround story, my observation, was that I wanted to avoid conflict, that was a big one (avoiding conflict). And I also felt like, maybe my self-esteem was not really present, I had low self-esteem. And I think that the third thing really came culturally, from growing up, you know, I’m first gen Mexican-American, growing up with a lot of co-dependency, so there’s a lot of that people pleasing happening. 

And so, I think that really starting from the avoiding conflict place, it’s all kind of tied in together, right? We don’t want to make somebody else feel bad, so we, often times, say yes to things that we know is not a yes, right?

[06:15] Sahara

Or we even actually convince ourselves it’s a yes.

[06:18] Rosie

Yeah. So, like, this was the big thing for me, and you know, you and I have talked about this again. So, our conversations are now public conversations, which is what is amazing, so we’re going to divulge what her and I talk about, not fully, but for the most part.

I think, for you, what has been the hardest thing to become a bad bitch?

[06:42] Sahara

So, if you were to tell me “Do you consider yourself to be a people pleaser”, even last year, I would say “No”. Like, that terminology didn’t even resonate with me, because when I thought in my head, of a people pleaser, I thought of like an extreme example of one, a person who has no boundaries, who’s a yes person to everyone, who’s just giving, giving, giving, like, grandma energy, and I’m like “I’m not that”, like, I speak my truth, I have boundaries, I’m an independent person, I don’t resonate with those titles of people pleaser, co-dependent, again, from the extreme examples I’ve seen.

And now, you know, really diving into myself this past year, through shadow work, and therapy, and coaching, and medicine, all these things, I could see how, actually, I had a lot of people pleasing tendencies within me.

For me, though, it comes mostly in relationship than in friendship, because in friendship, I feel like I trust women, I’m very comfortable with women, I can just be like, I can call a friend up and have a vulnerable conversation. Whereas, I found, and that was due to my relationship with my dad, that I couldn’t be my true authentic self to him, I couldn’t just share how I felt, so I always had this, like, kind of, this mask on a little bit when it came to men, of like, I wanted to be easy to going, like, I wanted to be the person who is chill, who, you know, was fun to be around. And every guy, like, prided me on that, of like “You’re so easy going, you’re so chill, like, you’re not like those other girls”, so I got affirmation like that, of like, you know, let me, like, let him go out and do whatever he wants, and this and that, because that would make him like me more. So, I realized I started that, like, in college, in my, like, first real relationship, of just like “I’m basically going to have no needs”, and I convinced myself, I don’t even have these needs, like, I’m good. And so, I went majorly in just like, I’m just going to accept, right?

And the beauty of that is, I didn’t pick fights, we never fought, didn’t really hold onto things, but the shadow side of that was like, was I in, like, the deeply fulfilling relationship that I wanted to be in? No, because I wasn’t speaking my truth, so how was someone else supposed to know.

And now, diving into it, it’s like, we people please for control. Like, we think we’re doing it because we’re this chill, easy-going person, but actually we’re trying to make that person like us. So, there’s actually a control mechanism going on in that. 

And as like, you know, a very…if you consider yourself to be an empath, probably, there’s people pleaser in there, you know. But we say “Well, you know, I’m just attuned to what other people feel, it’s just, like, how I am”, and again, there’s a gift in that, but the shadow in that is like “Are you more attuned to how they feel than how you feel?” And that’s how it gets really dangerous because we, at the beginning of a relationship, can be like “I’m easy-going, I’m chill”, but then, eventually, your true colors are going to show, and maybe you weren’t so chill with them going out clubbing without you every weekend or, you know, whatever the thing was.

And then, when you start to speak your needs, that person’s like “Well, you used to not care. I thought I was dating the kind of person that was okay with this, now you’re changing”, and that’s even harder for a people pleaser, of like, people pleasers have a really hard time changing the dynamics of relationship because they feel like “I might lose it”.

So, what I’ve learned now is, like, from the beginning, just be yourself, be the same way that you would with a friend, or someone else, where there doesn’t feel like so much at stake to lose, that way, that person is not in relationship with your easy-goingness. Like, do you really want someone to love the fact that you have no boundaries and are just like go with the flow and are just a yes person, or do you want them to actually love you for who you are. And actually, people value you more when you have your own needs, and likes, and dislikes.

I feel like for a lot of us women, it’s like that typical, like, when you’re in high school, you have a crush on someone and it’s like they wore Vans, I wore Vans, they wore…

[10:27] Rosie

You’re so influenced by their whole being.

[10:29] Sahara

Right, that you like, like…again, I don’t know Courtney Kardashian personally, but like, she majorly changed her entire style and everything, for Travis Barker, again, maybe that was what she wanted. But it’s like, so, you could see, the girls who, like, all of a sudden, they have a boyfriend, their personality changes, style changes, everything changes, because they want to please that person. But then, that person is 1) falling in love with a fake version of you, and then when the real version of you is being shown, you lose the relationship, and that’s just going to put you in a worse situation.

[10:58] Rosie

Why do you think it was so much easier for you to set the boundaries with female friendships rather than with male friendships?

[11:06] Sahara

I think because I just felt a lot more comfortable with my mom than I did with my dad. And I think, in general, women have an easier time with other women because we understand each other more, we understand our psychology and we just have a lot more experience. For the most part, I was always friends with a lot of girls, always been like a community builder with girlfriends, so I knew I could speak my boundaries in a way that it would be received. Whereas with men, I didn’t have as much experience, didn’t really have any guy friends. The only real experience I had was, like, in relationship, or like, my younger brother, which was like a very different dynamic. 

So, I would say, for a lot of these tendencies, it shows up with who is the parent of yours you are trying to please.

[11:45] Rosie

Yeah, like, which one’s approval did you want the most?

[11:49] Sahara

For you, what was it?

[11:50] Rosie

For me, it was…I had the opposite experience of yours, so, most of my friends were male, growing up. I have sisters, you know, so, I was also close to my female friends, but I was definitely way more one of the guys, hung out with guys, my cousins, you know, the people I went to school with, it was just mostly male dominated so I never had an issue setting boundaries with men, I always had an issue setting boundaries with women, because I felt like, I love women so much, that I just want to show up and I want to be there, and they’re calling me in all hours of the night or day, or whatever, and I want to be there, I want to honor that feminine energy, right?

So, and I think that that, for me, comes from this place of, like, you know, my dad was always present, so that relationship, that closeness, was always with my dad, so I had that dynamic. And my mom wasn’t really present…she was, of course, but our relationship wasn’t as close when I was younger. And so, I felt like I was maybe vying for that feminine energy, right? I just wanted, I wanted it, I was needing that strong female energy and I was willing to do whatever, and shape myself, and become a chameleon to whatever it is that that friend wanted to do, what they wanted to listen to, what they wanted dance to, what they wanted to dress like.

And I think it’s really interesting that the dynamic is, kind of, different, you know, as you’re talking, I’m like, wow, this is really interesting, that we’ve never actually talked about this before. But I see a lot of similarities in your experience, but with the opposite.

And what I’ve found, for me, in that dynamic, obviously being in a 20-year relationship with Tory, I’ve never had an issue with setting boundaries or telling him what I want because I always felt really confident in telling men, you know, setting those boundaries with men. But when it came to the women in my life, I had a really hard time. And in fact, I’ve never, I still have a lot of the male friends that I’ve had since high school, I still have them today. And some of those female relationships that were overstepping these boundaries that the relationships dissolved over time because it was difficult to change, right? 

And I’d love to get your thoughts on that too, in the evolutionary process of this. For you, I know the last year has been extremely monumental in your ability to see where you were being a people pleaser, or you didn’t think about it. But also, like, when you are trying to change, where do you even start? You know, because a lot of us, maybe you can relate to what we’re talking about, but perhaps, for you, it’s more, maybe friendships that you become a people pleaser, or relationships in your life where you’re thinking about….my biggest thing, right now, is time. Like, I like to say yes to a lot of things, I know you do too, and we have a limited amount of time and a limited amount of energy. Actually, let me take that back, because when I really think about it, you can do 20 podcasts in a day, there’s 24 hours in a day, you can do that. But energetically, you probably won’t make it.

[15:25] Sahara

Oh my god, I’m still here. I would do 20 podcasts in a day.

[15:28] Rosie

You probably would. I’m thinking, as I was saying that, I’m like, no, she actually probably would. But if you did it for 7 days a week.

[15:35] Sahara


[15:35] Rosie

You know, it’s impossible.

[15:36] Sahara

And eventually you become resentful, and that’s what a people pleaser becomes.

[15:39] Rosie


[15:40] Sahara

It’s like “I’m here, I’m here”, but I really don’t want to be.

[15:42] Rosie

And when we start to really discern, am I saying yes for them, or am I saying yes for me, that’s the difference, right, when I can say “Oh, I have this much energy to give”, we have this handful of energy every day, where am I going to allocate that energy? If me saying yes to this person already makes me feel drained, then I know that this is a place where I need to exercise boundaries. 

[16:11] Sahara

Yeah. And I think that it does come down to the ultimate fear of the people pleaser, which is abandonment. 

[16:17] Rosie


[16:18] Sahara

It’s “If I don’t…”, when you’re in a people pleaser, you don’t even notice it, you don’t even notice “I’m over-functioning, I’m over-responsible”, you think “Well, this is just needed right now, so I’ll do it for now”, and you think that it’s going to change, eventually. But it never does because people get used to what you give them. So, if you start giving someone X, they’re like “Oh”, that’s what they want to give, they don’t even notice you’re people pleasing, they think you’re just…they maybe don’t even think you’re a giving person, they’re not even thinking about it, that’s the thing. They just think “This is just what our dynamic is”, and then what actually happens is, often, they expect more, and more, and more, with time, so here were you, thinking “I’m just going to give a lot at the beginning and then I’m going to, you know, be more of myself”, but actually, the opposite happens, they get used to it and then you have to keep giving, and giving, and giving. And it’s like, when you have a friend who calls you every time they have a problem and they go on a rant and they’re talking, and talking, and talking, it may be, the first time you listen and then you’re kind of exhausted, but it’s okay. The second time, the third time, the fourth time, by the fifth time, you’re like “I don’t want to pick up this person’s calls anymore”, but here they are, thinking “This is my friend, that, every time I’m upset, I call them, they love being there for me”.

[17:24] Rosie


[17:25] Sahara

And again, the people pleaser has a really tough time with communication because they’re afraid “If I speak my truth, they’re not going to like me, which means I’m going to be abandoned”.

So, I actually wrote out some ways that we can shift into our inner bad bitch from inner people pleaser.

So, the first thing is, noticing if you feel like you have to win someone’s attention, or approval, to solidify your worth. 

So, for myself, speaking about this in, like, the relational way, I noticed that I would, like, put a certain person that I pegged as important in my life, and if I could get them to like me, oh, then I’m important too, right? And it’s like the same thing that the little girl does to her dad, “If I can get dad’s attention, then I am worthy”. So, then, when you already put someone on a pedestal, automatically, the relationship is going to show up in a people pleasing way because you’re trying to win that person over and that’s a lot of how women are trained to enter into relationships – “Win him over”, that’s, like, literally a common term, and it’s like, great, you can do all of these people pleasing mechanisms, and he might think “Oh wow, this person just wants to, like, serve me at all times”, and then, eventually, here you become. 

So, notice if you are choosing people that you feel like are a catch or more important than you, above you in any way, and you’ve pegged your worthiness to getting them. Or the story it would mean “If this kind of person was dating me, then that means I am a trophy wife, a queen a whatever else”, because that’s trauma response. And notice if that was the relationship you had with one of your parents or if you had an absent parent.


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[20:11] Rosie

That’s really interesting. As you were saying that, I’m thinking about what you said in the beginning about it, also being controlling, a way of controlling the situation, because, essentially, you’re mutating into, or you’re…I don’t want to say mutating, I don’t want to offend anybody…you’re transforming into this version of yourself that’s just there to appease somebody else, it’s not really who you are, right?

[20:41] Sahara

It’s a façade.

[20:42] Rosie

Yeah, it’s a façade. And you know, when we start to notice this happening, like, what are some ways that we can break free from that, that wave, when we’re in it?

[20:58] Sahara

Well, I think it’s normal to be attracted to someone that you are inspired by, that you want to be more liked.

[21:05] Rosie

But do you think that…because now, we’re talking about attraction, in terms of the people pleasing. So, at that point…

[21:16] Sahara

But it could even be the popular girl in school. If she was my best friend, what does that make me?

[21:21] Rosie

Right. So, you’re saying that, from this place of desiring to be with somebody who…it’s like “I’m going to base my worth on whether or not I can get this person”.

[21:33] Sahara


[21:34] Rosie


[21:35] Sahara

Which is the tenant of, like, social climbing. And the way that we have been trained…

[21:40] Rosie

I’m thinking about Mean Girls right now.

[21:41] Sahara

Exactly. I was thinking about Mean Girls too, of like, she’s like “If I can make Regina George my best friend, then I’m in with the cool kids”, but then she was putting on the façade, and eventually, we found out that she was the girl from South Africa.

[21:51] Rosie

Spoiler alert.

[21:53] Sahara

Yeah, exactly. So, we do it all the time, we choose someone that we have deemed as the goal of who we want to be, whether it’s friendship, relationship, even colleagues, etc., a group of people, a social circle, and then we put on this mask and we observe them, we shape ourselves, and mold ourselves to be them, but eventually, your real self comes out and then you end up in an even worse situation. So, there’s that.

The next one I wrote is to stop over-functioning in relationships and friendships. That’s one I’m guilty of.

[22:26] Rosie

Oh man! 

[22:27] Sahara

Here’s what’s hard. It’s like, as a Capricorn…

[22:30] Rosie

I was just going to bring your Capricorn eyes.

[22:32] Sahara

As someone with 8 planets in Capricorn, over-functioning is my middle name, I don’t know what regular functioning is like.

So, like, I…this is where people pleasing gets tricky, it’s like, I like planning trips, I like hosting people, I like planning parties and I have an ability to see the details, and put things together, and put it on the spreadsheet, and invite the people, and, like, I can make it happen. So, then I’m like, well, because I can make it happen, and no one else is taking responsibility, let me just do it, and then everyone else goes “Well, she’s taking responsibility of it so let me just not do anything at all”, so they take the back seat and then I’m like “Okay, well, I was just supposed to get this thing started, I wasn’t supposed to be responsible for it from A-Z”, and then you’re like, exhausted about the whole thing. It’s like, the host, too, plans the party and then doesn’t get to enjoy the party herself.

[23:19] Rosie


[23:20] Sahara

And I constantly find myself in that situation.

[23:22] Rosie

Yeah, so, where do you think you went wrong in that situation? 

[23:26] Sahara

I would say, where I went wrong in the situation is, I mean, it’s hard because part of me is like, I want to have that party, or I want to have that trip, for me, regardless.

[23:38] Rosie


[23:39] Sahara

So, it’s like, I don’t want to wait for someone else to plan that thing.

[23:42] Rosie

Yeah, but is that being controlling? 

[23:44] Sahara

Well, it’s like…here’s the thing…is it controlling or is it, I would do that, regardless, for myself. So, that’s the hard thing, it’s like…okay, for example, last year, I was on a trip to Bali with friends and I, like, rented this house and I planned all these things, we’re going to go to the water purification, we’re going to this, I, like, planned every single day, I found restaurants, I found massages, I found all of these things, and then, like, some people ended up canceling and then, basically, I had to, like, pay for the house and, you know, I had all these things booked and I had to deal with cancelation and this, and I ended up losing a lot of money on this thing. And you know, I went on the trip, regardless, and I had a great time, but I was a bit resentful because I was like, now I was stuck planning all these things, paying for these people who, kind of, saw me as, like, the party planner of the group, and it made me realize I was, like, I give so much, not just financially, but also energetically, like, just, I’m happy all the time, I ask people and I’m like, why do I feel like I have to give in every single way to, like, prove my worth. So, that’s probably where I went wrong, of like, why did I feel like I needed to do this.

