There’s absolutely nothing wrong with pleasing people, including ourselves. If we’re willing to make sacrifices for the sake of another, who are we to say that’s wrong? But the fact is, people pleasing isn’t about pleasing others, but fending off our fear of rejection. Those of us who would consider themselves people pleasers are generally individuals who feel the need to be accepted by the world around them. And not just a general acceptance, but that of each person they come in contact with. And to maintain this madness, we seek to please with abandon. One of the great misconceptions among people pleasers is this idea that we’re ‘good people’ who are just trying to make everybody happy. … it’s not so much our great concern for another human being, but our obsession with the way others may perceive us. As a result, we tend to say yes to everything and rarely stick up for ourselves. Even if someone blatantly wrongs us, we are usually the ones who absorb the hurt and then stand in the corner, fuming to ourselves. It’s not a pretty site. The fact is, when we try to please everybody, we end up pleasing nobody. Tired from the burnout that comes from the over extension of ourselves and frustrated by the fact that we keep letting others take advantage of us, we quickly become ineffective in helping others and often times end up resenting everyone around us. Then, when we finally run into a situation where our help is truly needed, we are too depleted to help out. Also, our ability to decipher a real need from that of someone trying to take advantage of our people pleasing nature, is quite skewed. In our minds, every ‘need’ is a requirement for us to act and in time, this wears us down to worthlessness. From an article by ‘Eric’ @ http://motivatethyself.com/overcoming-people-pleasing/
If you are busy pleasing everyone,
you are not being true to yourself.
Real Self Confidence and Esteem is based in emotion, not a self-image. To build self-confidence and overcome low self-esteem is to change how we feel emotionally about ourselves. To change our emotion requires changing two different core beliefs about self-image. The first core belief is obvious. It is the belief that we are not good enough. It may have a more specific association to how we look, how smart we are, money, or lack of confidence sexually. The second core belief to change is the image of success that we feel we should be. Changing this belief is contrary to logic, but is a must if we are to overcome insecurity and raise our self-esteem. When your mind has an image of success that you “should be” it associates happy emotions with that picture. I call that the image of perfection in our mind. The mind does a comparison between the image of perfection and how you see your self-image currently. The comparison results in judgment and self rejection for not meeting the image of perfection. The self rejection results in feeling unworthy and of low self-esteem. While the image of perfection appears to be a way for us to feel good about ourselves, it is actually causing us to reject ourselves which creates feelings of “not being good enough.” If you were to dissolve the belief that you should fit into the image of perfection you would eliminate the self rejection and feelings of unworthiness that result. Taken from “Insecurity and Confidence” http://www.pathwaytohappiness.com/writings-insecurity.htm
A man’s spirit is free,
but his pride binds him
with chains of suffocation
in a prison of his own insecurities.
Self-esteem tends to fluctuate over time, depending on your circumstances. It’s normal to go through times when you feel down — or especially good — about yourself. Generally, however, self-esteem stays in a range that reflects how you feel about yourself overall. Overly high self-esteem. If you regard yourself more highly than others do, you might have an unrealistically positive view of yourself. When you have an inflated sense of self-esteem, you often feel superior to those around you. Such feelings can lead you to become arrogant or self-indulgent and believe that you deserve special privileges. Low self-esteem. When you have low or negative self-esteem, you put little value on your opinions and ideas. You focus on your perceived weaknesses and faults and give scant credit to your skills and assets. You believe that others are more capable or successful. You might be unable to accept compliments or positive feedback. You might fear failure, which can hold you back from succeeding at work or school. Healthy self-esteem. Healthy self-esteem lies between these two extremes. It means you have a balanced, accurate view of yourself. For instance, you have a good opinion of your abilities but recognize your flaws. When you understand your own worth, you invite the respect of others. Self-esteem affects virtually every facet of your life. Maintaining a healthy, realistic view of yourself isn’t about blowing your own horn. It’s about learning to like and respect yourself — faults and all. http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/self-esteem/MH00128
Too many people overvalue
what they are not and
undervalue what they are.
Malcolm S. Forbes
Gifts are a far more common cause of personal discomfort and interpersonal conflict than most people realize. Why the Conflict? There are many potential sources for discordant attitudes toward gifts. Cultural and family differences are certainly important. Gifts may have been a big deal in some families and all but ignored in others. Psychologists maintain that issues of power and vulnerability underlie many gift-related problems. Consciously or otherwise, some people try to use gifts to buy love or friendship, assert dominance or instill a sense of obligation. Others — men in particular — have difficulty accepting gifts because it makes them feel weak and vulnerable; in effect, in someone else’s power. They seem to fear the feelings of tenderness that are awakened by receiving a thoughtful gift. Among couples having interpersonal difficulties, underlying relationship problems can also show up as a conflict over gifts. One person may always be the giver and the other the receiver, with the receiver feeling helpless and dependent and the giver feeling resentful and unappreciated. Those who neither give nor receive may be too self-occupied to nurture their relationship. And those who continually give to one another may be locked in a power struggle that has many other dimensions. Jane E. Brody http://www.nytimes.com/1990/12/06/health/personal-health-look-some-strains-well-delights-giving-receiving-gifts.html
Even in social life,
you will never make
a good impression
on other people
until you stop thinking
about what sort of impression
(Self Esteem) Authentic self-esteem is not dependent upon others or things external to us. Such self-esteem is a manifestation of our relationship with our self. The essence of self-esteem is that it flows from within. If we lay ourselves bare in our vulnerability and strip away our careers, our families, our friends, our possessions and achievements, what are we left with? And how does that feel? Beyond the obvious losses, do we like and respect who we are, irrespective of the markers of other-esteem? (Other Esteem) We modify and mold so much of our behavior and even more, our very personality to achieve other-esteem. We literally create personality masks in this endeavor, presenting to others the person we think they would approve of. In such circumstances we are abandoning our true self to derive approval or recognition from others. Not only is this a self-deprecating experience, it also sabotages our relationships, for they are far from authentic. When we act in this manner we are literally taking our well-being and serving it up to other people. It then becomes the other person’s to decide if we are worthy. This is not a healthy place to be and it is a soul-defeating exercise. We should never judge ourselves based upon who we think others see us. The simple truth is that others don’t judge us. They may have opinions of us. Yet, to elevate their opinion to the status of a judgment is simply ridiculous. No one can judge you unless you grant him or her the power of being your judge. Why would we put a judge’s robes on an ordinary person and confer such power upon them? The only person who you might grant such power to works in a courtroom; all others are people with opinions. With a healthier measure of self-esteem we might more easily tolerate others opinions without escalating them into counterfeit judgments. Mel Schwartz L.C.S.W. http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/shift-mind/201002/self-esteem-or-other-esteem
The worst loneliness is to not
be comfortable with yourself.
