Woes of People Pleasing

I’m combining these next two things that I did.  This was a monster hurdle because everyone loves someone that does everything for them, right?  Yup, lots of rewards but sometimes at a terrible cost.  The cost of myself, my relationships, my dreams, my needs didn’t exist.

12. “I feel the need to please everybody I deem ‘of authority’ and thus have a hard time getting my needs met. I strive too hard for [a] perfection that doesn’t exist, and then eventually, melt down when too many things are not up to the standards held in my past.”

13. “I find myself always explaining my every move. I explain why I bought something, why I did what I did, etc. I feel like people think I’m lying to them, so I owe them a detailed explanation.

Also feeling as though if I say ‘no’ to someone, they’ll hate me. So even if I’m inconveniencing myself, I’ll say ‘yes.’”


Pete Walker refers to People Pleasing as one of the Four F’s.  Fawning.  This behavior goes way beyond serving others and being kind to those you love.  This is a full out everyone’s needs are more important than my own.

My counselor spent many hours reviewing with me that NO is a complete sentence.  He helped me understand that when I say yes to someone else I am by default saying no to myself.  I do believe that service is a vital part of the healing process.  However, it needs to be balanced with doing things I need for myself.  Again my counselor worked at teaching me to value myself.  Recognize that my goals, my dreams, my needs belong in my life.  Without them I turn into a robotic slave squashing resentment that boils over in rage added to shame.  Ugly.  I still give some people an explanation sometimes.  I prefer “No, thank you.”  Over just plain “No.” It does work.  The World did not end because I said no.

Flylady.net taught me the hazards of perfectionism.  Here is where I learned Progress not perfection.  For those of a religious idea that perfection is required, I prefer the interpretation one Jewish scholar gave that Biblical word used in Hebrew would probably be more accurate to say wholeness instead of perfection.  I like the idea of wholeness and at one with God as my religious goal.

Overcoming these tendencies takes practice.  I practiced first with my counselor.  Then I practiced with safe friends and family members.  Then I moved on to effectively using No without an explanation in the working world.  I kept expecting to get this concept all at once.  Didn’t happen that way for me.  Progress, practice, and patience are the three P’s I use.


2 thoughts on “Woes of People Pleasing

  1. Pingback: 12 of 25 Things | The Project: Me by Judy

  2. Pingback: 13 of 25 Things | The Project: Me by Judy

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