The “Craziness” of People Pleasing and How Did We Get Here?

What is this phenomenon “I need to make everyone in the world like me or people-pleasing?” This is a tough concept because in one-way people-pleasers are nice to be around. If we look deeper we have to ask at what cost? People pleasing can affect both men and women. The history of women, however, is to be compliant and accommodating. Women have been taught, “Don’t rock the boat, and just agree.”

In certain areas of the world, this way of being is still the norm for women. When you are looking for marital partnership in a society that allows true partnership you must discard your people-pleasing hat. If you want to have an authentic healthy life you must discard your people-pleasing hat. When you want to live without resentment throw away that PP hat! Do you want dignity at your job? The list goes on and on! Begin to ask yourself questions such as what do I believe, what are my assessments/opinions, what are my emotions etc.?

People-Pleasing Problems

There are several problems with this way of living. If you look at this way of relating closely, the individual and all of his/her uniqueness disappear. At no point does the People Pleaser ask himself what are my thoughts-emotions-opinions in this situation. The People Pleaser is focusing on what he perceives others want to hear in order to be liked. Think about that idea seriously! You need to read someone else’s mind and then say something that you think will make him think you are better than you think you are with your honesty.

This way of relating requires a lot of work. It also requires you to think poorly of yourself as you are, think others will not like you as you are: think others are better than you are; think you need to be other than who you are so others will like you. Do you notice the cost to you? There has to be anxiety around mind reading all these different people. How about the anxiety around saying things that may be inaccurate to how you really feel. What about the anxiety of people finding out how you really feel. How about the anxiety of “what did I say to this person?”

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Psychotherapist, Speaker, Coach, and Author of “Backbone Power The Science of Saying No”

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Dr. Anne Brown

Dr. Anne Brown

Psychotherapist, Speaker, Coach, and Author of “Backbone Power The Science of Saying No”

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