Archive for April 19th, 2011
These are some characteristics of a people pleaser.
• Do you have trouble saying, “No?” Are you afraid that it might displease someone? Do you wind up saying “yes” and regretting it instantly? Then, when you fail to deliver on your promise, does it turn out to be more displeasing than if you had said, “No,” in the first place?
• Are you too busy pleasing others to ever take time to please yourself? Are you always the pleaser, never the pleased?
• Do you wonder why you are so depressed?
• Do you have trouble being honest with others because telling the truth might be displeasing? This absurd attitude can be called honestiness to distinguish it from the real thing. When your well-intentioned “white lies” catch up with you, do you find that you have been more displeasing than you would have been had you told the truth in the first place?
• Do you unconsciously assume that you are a mind-reader? Do you think that you ‘know’ how people want to be pleased? Do you then set out to please them accordingly? Do you often find that you have been mistaken, and the beneficiary of your good intentions is often displeased instead?
• Do you expect people to be grateful to you for your attempts to please them? Even though they weren’t pleased by your efforts, do you feel that you should be given credit for the goodness of your intentions: “I only did it for you!”
• Do you protest your beneficiaries’ ‘lack of appreciation?’ Do you feel that your “goodness” has been for nothing? Do you feel like you are worthless? This attitude is called the Good For Nothing Syndrome.
• Do you expect people to please you in return: “That’s fair, isn’t it?” When they fail to reciprocate, do you complain about the ‘unfairness’ of it all? Do you feel victimized? Do you blame yourself for your own victimization?
• Does the unfairness make you angry? Do you suppress your anger instantly so no one will know you have this displeasing emotion not even you?
• Do you know who you are angry at? You are angry at yourself for being so good to this person in the first place and it’s too late to take it back!
• Do you feel that you have no rights of your own, not even the right to say, “no?” Do you feel only the endless responsibility of, 1) pleasing others, 2) avoiding displeasing others. When you fail at these fictitious responsibilities, do you feel compelled to ‘try harder’ the next time? Will it work?
• Do you hate solitude? The Pleaser cannot stand to be alone. Are you very good company for yourself? When there is no one around to please, do you feel ill at ease like you have been deprived of your only means of justifying your existence?
• Do you define success in terms of being ‘well-liked.’ Do you work overtime at the task of pleasing others? This can become a full time job at the expense of the job you are being paid to do. Might your employer find your misdirected energies to be very displeasing?
• Do you define your self-worth in terms of how you appear to others because you cannot validate your worth on your own terms? If someone should tell you that you aren’t pleasing after all, would you feel painfully worthless and inadequate? Would you feel devastated, annihilated? Would you feel out of control? Anxiety? Panic? This aspect is called Dependency.
• Are you afraid to openly express your legitimate anger at these “ingrates?” If you “offend” them, would your identity as a Pleaser be annihilated? Can you afford to take that risk? Or do you have to squelch your anger down and suffer in silence, until you can’t stand it anymore?
• When you finally do ‘Blow your top,’ do you feel ‘guilty’ afterwards, as though you had no right to be angry? Only ‘real people’ have the right to be angry.
• Are you afraid that the people you have offended will get revenge on you, even destroy you? That is anxiety.
• Are you often attracted to people who are difficult (or impossible) to please? Do you find them to be more of a “challenge?” This is how Pleasers set themselves up for a lifetime of defeat and disappointment. But it was exciting while it lasted!
• Do you become the victim of those you are trying to please? Do these people respect you? Do they find it convenient to take advantage of your vulnerabilities? Can you choose not to let them?
• Are you an Indiscriminate Pleaser? Do you please people whether they need to be pleased or not? Can you tell the difference between pleasing the boss, who pays your salary, and pleasing the janitor, who does not?
• Are you always ‘on?’
• Do you know how much pleasing is enough? If you do not, how will you know when to stop? It is endless. You are trapped on a treadmill to nowhere.
Now that you have checked off these components of the Pleasing Syndrome, what do we do about them? We don’t give you a score, like a magazine quiz. The purpose of this breakdown is to give you handles that you can use the next time you catch yourself behaving in these self-defeating ways. The first step then, is to recognize these attributes in yourself. The second is to catch yourself in the act, and choose not to do it. The third step in the process of out-growing is to do something completely unexpected instead.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )