“While people-pleasers may think they excel at making others happy, their real talent lies in making themselves feel miserable and inadequate.”
-Harriet Braiker, The Disease to Please
Do you have any idea how exhausting it is to constantly be thinking on behalf of someone else? Or for that matter – everyone else? To be in this sort of chess game where you want to stay one step ahead of their reactions, emotions, needs and desires? To take on their failures, shortcomings, sadness and hurt as your own – as if your lack of action or preparedness had somehow caused it?
If you related to any of that, I have bad news: you may very well be a people-pleaser – a PeepP as I like to say. It was not very long ago that I would have taken that as a complement. Now I understand quite differently. I am very much enjoying the book quoted above. It promises to be very practical in unraveling the habits, thought patterns and emotions that can be so draining as a P-P.
One thing that has already hit me is how being a PeepP is manipulation and control masquerading as niceness and servitude. In our own way – the only way we really know how – we are trying to illicit a specific response or emotion. We are trying to bend the outcome of events to our own perception of what ought to be. Very rarely dose it turn out like we think it should and even more rarely are our efforts greatly appreciated. More often than not, those around us eventually resent our efforts as intrusive stabs into their lives.
Balance, I believe will be the key. Taking care of me, standing up for me, asserting me is not selfish – it’s healthy. (Unless you’re not OK with that, then leave a comment and I will write something totally different!)