But the part where I went right was, well, I still got the trip myself, but had I known it was just going to be me, I would’ve done it differently. So, my learning of that.

And I think this happens a lot with groups, because there’s a lot of unspoken, and there’s a lot of, like, power play going on, and it’s, sort of like, who’s taking the thing over, it’s like a group project.

[25:08] Rosie

Yeah. There’s always that asshole that doesn’t do anything.

[25:12] Sahara

That doesn’t do anything and then there’s always a person that over-functions, so, I was the over-functioner. I was the girl “Never have I ever…” Davy, I was the Davy.

So, then I started…so, now, I mean, I love being in friendship with other, like, female entrepreneurs, because they tend to have a similar energy as me. Like, for example, this summer, I’m planning trip with my friend Anna, and we’re just, like, both in the notes app, both in the spreadsheets, she’s on calls, I’m doing things, and it’s like teamwork and it feels reciprocal, because I don’t want to be the person who waits, and waits for someone else to make the plan and they don’t, and it doesn’t happen. I think it’s a matter of finding people where there’s reciprocity because what the people pleaser doesn’t do is, they think “I’m just going to give, give, give and eventually, they’ll give back to me”, and it’s not like that, it’s a ping-pong game, you give, you feel if they give back, then you give more and you feel…so, then, you might be giving at 100, and they’re giving at 100, and that’s beautiful, but it starts to feel crappy if, even you’re giving at 50 and they’re giving at 0.

[26:10] Rosie

Yeah, it’s not an ideal situation. And I remember that you were in this situation, it was very, very chaotic for you. And again, it’s like, the fact that you lost a lot of money is, I mean, everybody works really hard for their money and sometimes for people to not be considerate of that, I think that that’s very telling (just saying), anyway, no judgment.

[26:36] Sahara

And I think people pleasers, they often give with their money.

[26:39] Rosie

Yeah, and I’m just the same way, like, we’ve talked about this before. A few years ago, I had a similar situation where Tory and I rented this house in Palm Springs and we wanted to make it like a group thing and, you know, Tory was, he’s not a planner, so the fact that he was even planning anything was already, like, kudos to him. There was a couple of people who said that they were going to pitch in, that they were going to help out, and they ended up not, and they, essentially, just figured, like “Oh, Tory’s planning this…”, it was something we were doing for my birthday, and they just figured it’s my birthday, Tory is my partner, he’ll just pay for it, right? But the energy of that was so ick because, it’s like, don’t say you’re going to do something then not do it.

[27:33] Sahara

Birthdays, weddings, these things get very confusing.

[27:36] Rosie

Oh my god, yes!

[27:37] Sahara

Because it’s like, it’s like, okay, it’s my birthday and I’m inviting you, but am I inviting you in terms of paying, are you expected to pay?

[27:43] Rosie

I think that needs to be discussed in advance.

[27:45] Sahara

It does. 

[27:46] Rosie

I think that those lines need to be drawn, I’m very much about that, I’m like, okay…

[27:51] Sahara

But people pleaser has a hard time doing that. So, they might say yes to being someone’s bridesmaid or maid of honor, and then they have to buy the dress, and plan the things, and come to the bachelorette, and this, and then they’re spending thousands of dollars on, like, someone else’s wedding and then that…it’s like, for that person, and then you also have to go to their wedding. It’s like, I feel like, weddings, people don’t realize, like, it costs a lot to attend a wedding. 

[28:12] Rosie

Yeah. A lot. And it’s like, I think that that is the part where the bride has to be the conscientious person and really create the boundaries for people. 

You know, I told you about my situation where I’ve been in several weddings, but this one particular one, where, essentially, I got given the honor of planning everything and paying for everything.

[28:42] Sahara

It’s like “Will you be my maid of honor? Great! You’re going to pay for everything now!”

[28:45] Rosie

Yeah, and it’s like, what? We’re not even that close, I mean, thank you, but at the same time, my people pleaser…

[28:54] Sahara

Of course, you’re honored to be given that title, yeah.

[28:55] Rosie

I’m honored, yeah. But also, I didn’t have the resources to be doing all of that, nor the time, and it ended up costing me thousands of dollars. And then, to find out that this person only asked me to do it because she knew that I would be paying for everything. And it’s really, I think, people pleasers get taken advantage of so much.

[29:21] Sahara

So much! And that’s the last thing that we want. It’s like, we want to be liked for who we are and that’s why we’re giving so much, and then people often just choose to be around us for the thing that we’re giving, rather than us.

[29:30] Rosie

Yes. So, how do you, then, find out who the opportunists are, in your circle?

[29:37] Sahara

Well, I think, take inventory of what are the things that are exhausting you, you know, like, what are the relationships, what are the habits, the tendencies, uhm, just even dynamics. It might not mean that you have to end the friendship, it might just be the dynamic in the friendship. Because, here’s the thing, we can’t say “Well, they’re a narcissist and they’re taking advantage of me”, it’s like, it takes two to create a relationship. So, you might have just started showing up in that way, so that’s just the dynamic of it, and it takes courage to change things, right?

And I think the scariest thing for a people pleaser to do is express. 

So, let’s say you’re in a dynamic where you always go out with your friend and you always, like, end up paying for things, so, maybe you, you know, and you can say it in a really sly way, but like “Hey, like, I’ve foot the bill the past few times, like, I totally don’t know what your financial situation is, do you mind if we go somewhere that’s more affordable, that we can both pay, next time?”, like, something like that, so it’s not like you’re like “Hey, I paid this much time, you owe me this!” Like, I think it’s important not to go in the past, you know, of like “You owe me this for these times”, well, it’s like, you weren’t speaking your truth then. So, we have to take that responsibility ourselves, we can’t go back in the past and send an invoice, all we can fucking do is look at “In the future, how do I want to show up?” And if that person’s like “What, like, I thought you liked paying for me, and this”, it’s like, okay, then they’re only in the dynamic for that.

[30:58] Rosie

For themselves, yeah.

[30:59] Sahara

But I think a lot where people pleasers get used is in our time and our giving energy. So, if you have a friend that only calls you to vent, vent, vent, maybe slip in like “Wow, that’s crazy…Yeah, in my life, what’s going on is…”, and start sharing about your life, and if they, like, cut off or they get on their phone, or something else, it’s like, then this isn’t a friendship and you don’t need to explain to them “Hey, I’m ending the friendship because da, da, da, da”. I think the conversation is worth having if you want to continue the friendship, but if you’re just like, realizing that this person is, kind of, seeing you as a free therapist, then I would just…I mean, maybe it’s the people pleaser in me, I would just do the slow fade away and bounce, I would just kind of, like, stop.

But I think, I think it’s like, have a conversation if the relationship is worth tending to. But here’s where I think the boundary world goes, like, over the top. It’s like, I see these books on boundaries and some of them are so freaking intense, it’s like, no is a complete sentence.

[31:57] Rosie

That’s my favorite.

[31:58] Sahara

But like, imagine if you ask me for something and I just go “No”, just “No”.

[32:04] Rosie

I would probably just laugh. I would probably be like “Okay”.

[32:08] Sahara

Like, it’s weird.        

[32:09] Rosie

I mean, for you, because you like to over-explain. 

[32:13] Sahara

That’s also a people pleaser.

[32:14] Rosie


[32:15] Sahara

But I do think it’s like…

[32:17] Rosie

How many times have you asked me to do something and I respond “No”?

[32:21] Sahara

But I think you never…alright, I laugh about it.

[32:24] Rosie


[32:25] Sahara

But maybe because I don’t get offended about it. It’s like mostly, like, the things I know you don’t want to do, like going out late, you know. Or, mostly for you, it’s about you needing to be in bed by like 8:00PM. Those are really your boundaries, I know you have that boundary, I’m going to keep on voice-noting you all night long, but you stick to that boundary. 

