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People Pleasing, why do we do it?


I’ve been reading this great little book and this along with some other things that have happened, it’s really got me thinking about how much we, well i people please.

As well as wanting to make everyone happy, people pleasing can have a negative effect on us, well me, most of my life I’ve been worried how people are affected by me, whilst sometimes not even noticing how I’m affecting others... complicated eh? I can get so wrapped up in myself in a negative way that I’m of no use to those around... living in self!

I’m trying to teach myself to become less worried about what others think, I have this overriding feeling all the time that I’m affecting others, when mostly they couldn’t give a shit haha! This is something  I totally need to let go of. I wear guilt like a heavy coat weighing me down, and sometimes no amount of yoga, meetings, meditation or prayer can rid me of it. As with most of these self led character flaws the person it damages most is me....

I don’t know about you, but I will hold on to a resentment without being honest and then blow at the wrong time, I find it difficult to show anger or that I’m hurt in the moment, and no amount of meetings, mediation or yoga(more about this later) seems to stop me but I will stew on it until it makes me so uncomfortble, then I react to it disproportionately. This can be conscious or unconscious, I consider myself emotionally intelligent but we all need time to process stuff and find where it fits and what feelings it brings. 

Pause Such a simple little action,but not always easy to do. I think we all wear masks I live in a small town and do a job that requires me to be upbeat and positive and I think if you asked my mates if I was confident they would probably say yes... but I’m not... I hate it if people are angry or disappointed in me, I cannot bare letting folk down, this of course leads straight back to people pleasing, trying to keep everyone happy at my own expense, it makes me sound like a martyr ..... I’m not I’m an idiot. We should all be able to say to people around us 'I am not happy with this situation' or ‘I would like to have done things differently’, question whether our feelings are being taken into account? Just the same as we question whether we are doing the right thing..... I’m going to be honest sometimes I say things people want to hear, even when I maybe feel hurt or disagree I would love to be braver but I definitely think this is a character lots of recovering alcoholics share... we love to beat ourselves with a stick! Haha

The reason I mentioned yoga is, I can sometimes have very emotional experiences when I’m practicing, so much so I can become teary.... but it’s all good it’s a much needed outlet and I would encourage anyone to try it! I used to think it was all a load of mumbo jumbo....but it turns out its true! I think it’s being in touch with your body and maybe quiet time I guesss like meditation. Another one to try. 

So try and think of situations where you’ve just agreed with someone to make them feel better when you maybe felt hurt..... wouldn’t it be better to have been honest at the time... avoiding resentment... maybe we think they should know they’ve hurt us but humans do possess the power of reading minds!

Maybe you’ve agreed to go somewhere you didn’t want to, maybe it’s always another friends choice and you don’t ever say ‘do you know what I’d rather do something else’ or no thanks it’s not for me this time, freeing you up to do something you DO really love that is beneficial to your wellbeing and happiness?

Or maybe you say yes too much at work and you’ve become bogged down and you feel under appreciated? These all lead to resentments that can fester and effect us mentally in recovery we say ‘resentments isn’t the number one cause of relapse!’ Scary and powerful stuff.

So next time you feel hurt, say. Next time you feel undervalued, explain. Next time you feel your not heard put your opinion across.... even if you think it’s rubbish. 

We are worth it, we do matter and everyone’s feelings and opinions count for lots and lots, that’s how we all grow together. I try and treat others as best I can but remember we can’t control people or how they behave... only how we react.

Another random little tip this week is ... I’ve found an amazing album! East Forest LoveBomb.... listen to it on Spotify an amazing track for meditation is Grandmothersphere...... so inspiring ! 

So much love

Clare xx


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Clare Matty
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