People Pleasing

“You may find this relevant today. Extracted from our workbook: ‘Create Beautiful Partnerships’ – we’re sure it will help”

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People
Michelle’s reality was loneliness

There are people who take all the time and there are people who
give all the time, the latter is exhausting

Michelle sat at the kitchen table smoking a very large joint; she drew heavily, inhaled the smoke and began to feel the buzz.

‘That’s better,’ she said to the empty kitchen, ‘time alone to chill with a glass of wine and a smoke, heaven!’

Michelle enjoyed being there for others, it helped her feel less alone in a way, but to Michelle, people always seemed so needy. She often asked herself: what was it about her that enabled people to open up, to share their sorrows so readily? Was she a good listener, a good friend, likeable?

The time alone continued for three days. Eventually, she became bored with feeling drunk and stoned, it was time to return to work and reality. Michelle’s reality was loneliness. Even when in company she could never quite push the feeling of being alone away. It helped to be with friends and colleagues, either at work or in her local later.

Andrew loved it when Michelle sat with him. They had both finished a tiring day’s work and were now in their local pub, enjoying the atmosphere and beer. To Andrew, Michelle seemed such a caring, lovely person, so easy to talk to. He was, of course, falling for her and in his eyes; she seemed to be warming to him.

As they talked, he shared more and more of himself, his fears, hopes and troubles. Michelle listened, made jokes and smiled in all the right places and seemed insistent on buying more than her fair share of drinks. Andrew made a decision, at the end of the evening he would ask her out. At the time, Andrew hadn’t even considered the fact he knew absolutely nothing about Michelle, all he knew was that he liked her warmth

And so it was, they started seeing each other and over the weeks became closer, more loving. The sex was great! In Andrew’s eyes all seemed well, until Michelle changed. She became distant, detached somehow. They started seeing less and less of each other. When in company, Michelle seemed antagonistic and critical of the things he said and did. It was the evening when he became angry at her criticism that he decided to call it a day

‘It’s just not working,’ he told her.

Returning home afterwards he felt sad and confused over ending it with his girlfriend, but knew her behaviour had become intolerable.

‘Well, there goes another one, disappearing into the night,’ said Michelle despondently. ‘And anyway he was just another needy fella, no loss.’

It was only later that Michelle began to feel sad and confused, she didn’t understand why so many of her relationships ended up this way. She had fallen in love with Andrew.

She topped up her glass of red wine, and then drew heavily on her joint. ‘Oh, heaven, time alone to chill,’ she exclaimed to the walls in her kitchen.

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To be considerate to other peoples needs is all well and good, however, to be overly considerate to others, due to a need to be liked, will in time end in the need to reject the people who learn to take from the people pleaser.

An individual who gives all the time will be neglecting their own emotional needs. This state of affairs cannot be sustained for long periods. When the people pleaser begins to sense they are neglecting their own emotional needs, it becomes necessary for them to reject the takers.

People are often confused by the people pleaser, as most of the time they are the life and soul of the party. They are the kind of person who can be relied upon to do the right thing by others, to be there for them. In time, the people pleaser will turn. They may slip into a dark mood and cut themselves off from others. Confusion for all is the result.

To be the partner of a people pleaser is hard work, as it can seem that the relationship is one long cycle of acceptance, followed by rejection and so on.

Conclusion

Needing to be liked by others is the people pleaser’s drama. Neglecting ones own emotional needs only results in a poor cycle of accept, then reject, the result of which is confusion for the people pleaser and those around them.

In our true story, Michelle was a people pleaser. Her own emotional needs came second. The cycle of accept, then reject, was necessary for her due to mental exhaustion. She needed to learn how to accept love and learn to believe that she was lovable.

We refer to the ‘ultimate rejection process’ within our heading; by changing her consciousness with alcohol and marijuana, Michelle was ultimately rejecting the self.

Solution

Putting ones own emotional needs first is paramount in beginning to change the cycle of accept then reject, a cycle that can happen when overly considerate to other peoples needs. It must be recognised that the individuals emotional needs come before anyone else’s.

Conversely, a person who dumps their emotional baggage onto others will continue to do this if allowed to do so. They may not have any consideration for the recipient of their garbage, they come away lighter, and the people pleaser will only ever ultimately feel dumpedon.

Important questions are these:
What is it that is lacking within me that drives me to want to please everyone else?
How is it so important that others like me?
What needs to happen for me to believe that people like me for who I am?

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