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Hello. This is my first post. I am 57, have been working with a therapist that has helped me to see my issues with people pleasing. As I look back on my life, I can see people pleasing, the inability to say no etc. have ruled my life and I've become somewhat reclusive as a result.
Over the past couple of years I've been working on learning to speak up for myself. But I find I feel no better for speaking up than I do for letting someone take advantage of me. Either way, I feel bad about myself afterward b/c i know that person feels badly towards me. When this happens, my first instinct in either case is to numb out. I immediately want to buy a pack of cigarettes and alcohol to block the feelings I have that people don't like me. I know this type of self harm is absurd and I should not care what people think of me, but the feelings of disapproval are almost unbearable. I don't know how to get past this.
Any thoughts on how you get through the difficult times without numbing out would be helpful. I would also appreciate comments on the people-pleasing issue. Many thanks.
 

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Hello there... Welcome to PerC!! :)))

I can relate to the people-pleasing qualities you've described -had a few encounters with my own mortality in the past when taking drugs to please my friends, which has also led me to be quite reclusive. Although, I only realised recently how much of this is caused by my not letting others in. I therefore try to let people in to my heart more, open up to them with my own love and care for them; which I feel has made them trust and respect me more. This I'm sure has made it easier for me to tell them what I feel even when it isn't necessarily what they want to hear, because they trust and respect me, although it's always difficult to do this being a 9... :tranquillity:

The biggest way I try to combat people-pleasing is not by rejecting it, but instead adapting it to helping/loving people from my own unchanging moral viewpoint. It is essentially the same objective- to try and please people, but I feel that when I do it by showing love and trying to direct them to help them personally (having let them into my heart to begin with) , I can still retain my viewpoint and gain trust & respect. This helps to bring me closer to people and become less reclusive. :untroubled:

I always try to be as empathetic and thoughtful in my decisions as I can be, so that I can have confidence in them. Also, through being able to voice my opinions to help others, I feel more confident in myself as a person. This makes me more comfortable asserting myself on others, to help not get walked over in other situations. I'll still always try to bring empathy into every decision, so that I can retain confidence in my own assertion and continue to be the helping force I try to be.

However, I am also aware that this philosophy is largely a product of my one-wing, a two in my tritype and my very morality-focused upbringing. This^^^^ is just one way that helped me because a lot of my self-value comes from how I treat others. . .It could be easier to brainstorm on your situation with a bit more information if that's ok :)))) ........

What form does your people-pleasing take? In what situations can it be an issue for you? And have you found any methods so far which you find useful?

In the meantime I wish you all the best in your situation <3
I'll finish with a pretty potent song that I think is on topic.... :distracted:

 

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Well for starters, you're self-aware, and that's part of the battle as it is.

It sounds like you fear saying no to people because you believe that you'll lose them. In order to get over this, you have to be willing to let go of other people. Because even if you lose people, you still have yourself, and you are enough.

If I were you, I would perform a litmus test of everyone in your life. Ask yourself if the people in your life are happy for you when you stand up for yourself, when you state your desires, when you do what you want. The people worth having in your life will encourage your self-assertion, not derail it. And if they're not willing to do that, you either need to redefine those relationships or get new ones.
 

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May I suggest a book?

"Feeling Good" by by David D. Burns M.D.

The title is cheesy, but the book is more than worth it. It teaches you how to handle those negative thoughts around how others perceive you. Logically, these thoughts make no sense, as we not only have no great control over what others think of us, it is also nigh impossible to accurately predict the thoughts of another person. I see you are making the mistake to take your feelings for the truth behind the situation. Whether you feel good or bad about an action, the action stands. Your feelings don't change this, so why torment yourself so much? This book has been a great help for me, as it keeps on teaching me to distance myself from my (negative) automatic reactions to a situation, and to assess whether my reaction makes sense. And even more than that, it teaches me to not leave my self-esteem hanging on what I believe the other thinks of me.
It teaches you how to be your own therapist, essentially.

Also, it keeps you from numbing out your thoughts / feelings as the primary method here is to sit down and write these thoughts and emotions out. The hardest part is getting started, really. But it's a great anti-numbing treatment!

If nothing else, it's worth spending the equivalent of a pack of cigarettes (less probably) to possibly have your entire attitude around your self-esteem changed.