So, it’s like, I know that about you, but I think it’s like, some of these boundary books are so dense, it’s a wall. And in relationship, it is important to have a little bit of softness, and especially if you’re new to boundary, or that person’s new to boundary, it’s like, some boundaries are like an electric fence and it’s like very, very shocking. But instead, you can create, like, a door, of like “I can’t do this, but here’s what I can do”, and sweeten it up a bit because in that way, that person doesn’t feel like they’re totally rejected, it’s not this like…if you went from people pleaser to “No”, period, that’s like a very big jump. But instead, if you start to redirect them towards what it is that does feel like a win-win situation, then that’s a good way of maintaining that relationship.

[33:29] Rosie

Yeah. And as you were talking about the friend that calls to get the advice, I would love to add something that I’ve done in the past, that’s really worked for me, with regard…and again, it goes back to the bedtime, my only one boundary that I am just, just very strict on.

I had this friend that would call me, like call, you know, at all hours of the night, even though she knew that I was, you know, going to bed, this is not you, by the way.

[33:58] Sahara

I know, I never call.

[34:00] Rosie

You never call. But she would call, and I finally got to this place when it was just the same conversation over and over and over and over and over and over, and I would stay on the phone for hours and give advice and try to give different perspective, and after a while, it just got very taxing on me. And everybody kept saying “Just tell her no or stop taking her call, just don’t answer”, and I’m like “I can’t blank people”, you know, I, at least, like to let people know that I got the message or that I received what they were wanting to give me. And so, what I started to do was to tell her “Hey, I saw that you sent me a text, you really want to chat, I don’t have the appropriate energy to give you for this situation right now, but maybe if you have some time this weekend, we can chat about it, or maybe next week, or maybe tomorrow, or whatever that may be, because it’s not that you’re not important to me, I just don’t have…I want to be able to give the situation the appropriate energy that it needs”.

[35:08] Sahara

So compassionate. It’s like, I’m not going to pick up and be resentful or multitasking, I really want to give you the energy that something as big as this requires.   

[35:17] Rosie


[35:18] Sahara

And then that also helps that person see, like, this requires base-holding, it’s not something you can just constantly be doing. And I think that we’re so quick to, like “I have this problem, let me throw it on someone else”.

[35:29] Rosie

Yeah. Well, I mean, even you do that, when I send you a long 15-20-minute voice note, you know, if there’s something going on, you might say…

[35:37] Sahara

Yeah, I tell you I’m going to listen to this later.

[35:39] Rosie

Yeah, “I see your message, I’m going to listen to this, you know, when I have time”, and obviously, you and I have a different dynamic because we’re very, very communicative. But I think that acknowledgement really goes a long way, especially for people pleasers, when you’re trying to set boundaries. It’s just, acknowledge…we need to be able to set boundaries because I need to know where I end and you begin, because if I don’t know that, then I’m going to be very, very compelled to give all my energy away. And that’s going to be a big problem for me, for my health, for my wellbeing, for my mental state, because I’m not going to be able to hold everybody’s everything.

So, I think when we’re able to set boundaries in a kind and compassionate way, in a very mindful way, it’s going to be easier for us to begin to change that dynamic and turn into a bad bitch.


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[38:02] Sahara

Exactly! I had a similar story with someone that this actually brought us closer together. So, her and I were in the same medicine ceremony together, and you know, that really brings you close, you’re really opening up to each other, and you know, I’m having my own dark night of the soul the next day, and so many things for me to process, as is she. So, the next day, I just text her, I’m like “Hey, how are you?”, and she’s like “I’m processing this thing”, and she sends me some voice notes, and I love helping people with their problems, I mean, I’m a coach, like, created Highest Self Institute, it’s what I do, so I’m like, you know what, this is getting me out of my own problems, so let me help her with her problems, you know, sometimes it gives you some perspective. So, I’m helping her with hers, she’s voice-noting me back, we get on a call, we talk for over an hour and I’m like, giving the download of what she should do with her relationship situation, her this and her that, and she’s really resonating with it, she’s super grateful for it, and I felt really good about giving in that situation. Then, the next morning I wake up, and there’s a bunch more voice notes, but this time, I’m like, I just spent, like, a lot of my day yesterday on…like, to me, I realize, part of my over-giving comes with like, I don’t want you to have a problem, so I’m going to solve your problem, you know. So, if I can solve your problem, put a bow on it. I don’t need to worry about it anymore.

[39:19] Rosie


[39:20] Sahara

So, it’s actually coming from me feeling like I need to stop worrying about it. Because, with my parents, when they would fight, I would feel responsible, so I would get into, between them, of like “How do you feel? How do you feel?”, and be the relationship coach, so I wouldn’t have to deal with them fighting, you know. 

So, the next day, when I saw all these voice notes, and again, I’m coming off the medicine, which makes you very much speak your truth, and the old me would’ve never done this, but I was feeling very anxious the whole day because I’m going through my own deep, deep stuff, and, but I’m feeling that anxiety of I need to get back to her, I need to talk to her, and it’s with me the whole day. And I’m someone, I can’t leave someone on, like, ‘read’, I need to get back to people, I respond to all my texts, I don’t ghost ever, I’m an inbox 0 person, so I’m just feeling really anxious about getting back to her, so I really go inwards of why I feel that way. And I had that realization about how it’s related to my parents. 

So, the next day, I tell her, I say, you know, “It was really medicine for me, when you sent me those voice notes because I was very anxious, because I wanted to get back to you and I wanted to help you, and I was realizing that, because I felt responsible for fixing your problems, and I felt like I must not have gotten to the right solutions so now I need to come up with another solution. And I was getting out of my own experience and trying to be into yours, and it was the exact medicine I needed of how I don’t speak my truth in situations like this. I haven’t listened to your voice notes, but I actually want to thank you for bringing this to my awareness because it was a deep healing for me”. She’s like “Thank you so much for saying that because I was feeling really guilty for the rest of the day, after all that time you spent on helping me with this problem, that then, the next day, I sent more voice notes and I brought up all my co-dependency stuff”, and we had this beautiful healing moment, of like, both of us in our pattern, of like, her, like “Can you help me with this? He said that, he said that”, which is like, often, as girls, we do, and me of like “Let me drop everything and be there for you”, and both of us witnessing we don’t want to be like that anymore. 

And I never listened to those voice notes, which is like, huge for me to do, and she was able…and I referred her to my coach, and I was like, this is someone who’s helped me and, you know, I think it’s like, as a people pleaser, we think we need to be someone’s coach. Sometimes the best thing you can do is refer them to someone who is a professional and can actually help them with that problem.

[41:31] Rosie

Yeah, 100%. I think that we often forget that we don’t have to solve everybody’s problems. And I think, often times, our desire to avoid conflict overshadows, our boundaries, our ability to take care of ourselves and to be able to practice that, yeah, self-care, self-love, self-compassion that we so need. 

And I think that people pleasers, often times, put their own feelings, desires, on the backburner because they’re so concerned about always pleasing other people.

[42:11] Sahara

And it’s way easier to worry about other people’s problems than your own. 

[42:15] Rosie

This is true!

[42:16] Sahara

And we often saw it…the other day, my parents came over and my dad was crying because he was so worried about me, he’s like “You keep traveling all the time, you’re single now, you’re this”.

[42:26] Rosie

You didn’t tell me this.

[42:27] Sahara

Yeah, and I was like, he was actually kind of cute, but I’m like “You’re worried about me?”, and it showed me, oh, no wonder I’m in this freaking pattern, my parents just sit around and talk about how they’re so worried about me, instead of their own shit, like, I see where I get this from now, thank you very much. 

And it’s like, because it’s so much easier to be like “Oh my god, poor them”, rather than like “Hey, I drink Coke every day and I’ve never gone to therapy and don’t exercise and yell at the tv”, you know all these things that I do, but let me be concerned that, like, someone’s traveling a lot of time because that must mean, like, something, something’s up.

[43:03] Rosie

Right, right.

[43:04] Sahara

It just was that reflection back and I could just have so much compassion of where that came from.

[43:09] Rosie

Yeah. Can I just ask you a quick question, since we’re on the topic of your parents. Culturally, what does people pleasing look like, in Persian culture?

