Peo­ple pleasers

The Citizen-Record (Cumberland) - - COMMUNITY - Dr. Gwen Ran­dall-Young Psy­chol­ogy for Liv­ing

Are you a pleaser? A pleaser is one who negates his or her own needs for fear of ever let­ting any­one else down. A pleaser is usu­ally a gen­uinely nice per­son, but to a fault.

On the one hand, there is a heart­felt de­sire to be help­ful or fa­cil­i­ta­tive, but on the other, there may be ei­ther a fear of dis­ap­point­ing others, or a strong de­sire to be seen as an amaz­ingly good per­son.

The pleaser runs into prob­lems. First of all, it is im­pos­si­ble to please ev­ery­one all of the time. It is dev­as­tat­ing for the pleaser to have some­one up­set with him or her. This is bound to hap­pen once one is jug­gling the needs of sev­eral peo­ple.

Se­condly, the pleaser is of­ten dis­hon­est, ex­ter­nally ex­press­ing a keen de­sire to do what others want, but in­ter­nally wish­ing there were a way to get out of it. This pro­duces stress and anx­i­ety in the in­di­vid­ual, and even re­sent­ment to­wards the one be­ing pleased.

An ad­di­tional com­pli­ca­tion oc­curs when those whom one has been pleas­ing come to ex­pect the pleaser to con­tinue to meet their needs. Once ex­pec­ta­tions are well es­tab­lished, it is even more dif­fi­cult for the pleaser to say, “No.” Grad­u­ally, there is less and less time for one­self, or for one’s fam­ily, be­cause the pleaser is too busy look­ing after ev­ery­one else.

The first step in “re­cov­ery” is ad­mit­ting that you are a pleaser. Then, ei­ther with in­tro­spec­tion, or the help of a ther­a­pist, aim to dis­cover how you got to be that way.

Next, you need to learn about healthy bound­aries, and how to set them for your­self.

This is the chal­leng­ing part,

“It is dev­as­tat­ing for the pleaser to have some­one up­set with him or her. This is bound to hap­pen once one is jug­gling the needs of sev­eral peo­ple.”

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