From personal experience, I can say it's worth it. :)
 

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Daeva, Errant and Durrie, thank you so much for your response. All of you have given me much to think about. Daeva, I read "Feeling Good" many years ago and remember it to be very useful. I will buy another copy. Just a couple days ago, I remembered that my thoughts are not facts and that I must not always believe them!

Errant, you make a good point. Many of the relationships I'm concerned with are temporary which makes it even more absurd that I worry about them. I have a bad case of this people pleasing thing! I was listening to Suzanne Stabile yesterday and she said nines believe they don't have a place in this world..that they were taught that they are insignificant. This hit home with me and explains why I find others' feelings to be more important than my one. Fortunately, I believe my closest friends will always be there when I stand my ground. And some have proven this to me.

Durrie, I too have developed an identity around my desire to be kind to others. I find it ironic that all my life, i patted myself on the head for being nice, while letting others take advantage of me. You have reminded me that there is a delicate balance to all of this. I'm also reminded that being honest and speaking our truth is usually best for the other person as well.
To answer your questions; I hate to admit this but I am a college professor and my biggest issue is with my students! Over the past few years I've stood my ground better than I used to, but it's still very difficult. I expect them to be mature and do their work, but many will test me to see what they can get away with. I've not found any thing that makes me feel better. When I let them have their way, b/c i'm just too tired to deal with it, i feel disrespected and when I stand up and put them in their place, I feel like the cranky old woman. At this point, I've pretty much decided I will no longer tolerate the disrespect, but I don't feel any better for it. I guess i just want people to be "NICER!!!!" (surprise!)
 

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To answer your questions; I hate to admit this but I am a college professor and my biggest issue is with my students! Over the past few years I've stood my ground better than I used to, but it's still very difficult. I expect them to be mature and do their work, but many will test me to see what they can get away with. I've not found any thing that makes me feel better. When I let them have their way, b/c i'm just too tired to deal with it, i feel disrespected and when I stand up and put them in their place, I feel like the cranky old woman. At this point, I've pretty much decided I will no longer tolerate the disrespect, but I don't feel any better for it. I guess i just want people to be "NICER!!!!" (surprise!)
Yeah that must be difficult as it sounds like all the inspiration and motivation to do good will have to come from the students. I'm sure you already do this but I guess you have to remind yourself that it's almost part of your role as their professor to sometimes drum some respect into them? It'll only teach them to be NICER and I'm sure that by this stage in their education they will have had so many genuinely 'cranky old woman' teachers that in comparison to the impression you've given me, it would be impossible for them to view you so sourly :)))
As a 17yr old I can tell you with some confidence that most students I'm aware of won't think any less of any professors who don't tolerate rude students, because it's entirely normal not to. Despite all this advice I'm trying to give I understand it's not an easy situation to navigate with the confliction you describe:02.47-tranquillity::rolleyes-new:
I hope it's not too much of a source of worry for you and wish you all the best <3
 

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Hi Durrie! It's great to get perspective from a 17 year old. I love that you have embraced the enneagram. If I could,I would teach it in my classes! You are absolutely right and I try to remind myself of the fact that a large part of my job is to teach them respect and responsibility. It's a constant test for my 9 personality and there is no way of avoiding it. I just have to learn not to let it get to me. I have that desire for no conflict and peace and it is upsetting to me, when I and they make things difficult, but it's a learning process for all of us. I will say I'm MUCH better than I used to be. It's the very tough situations that really get to me, but I have to remind myself that it will get better with time. Thanks Durrie.
 

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Hi Durrie! It's great to get perspective from a 17 year old. I love that you have embraced the enneagram. If I could,I would teach it in my classes! You are absolutely right and I try to remind myself of the fact that a large part of my job is to teach them respect and responsibility. It's a constant test for my 9 personality and there is no way of avoiding it. I just have to learn not to let it get to me. I have that desire for no conflict and peace and it is upsetting to me, when I and they make things difficult, but it's a learning process for all of us. I will say I'm MUCH better than I used to be. It's the very tough situations that really get to me, but I have to remind myself that it will get better with time. Thanks Durrie.
ahahaha Yep it's pretty cool that I'm spending my adolescence introspecting and the like:wink::laughing:
I'm sure you will and wish you all the best <3 And you're welcome, anytime
:puffer::puffer:
 

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I am 9w1w8. I don't really fear anything in life. I only feel driven to keep my immediate surroundings flowing well by doing chores. The world around me is improving automatically as I do what I do, which is researching and putting knowledge into the world.
 
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