[43:16] Sahara

Oh, it’s just considered manners. 

[43:18] Rosie

Wow! Really?

[43:19] Sahara

Oh yeah, 100%! We even have this word for it, that, it’s called tarof, in Farsi. So, tarof means, let’s say you compliment me on something in my house, you’re like “Oh my god, I love this vase that you have”, I have to, in Persian culture, say “You like this vase? It’s nothing, you take it”, and then you have to say “No, no, no, it’s your beautiful vase, you should have it”, and then I have to say “No, no, no, it would be so nicer in your house”, then I would pick it up and put it in your hand. And we have to do this back and forth for a while, and this back and forth shows that you care about me and I care about you, and this is normal. If you don’t do it, you are very rude, to the point that, every time you go into a taxi in Iran, to the taxi driver, “How much is the taxi?”, “Oh, no, no, no, it’s on me”, “Oh, of course not sir, you have to tell me how much it is”, “No, no, no, you are my sister”, “Oh no, brother, you must tell me what it is”, “Okay, it’s this much”, even though you both know it’s fake. You both know, if I were like “Oh, it’s free, thanks so much”, they would be like “Fuck you”, you know. Like, it’s just, it’s part of this culture, it’s a manners thing, so much that it has its own name to it. 

So, I was trained, of like, if someone likes something of yours, you must offer it to them; someone comes to your house, give everything to them; never let your guests leave empty, you give them the food, you give them the this, you give them the that, like a guest is God in our culture. You even write poems for it, so it’s like…and there’s a beauty to that, like, the generosity of the Persian culture is so beautiful.

And I think, on the other hand, a lot of, like, American culture, Scandinavian cultures, which are very boundaried, like, for a Persian person, an African person, a South American person, it’s like so rigid because we’re so, like “Come to my house, have everything”, and then, I knew, I grew up like that.

So, when I was in high school, I would go to group dinners with my friends and I would be like “Oh, it’s on me”, because that’s how I saw my parents do it, and they’d be like “Oh, thanks”, and then I would have to pay for, like, my high school friends. So, this has been a lifelong pattern of mine. 

But it’s because, in Persian culture, in many different developing countries, I would say, like, our uncles would fight over who could pay the bill. Like, they would literally, like, go to the waiter and slip them the card, whereas in American culture, it’s like “Well, you ate some of my fries, so I think you owe me an extra $2, and you got a Coke and I didn’t, so can we just like…let’s settle this on this app that we have”, that would be the rudest thing ever in my culture.

So, yes, I grew up like that, that it’s so selfish to talk about money, ever, so I have a very hard time talking about money, because, also, as a woman, to ask for money, it’s seen as a very, very masculine thing, it’s like, only the men talk about the money, the women, it’s almost, you have to pretend money doesn’t exist. So, for me to be like “Hey, you owe me this much”, it feels so wrong to me, but then I end up in situations that I’m taken advantage of, but the beauty of that is, now that I do have money, I love inviting people, and it’s like, what my love language is, is to host and to plan and things, but you just have to be around other people who get it and can appreciate it, and there’s that reciprocity. And they may not be giving in the same monetary way, but they might be giving energetically, they might be teaching a yoga class, they might be…

[46:29] Rosie

There has to be an exchange. 

[46:30] Sahara

There needs to be some sort of exchange though, otherwise it becomes a mooch and no one likes a mooch.

[46:35] Rosie

No, nobody does, nobody does. Wow! Yeah, I love that, I’ve always wanted to ask you about that, in fact, I’m glad that you said that because I never…

[46:43] Sahara

Tarof, look it up. So, I have a few more and then let’s get into how to become a bad bitch.

[46:47] Rosie

Okay, let’s do it.

[46:48] Sahara

So, stop performing, you don’t want to be loved for your performance of who people think you are, let them love you for you (big one). Stop being the mom or the nurturer, to gain love. 

[47:00] Rosie

Uh, that’s mine right there.

[47:01] Sahara

Yep. Stop seeking approval. Stop trying to get people to like you. Be okay with people leaving, if they’re not a fit. Let go of anxious attachment. Let go of co-dependency. Let go of your need to control, you don’t want to have the job of controlling random people in order to get them to not hurt you, because that’s freaking exhausting. Cutting ties from moochers. And you don’t have to agree and like the same things that other people like. 

So, if any of these strike a chord, we can have a little chat about it, I’m happy to help you, sister.

[47:35] Rosie

Oh, thank you, sister.

[47:35] Sahara

Happy to hold space for you through this divine process.

[47:410] Rosie

I…I mean, look, all of them strike a chord. I think that, for me, the mothering/nurturing one is big because I’m the same way.

[47:48] Sahara

You’re a Cancer.

[47:49] Rosie

I’m a Cancer, I’m a nurturer, like, that’s just my way. I want to take care of…

[47:54] Sahara

Do you say that you love doing it or it’s just your default? Like, are there times that you’re just like “I love being the mama bear and caring for people?”

[48:02] Rosie

I…it’s interesting because I love doing it, but I know when people are taking advantage of it and then I don’t like doing it and then I don’t want to do it at all.

[48:15] Sahara

How do you know they’re taking advantage?

[48:17] Rosie

Because they become extremely…they expect it and they’re unappreciative. There is no acknowledgement, there is expectation, and that is where I have to draw the line, because…you know, me, you see me, I mean, I love cooking for people, I love making tea for people, I want to…

[48:44] Sahara

Connecting people with other people.

[48:46] Rosie

Yeah, connecting people with other people. If somebody needs help, somebody needs something to do, like, I will do and go above and beyond, and I don’t expect anything, ever, I do it because it’s just part of my nature and I know that, for me, being where I am, I feel like there was many people in my life as a, you know, like a teenage criminal, that afforded me those same kindnesses. And so, maybe I’ve always felt responsible as I’ve developed a career and such, to help people, you know, because I feel like I wouldn’t be here if those people hadn’t helped me when I needed the guidance, right? 

But I think when people really take advantage of my time, energy and resources, it’s like, first time it happens, shame on me, second time, shame on you, the third time, I don’t remember…remember that whole thing that George Bush…

[49:43] Sahara

Yeah, I think it’s like…you just had a George Bush moment right now on my Podcast. We’ll keep that in. 

[49:51] Rosie

No, edit that out. 

[49:52] Sahara

Okay. I think it’s, the first time it happens, shame on you, second time, shame on you, third time, shame on me, it’s the pattern.

[49:58] Rosie

Yeah, yeah, yeah. I mean, I knew that that’s what it was, I just wanted to have a joke, but it’s probably not a good joke.

[50:04] Sahara

I think the joke went on for a long time now. Anyways…

[50:08] Rosie

Anyway, but, so, when that happens, I feel like, for me, you get like, I give people too many tries, I’m like “You get three tries”. But once you start to really impede on my kindness, I have to put a stop to it.

[50:26] Sahara

And that’s my biggest fear, as a people pleaser, of what if I’m not saying thank you enough, what if I am, you know, that is such a fear because you know what it’s like when other people do it, so then I’m like “Oh my god, what are the things that I’m expecting and I’m taking for granted and I’m not appreciative about?”

And I do think it’s important to notice and to send gratitudes, randomly, to people and to check in. I would say I’ve become a lot more conscious of that now, than I have ever been before, because, sometimes, we’re moving so fast in life, that we don’t think about it. 

So, sometimes those people that you’re giving to, it’s not that they’re like “Ah, this person’s a people pleaser, I’m going to be taking”, but it’s like, they’re just not thinking about it, right?

[51:03] Rosie


[51:03] Sahara

Especially if someone is going through a hard time or something, like, I would tell you, like, during my divorce I was like “I’m so sorry I’m talking so much and this”, and I felt so bad about taking up that much space, because I wasn’t used to it, that I was like “Oh my god, I don’t even know how to be in a dynamic that I feel like I’m taking right now”.