Codependent people are fearful of being abandoned, ignored, or shamed, so they continually look to others or things outside of themselves for cues to tell them what they should be like or what they need to do. Although sensitivity to others can be a wonderful trait, codependents take it to an extreme. They become absorbed with adjusting to the cues that others give about their desires and wishes. Because codependents are so focused on pleasing or helping others, they tend to lose touch with their own desires and thoughts and feelings. They have learned to protect themselves by disconnecting from significant portions of their inner emotional life. Inwardly, they don’t feel strong, settled, and confident. This is because they struggle with their basic sense of self. Consequently, they have a hard time knowing what they want. They fear facing themselves truthfully and risking being true to their own feelings and judgments. When they are aware of emotions, what often comes to the surface are painful feelings of emptiness, shame, and anger rather than their healthy desires and potential for good judgments. Those are hidden behind their fear, guilt, and shame. Jason T. Li. Ph.D. http://lifecounsel.org/pub_li_overcomingCodependency.html
An individual’s self-concept is the core of his personality.
It affects every aspect of human behavior:
the ability to learn, the capacity to grow and change.
A strong, positive self-image is the best
possible preparation for success in life.
Dr Joyce Brothers
What defines codependence or codependency is the way that: 1) we place the needs of others first to the exclusion of our own; 2) our self-esteem is dependent on gaining the approval of others; 3) we worry excessively about how others may respond to our feelings, so we walk on eggshells or tiptoe around each other; and 4) how all of this makes it very difficult for us to feel like we can be free to be ourselves in relationship. Ask yourself if you truly have an individuated sense of yourself separate from your partner’s feelings, interpretation, or perception of you. Individuation is the innate tendency we have as humans to become individualized away from others (especially our parents), as well as to become conscious of our life purpose and know who and what we are and where we are going. Codependency on the other hand, keeps us locked in our emotionally immature patterns with one another and keeps us from maturing and growing as an individual on the planet. Excerpt #3 from “He Said, She said: Codependency vs. true love — how to tell them apart” By Hanalei Vierra, Ph.D. and M’Lissa Trent, Ph.D.
Having a low opinion of yourself
is not “modesty”. It’s self-destruction.
Holding your uniqueness in high regard
is not “egotism”. It’s a necessary
precondition to happiness and success.
In retrospect it’s clear my “like me, please!” demeanor of most of my life was a smoke screen for the brooding malcontent I actually was. Nothing was ever just right or good enough, especially about myself. I was never content with anything or anyone, especially “me” for more than a short period of time. Ninety eight things could be just right but I’d focus on the two that weren’t and magnify them to be larger than all the other’s combined. This made me a somewhere in the range of a perpetual “fault-finder” and “defect inspector”. Now some years into codependency recovery it’s clear to see imperfection abounds and to a large degree is what makes the world vibrant. The cracks and off-center parts lend creativity to life and make it interestingly colorful. “I” and everything and everyone around me is far from perfect and can never be “just right”. Thank goodness! How boring and bland living would be if all was the same and all around was nothing but carbon copies.
Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering.
There is a crack in everything,
That’s how the light gets in.
It’s perfectly normal to be self-conscious at times and to a point it’s part of a balanced and healthy view of one’s self. However, for many who bear weak esteem issues, self-consciousness sometimes becomes an almost paralyzing preoccupation. On those occasions an avalanche of thoughts can bury a person: “Am I dressed right? My hair looks bad doesn’t it? Are my clothes OK? Will they be able to tell how uncomfortable I am? I have no idea what to say. What if I made a fool of myself? Maybe I’ll just stay home and not go out.” Casually thinking one or two of those thoughts from time to time is normal. Thinking them all (and more) at the same time is not. A saying that helps me when I get all stirred up with that type of stinkin’ thinkin’ is “what you think of me is none of my business”. It’s not an instant cure but used regularly it can help push away overly self-conscious thoughts.
Finish each day and be done with it.
You have done what you could.
Some blunders and absurdities
No doubt crept in,
Forget them as soon as you can.
Tomorrow is a new day,
you shall begin it well and serenely…
Ralph Waldo Emerson