Dec 14

Do You Have the Disease to Please?

Hi, I’m a People Pleaser. That would be my first line as soon as I put up People Pleaser Anonymous. I’ve always known myself to be one. What I didn’t know was that it’s a syndrome discussed in Psychology. How do you know if you are one? Well, I will enumerate below the People Pleaser Pattern.

1) You have trouble saying “No.”

2) You do things for other people but almost never ask anyone to do things for you.

3) You think of other people’s needs before your own.

4) You rarely do something for yourself and feel guilty once you do.

5) You always hold back on saying what you feel or think for fear of hurting someone.

6) You are easy to get along with and often accomplish so many things, even those that aren’t your responsibility.

7) You constantly worry about what people say or think about you.

The list is actually longer, but I will just limit it to those above. Since I have known for years that I am a people pleaser, I’ve tried to get out of it for a while now. When I was younger, I don’t even get angry no matter what the circumstances. Now, I don’t hold back as much as I used to. But I still feel guilty sometimes when I lose my temper so I know I am not totally cured. At least, I am not afraid of confrontation anymore and have made several in the past years especially when I know I have been wronged even if I’ve kept my place.

I still choose my words well. However, if I already feel close to the person, I tend to be tackless and insensitive sometimes. That’s better than being overly sensitive. What I have trouble dealing with is when people do special things for me. I have always been an independent person and have trouble asking for help. It’s not because I feel I am not worth it. I have already developed my self-esteem through the years, though unstable sometimes. I just fear assuming that some things were really meant for me when in truth they are not. Blame it on pride which I’ve hoarded a lot of.

Psychologists say that people pleasers were raised in homes where their needs and feelings were undervalued. Or as children, they were expected to respond and take care of other people’s needs before their own. They also say that most women have a natural degree of people pleasing in them. For males, only those who identified most to their Mom’s have it in them.

I’m not sure how I developed to be one but my Mom did raise me to be very responsible and independent. We did not have much when I was a kid, so I have never been used to having more than what I need, much less receiving things from other people. Regardless, I am proud of how my Mom raised us. People pleaser or not, she did a great job with me.

Anyway, if you think you are one, the first step to becoming better (as always) is accepting the fact that you are a people pleaser. Next is to practice saying”No.” Don’t give in all the time and stop feeling guilty if you do reject people. It is also good to indulge yourself sometimes. No matter what you believe, you really deserve it.

As for me, I don’t want to be totally cured. It has become part of who I am. I enjoy helping other people and making them happy. I don’t care if it is a psychological dysfunction or not. I know my limits and I trust my own judgment. If my judgment is wrong, so be it. Somewhere along the way, I will find the balance between becoming a people pleaser and a me pleaser. And I will enjoy myself while I’m on my way.

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