[51:22] Rosie

Yeah, but that’s, I think, the beauty, and surrounding you with people that can hold you. I mean, that’s the beauty of having a community like this, having a community of like-minded people, because, I mean, to be honest, that’s when you know who your real friends are, because they’re going to tell you, and they will say like “Okay, that’s enough. Like, this is too much”, or they’ll say “No, you’re fine, like, this is…I’m here for it”.

There was never a point in any of my relationships where they’ve gone through something really challenging where I’ve felt like “Oh, this is too much”. Actually no, that’s not true. There was a situation that I was in where that chaos happened for years and years. Like, if this was your process and it was going on five years, I’d probably be like “You’re done, that’s enough”.

[52:23] Sahara

Or some people are constantly in one portal to the next, to the next, that it’s like, when are you just, like, chill, ever? Because I think it’s important to have time periods that you’re building the relationship and then time periods when a person is in more need in a relationship, but there needs to be that balance.

[52:39] Rosie

Yeah, but I think it’s what I said earlier, there has to be the communication because it’s hard, right? Because the people pleasers in us, you might think “Oh, I’m really taking a lot”, “If Rosie’s a people pleaser, she’s not going to tell me if I’m taking a lot”.

[52:54] Sahara

The first time in my medicine ceremony, I was voice-noting you, I’m like…

[52:56] Rosie

Oh my god, it was the best.

[52:57] Sahara

“Oh my god, I’m so sorry I talk so much and I just love you so much”.

[53:01] Rosie

I want to, like, frame those messages, they were so lovely and they definitely made me feel good.

But anyway, like, that, to me, I understand that, right, because you have to be able to find that balance of “Oh, okay, this is now the line”, but also, I think that we have to be able to discern that. You know, when you really love somebody and you really care for them, your bandwidth is so broad, you’re willing to hold so much, and you surprise yourself at how much you’re willing to take.

[53:41] Sahara

And I think that that’s what we, as then, going into the more bad bitch, is like, a bad bitch is not cold and heartless. I think a lot of us are afraid of like “If I step into my bad bitch energy, no one’s going to want to be around me”.

[53:54] Rosie

Define bad bitch.

[53:54] Sahara

So, I think this term bad bitch has become like a colloquial term, uhm, you know. I think at the beginning, like 10 years ago, bitch was like a very hard word, it was a derogatory word, but I feel, because of popular culture, it has since been reclaimed.

So, it’s a word I resonate with for fun, uhm, up to you guys in the audience, you call yourself bad witch, that’s a cool one too.

[54:16] Rosie

Oh, I like that.

[54:17] Sahara

Bad witch, bad bitch, both are…

[54:19] Rosie

Can I be a bad Buddha? That’s weird, right?

[54:22] Sahara

A bad Buddha? Yeah, you can do whatever you want honey, this is a free country. 

So, to me, that bad bitch energy is, you know, they say bitch – a babe in total control of herself, the acronym.

[54:34] Rosie

Oh my god! This is…

[54:35] Sahara

But to me, it is someone who is authentically themselves. They are expressed, they are bold, they are empowered, they’re self-sourced, they’re not seeking outside of themselves for validation and they stand out in their own unique way that is quite inspiring and refreshing to be around, because they’re not seeking that…like, if you think about the people pleaser, it’s like “Are you good? Are you good? Are you good?”, it’s trying to get everyone to like them, which, actually makes you dislike them because you don’t even know who they are. Whereas the bad bitch is like “This is what I’m going to do, so I’m going to do it”, and that’s magnetic, because we want to be like that, so, we actually think that’s going to draw people away, but we’re like “Holy shit, like, how do you have those boundaries like that?”

Like, I’ll share, a friend of mine, Anna, and she won’t mind me sharing this, she’s a boundary queen. And she was staying with me, for like 2 weeks in my house, which is a long time for a friend to stay with you, but the reason why it worked, is because some mornings she would wake up, she’d be like “Hey, Sahara, really don’t feel like this morning”, and me, I’m like “Good morning, what are you grateful for, what did you dream about last night, what’s your intention for today?”, like, I don’t even know if I want to…that’s just my default or, like, how I am, and then she’s just like “I’m kind of in a mood right now, I don’t want to talk”. And at first, I was like “Wow, wow, wow”, and I was like “Wow, this is refreshing, because now I know…”, then she would be like “I’m ready to talk. How are you, this?”, and we would have our drop and we would have our morning ritual together. So, I know that she’s being with me when she wants to be with me, rather than this expectation of like “I’m staying at her house so I should, like, succumb to whatever she wants to do”, so, I liked that about her, because I’m just like…sometimes, at night, she’d be like “I’m going to go into my room, I need some alone time”, and I’m like “Great”, because I would’ve never thought about that on my own, because I’m just like “Let’s hang out and talk forever, slumber party vibes”. So, I’m like “Great, she wants to have alone time, this is a reminder for me to have the alone time too”, so, it was very nice to be around.

[56:26] Rosie

That is…that, I love the definition, first of all, of bad bitch, I love the acronym, and yeah, I think that’s really great that she was able to voice that.

And I think about it too, I feel like once you’re in a really good groove with your people, those things don’t even become a thing, you know, you can just be in the same space…

[56:47] Sahara

I was inspired by it.

[56:49] Rosie

I mean, I think that that’s really great. I’ve never…I guess, personally, I’ve never been in a situation where I’ve…maybe because I’m a really good guest.

[56:59] Sahara

Like, when you and I are hanging out and you’re always the one who’s like “Okay, I’m leaving”, I would never, in my life, ever leave, I will hang out forever, you know, I’m just like that. So, it’s inspiring for me because I’m like, I’ve never in my head had a thought about leaving a conversation, ever.

[57:18] Rosie

I’m like “I’m done, I’ve got to go, I’m tired”.

[57:20] Sahara

So, I’m like, bless the people who are at a party and it’s like the middle of the party and they’re like “I’m tired, I’m leaving”, I’m like, could never imagine, cool.

But again, my, if you know the five personality patterns, have you read that?

[57:31] Rosie

No, no, no.

[57:32] Sahara

By Steve Kessler, yeah, Kessler.

[57:34] Rosie

Kessler, yeah. 

[57:36] Sahara

Mine is the merge type. So, I find safety in merging and connecting with other people. And I’m a projector in Human Design, with a lot of open…most of my design is open, so when I’m actually with people, I do lose track of who I am and who they are, I’m so engrossed in the conversation, I, like, love who they are and then I’m like…

[57:54] Rosie

You’re also an empath, you’re really in tune so I’m sure you just get lost in that bubble.

[57:57] Sahara

Yes, exactly. But it’s inspiring me for me to have people who have that because that allows me to step more into my bad bitch. So, I wrote some ways that we can step into our bad bitch.

So, the first is, have your own style. And this has been one I’ve majorly stepped into, like, I kind of like had the same style for a very long time, Boho, very like, loose dresses, the all-white look, the Anthropologie, free people look, which is cool, it’s a cool style. And I would get little, like, micro doses of other styles, I went through that little 70s phase, did a photoshoot on this. After my divorce, I’m like “Bitch, I’m in my thoughty era, I’m like, hot pink, corsets…

[58:37] Rosie

Neon bikinis.

[58:38] Sahara

I’m all about the sea shells, I’m all about the, just like, the bold. And I think the old me would’ve not…first of all, I think, like, I had some sort of idea in my head of, oh, if you’re married, you should be, like, dressed more conservatively and, like, not show your body, which was, like, my Persian programming, right? Like, that’s not how a married woman carries herself. And again, considering I was in that relationship since I was 24 years old, so, I spent most of my life considering myself to be a married woman. So, that was one of the things that changed.

I started doing photoshoots to show the different styles that I was feeling within myself, to have these visuals. And I think that’s such a fun way to express these shifts going on within yourself, of like, do an amazing photoshoot dressed how, like, your inner bad bitch is. So, I did one, I was in this, like, amethyst chain, bodysuit thing, in the waterfall in Trinidad and I was like so in my goddess element. And that image just represents that portal of my life right there, of like fully stepping into my Shakthi energy.

I’m doing one tomorrow that’s very like sequin, and bright, and bedazzled. So, I love having my style and doing photoshoots to show other people, like, this is a physical representation of how I feel inside.

[59:52] Rosie

Yeah, I love that.

[59:53] Sahara

Yeah. What about for you?

[59:54] Rosie

No, I…you know, it’s like, my style is very, I’m like, my internal goth likes to come out once in a while, but I think, you know, I’ve definitely gone through my changes, stylistically. I think, back when I was, you know, teaching yoga a lot, I had the long mermaid hair, the Mulla beads, and the, you know, yogi wear, and then, all of a sudden, things change. I think we evolve and it’s…

[1:00:20] Sahara

And we think we have to dress that way to be spiritual.

[1:00:23] Rosie

Yeah, exactly. And I think that I just…I love fashion, and I love to see people’s style, and I’m not very, like, a, what do you say, like, I’m not really into modern fashion, like, whatever’s trending, I’m not into trendy fashion, I’m definitely way more into your authenticity style, like, whatever you’re feeling. Because when people are confident, we talked about this last time, right, when people are really feeling themselves and they’re really confident, whatever fit they’re wearing is going to look good, right? So, I think it’s really important for me to just, yeah, dress what I feel. And I’m just, I don’t know, I love all kinds of different styles, but…

[1:01:05] Sahara

And it’s refreshing because it’s like you’re the meditation teacher that’s like wearing black eyeliner and you know, this kind of goth, rock, punk look, which is refreshing because you don’t see a typical meditation teacher dress like that. And even if it’s not your specific style, we can appreciate the fact that it’s a style that you’re standing for, because it’s a representation of “I’m not afraid of being myself”, which is the magnetic piece.

[1:01:29] Rosie

Right. Love that. Next.

[1:01:31] Sahara

Next up is – take a risk. So, you can’t be a bad bitch without taking risks. The people pleaser doesn’t take risks, it’s looking at what’s the safest thing to do for everyone to like me, which is boring. The bad bitch is taking risks in her life, in what she says, in what she stands for and how she shows up. So, to be a bad bitch, you have to be okay with not being liked, it is part of the equation. 

So, for me, with my twerking, you know, at first, it was like, I was afraid of showing it because I had never, you know, I’m like an ayurveda author and people know me for, you know, spiritual teachings, but I have this other side of me that I hadn’t expressed yet. So, I would share a little bit on my story, “Am I safe?”, okay, a little bit on my feed, “Am I safe?”, and I would get pushed back and would get people talking shit about me, and I still get people talking shit about me, the difference is, I don’t give a fuck anymore.

And it was so cool being at my Highest Self Weekend event with 300 people, who were there, who wanted to twerk, and cry, and rage, and dive deep, and meditate, and channel, all of it with me, because they were like “I’m so inspired by the fact that you are not afraid to be yourself”. Whether it’s, they wanted to twerk or they wanted to be punk or they wanted to do whatever it is that they wanted to do, it was me taking a risk on something that didn’t…there was never a spiritual teacher twerker, I would say, before me. I would say I was one of the first to really do that and bring it into this, like, social media world. And yes, when you do something first, you’re going to get the most arrows shot at you. You know, I got cancel campaigns, numerous times. I got people, you know, saying they can’t take me seriously, they won’t buy my book, they won’t this, they won’t that. But that comes with the bad bitch territory baby boo.

[1:03:09] Rosie

Yeah, it does.

[1:03:09] Sahara

You want to be a bad bitch, you’ve got to walk the bad bitch walk and talk the bad bitch talk, motherfucker.

[1:03:13] Rosie

That’s true, that’s true. And you’ve got that Teflon too, you know, you start to build that, that guard against…you know, people are always going to have an opinion. Most of the time, the people talking shit are the people that are too afraid to take the risk. 

[1:03:29] Sahara

And even like, beyond the guard, like before, if someone would say something, I’d be like “I’m going to block you”, you know, and it was more of that protection. Whereas now, I’m like “There’s nothing to protect”, because I know me, and I know I’m in integrity, and I know I’m helping people, and I know I’m in my truth. And that actually is, the people that are not okay with it, they’re not even in my field anymore because I’m not questioning me, so they’re not questioning me. So, it’s like, when you take a risk and you stand for who you are, you surround yourself by people who are a fuck yes for you.

[1:03:59] Rosie

I love what you just said that, you know, that you’re not questioning you, so…

[1:04:05] Sahara

Because the Universe is a mirror.

[1:04:06] Rosie


[1:04:07] Sahara

And if I’m questioning me, I’m going to get people questioning me. Right now, I actually don’t get any hater comments on it because it’s like…

[1:04:12] Rosie

The energy has shifted.

[1:04:14] Sahara

And you wouldn’t follow me if you’re offended by some ass., you know. Not for you, honey, stay in the PG section.

[1:04:22] Rosie

Not for you.

[1:04:23] Sahara

So, the next one is, be confident.

[1:04:25] Rosie

Oh yeah.

[1:04:27] Sahara

So, being confident, I would say, is the sexiest thing on earth.

[1:04:30] Rosie


[1:04:32] Sahara

  1. Yeah, I think that comes with taking a risk.

[1:04:36] Rosie

Comes with taking risk, comes with speaking your truth. And I think, for me, it’s, you know, this idea of perfectionism seems to run rampant in our society. And I’ve always been a fan of authenticity over perfection. So, when you can be the real real and you can be honest and you can be fully who you are, that confidence is, you know, it’s the result of your ability to do that. So…

[1:05:07] Sahara

And I think confidence comes with, okay, what’s the worst-case situation? I’ll get abandoned, I’ll get rejected, people will talk shit about me. Guess what, not only will I survive, but on the other side of that is my greatest liberation. So, it’s like, okay, perfect, I actually want that to happen because that means I will become free of those things dictating my life anymore.

[1:05:29] Rosie

Yeah, because that’s the thing. Those things dictate our lives and then we’re in fear and we’re completely just stagnant where we are.

[1:05:38] Sahara

And by the way, they’ll keep talking shit regardless.

[1:05:40] Rosie

It doesn’t matter, exactly.

[1:05:42] Sahara

I would rather have them talking about you wearing hot pink and twerking than being like “She’s a boring people pleaser”, okay.

[1:05:46] Rosie

And you’re going to be inspiring people out there, you know. I’ve never found a twerk that didn’t inspire me.

[1:05:52] Sahara

Same here baby boo! So, the next one is self-love.

[1:05:56] Rosie

Yes, my favorite. We should do a podcast on this.

[1:05:58] Sahara

Yes, because self-love, I honestly, I had heard the term, obviously, before, but it wasn’t until my divorce that I actually, like, understood what it was, from a deep level, of looking at myself in the mirror in this, like, really vulnerable time of my life where I was so confused, so hurt, so just, like, broken open and raw, and I just, like, looked at myself and I’m just like “I got you, like, I love you so much and, like, we’re going to get through this”. And I just saw my tenderness for the first time, really, of just like, I’m doing the best that I can and, like, I will get myself, I am my own inner masculine who will get myself through this, and I’m my own inner feminine that gets to join. And there’s something so beautiful when you realize “I’m everything I’ve been looking for”, and that can be felt. And there’s deeper and deeper initiations into it.

So, I find the more that we can, again, go into what is that fear what we’re so afraid of happening and realizing, not only will I survive through this, but it will make me more of who I really want to be, we love ourselves more because we can show up for ourselves in a way that no other person can.

[1:07:06] Rosie

Yeah. I mean, you know, I’m like a self-love addict, you know. I mean, not that I’m fully…see, to me, it’s a journey. The way I look at it is, yes, I love myself, and I care for myself, and I have self-compassion, and self-acceptance and self-forgiveness, and all the self-loving things that you can do, but it’s always a process, right? It’s definitely a journey, and yes to all of the things, you know. 

I think it’s…you said something so beautiful about seeing that tenderness within yourself, and I think that that’s really looking at yourself from that perspective of wanting your own suffering to end, right, the ultimate self-compassion. And I think that’s beautiful, and that’s the only thing we can strive for when we are wanting to embark on the journey to self-love.

[1:08:00] Sahara

Yes. A practice that I teach in the Embodiment Certification, is to touch yourself the way that you would a lover. So, to like, caress your arms, caress your face, especially. Like, you know when you love someone, you’re just like, you’re so curious, want to just feel their face and their lips, and it’s like this new phase that you get to, like, discover and touch, but we never do that to ourselves. Or, like, scratching our heads and just giving ourselves that same tender love that you would, yeah, your lover, or even your child as well, that affection and that care.

And, you know, I actually did it with my students this morning and so many of them were crying because they’re like “I’ve never touched myself in that way”. And I think we think of self-touch in this sexual way, a self-pleasure way, but it’s like tender touch, loving touch, just like…our bodies actually respond to the same way from us touching ourselves than someone else touching us. Our bodies are just like “That’s touch and that’s oxytocin and it makes us feel that we are safe”, because, evolutionary, we were only cuddling and hugging in times of safety. So, when we go, for a very long time, without being touched in this way, which, if you’re single, that does happen, then your body is like “I must not be safe”, which is going to, somatically, create this nervous system response of like “I’m left on my own and I’m vulnerable now on my own, so I need to just find someone to get me out of this loneliness”.

So, a way to kind of prevent that from happening is to give yourself loving touch. So, often, in my daily embodiment practice, I just bring in this loving self-touch in, I touch my heart, I touch my lips, I touch my face, I touch my neck, and then I just feel so much more tender and loved within myself, which is going to make me more confident in how I show up. 

[1:09:40] Rosie


[1:09:40] Sahara

All comes from within. And then, the last one is expression. 

[1:09:45] Rosie


[1:09:46] Sahara

So, communication, authenticity, expression, through social media even. I see a lot of people, you know, on social media, just repeating the trends, repeating the same graphics, the same this, and they’re like “Why aren’t I standing out?”, it’s like, how are you expressing yourself in this bad bitch energy? So, having radical authentic expression, saying the unpopular opinion, saying…if everyone’s like “I love watching scary movies”, and they’re all talking about scary movies, like, for me, I don’t even watch movies and I’m just like “Yeah, I don’t watch movies”, but, like, I love talking about the lessons, maybe, in them. And the old me would’ve just, like, in those conversations, just kind of went silent or like tried to nod along as if I knew what everyone was talking about, and I’m just like, that’s not, I don’t have time, it’s not my thing, right? So, it’s like, be contradicting, don’t be afraid of people not liking you or you being left out if you’re not homogenous if you’re left out. Instead, you might say, everyone’s talking about, I don’t know, they watched the show, well, maybe you have an interesting story about, I don’t know, a download you got in your meditation and you share that. It’s like, people are just looking for something to talk about, so you be the person to bring something new to the table, otherwise everyone will default to, like, the lowest denominator, which tends to be celebrity gossip, shows, the weather, politics, bullshit like that that no one actually wants to talk about, let’s be real. Like, is anyone enjoying those conversations, no bitch.

So, bring something to the table. I’m that person who is like “Tell me your favorite sex position. Tell me a time that you were really inspired by someone?” I’m always just asking questions on conversations that I want to have, and actually it makes people really appreciative because it deepens the conversation in this way that people are like, their wheels are spinning and they’re thinking of things they wouldn’t have on their own, but I’m the person who has to go on the limb here, bringing something to the conversation that normally wouldn’t have been, I have to face a potential rejection that might happen, of like “Wow, that’s too deep”, but then, if they say that, those aren’t my people anyways. 

So, I think expression is what ties all of this together because then you’re also going to find other people on your frequency and it’s not just you living in this energy inside of yourself, but then, all of your friends just want to talk about the Kardashians, but rather, you having these conversations, so then, you’re going to find those people and then you guys just all amplify each other up.

[1:12:07] Rosie

Yeah. And I think it’s good to be able to have people in your life that also don’t agree with you because it’s important to be able to have that dichotomy to be able to have the paradox, you know, to achieve that balance. I’m not saying like, go make friends with people who are completely opposite of you.

[1:12:28] Sahara

But we love our little debates.

[1:12:29] Rosie

Oh yeah, even when you’re saying this, when you’re like “Oh, nobody wants to talk about politics and all this stuff”, I’m like, I don’t know, I kind of do. You know, I kind of like to have those conversations, you know.

[1:12:38] Sahara

Yeah, I think they’re, sometimes, good, it’s just when you meet people, I feel like we’re all trying to just find…our people pleaser comes on, of like what can we call connect.

[1:12:45] Rosie

No, I like what you’re saying because you’re a deep person. So, you’re the person at the party that’s like going, you’re in the corner, like, going into, like a deep vortex with somebody who was literally there to just see, like, if there was any pretty girls there and you’re like…

[1:13:03] Sahara

“Tell me your attachment style”.

[1:13:04] Rosie

Yeah, “Tell me your attachment style”, like “Oh, oh really? Like, who’s approval did you want the most, like, your mom or your dad, like, tell me about that?”, you know, that’s, your style…

[1:13:15] Sahara

But it can also go the opposite way of, maybe I really want to dance and have fun, and I will be that person. So, it’s like, not being afraid of you creating the vibe that you want to create.

[1:13:23] Rosie

Yeah, and 100%. And I think, I love that about you because you’re always…I think, really, the portion to expression that I love, and if I can add an addendum, is to be open.

[1:13:36] Sahara


[1:13:37] Rosie

You know. To be open and to know yourself, and you know you’re a deep person, so you are going to go up to somebody and be like “What’s your favorite sex position?”, or like…I’ve sat next to you when you’re having these conversations with people, and these people are literally, like, kind of, caught off guard, and also really engaged in the conversation, I’m like “Man, this girl really knows how to make people come to their present moment”.

[1:13:59] Sahara

And that’s that bad bitch energy right there.

[1:14:00] Rosie

Right! But it is, but you’re absolutely right, and that’s actually, it’s something really beautiful and I think that if more of us can embrace that, we will go out of this polarity that we find ourselves in when we’re in, not polarity, but we can pull ourselves from this, you know, you’re different than I am, we don’t have any common ground, it’s like, how can we find more of that commonality and have conversations that actually connect us as opposed to divide us. Like, you are genuinely, like, authentically curious about people, like, you’re like an anthropologist, you know, and you’re really committed to that way of being. And I think when people see that and they hear you express that, they’re very compelled to open up to you, that’s why you’re such an effective coach, you know, because you are all of those things, genuinely. 

But I feel like, a lot of the times, people have a hard time expressing because, yeah, they don’t want to get dagger-stoned at them, they think that they’re going to say the wrong thing or support the wrong party, or you know, like, say the wrong word. And I feel like, we need to be more open, we need to be more accepting of people’s multi-faceted way of being.

[1:15:22] Sahara

Yes. Give me an honest truth! Feels good to receive and it’s fucking exciting! Alright, you heard it here first. This is how to move from your inner people pleaser to your inner bad bitch, so you can live your most expressed, embodied, juicy and radiant life.

[1:15:39] Sahara

So, if you loved this Podcast, please share it with your friends, share it on your Instagram, because we need more radiant, expressed souls, we need more people living in their truth so we can actually have real relationships and friendships where we can be our actual selves and leave less of this, like, weird cloudiness out of the way so we can actually drop in and have fun at the same time.

So, if you love this conversation, not only share it, but also leave a review for it in the iTunes Store, and I will send you my Free Womb Meditation. So, this is a meditation that drops you into your womb space so you can receive her answers. So, the womb is the home of the sacred feminine, whether you have a physical womb or not, we all have an energetic womb. So, just leave a review for this Podcast on the iTunes Store, take a screenshot and then email it over to me at [email protected] you can find that in the show notes and I’ll send you back my Free Womb Meditation.

[1:16:32] Sahara

Thank you so much for tuning in and I’ll see you in the next one!

Episode#514: How To Stop Being A People Pleaser And Claim Your Inner Bad Bitch with Rosie Acosta
By Sahara Rose

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