Wednesday, 21 March 2012

People Pleasing.

I seem to have spent the last 40 years doing my very best to please the people around me.  My counselling has helped me to identify the areas in my life when I do this without realising.  I know why I do it and I can't change that.  However I do know that I can change.  So how do I cope with suffering  the consequences - the fact that I will disappoint people.  When I disappoint others it feels like the end of the world.  It is not as simple as just not liking being wrong - though I have been accused of this many times.  No body 'likes' to be wrong, but some people can cope with it far better than others.  I appear to be  the latter.

In the past this has led me to withdraw and 'protect' myself from the issue or people I feel caused the disappointing 'end of the world' feelings that I get.  So friendships and relationships have ended and working situations have changed.  This in turn has ended up with me being even more convinced that pleasing people is the only thing to do.  However this has a downside as well.  For one thing people pleases are false.  If  I am doing it in order to protect myself from conflict then I have to face the consequences, my natural creative self is going to be very stifled maybe snuffed out completely.

Gah - it feels at the moment like a no win situation.  I want to be the person that God created me to be, I want to be able to explore and make mistakes without the crushing feelings I end up with inside when others don't agree with me.  And most of all I want to stop having to 'protect' myself by running away!

Maybe other people who do not suffer with this 'affliction' could learn a little more sensitivity.  It does not mean that they have to suddenly start agreeing with everything I say.  That would solve nothing.  Language is maybe the key - maybe non people pleasers could instead of statements like," I disagree with you because....." make statements like, "could an alternative be ......."  or "my experience is this, which makes me believe ......"

I don't know if this would definitely solve things, but I would love to think that it might help.

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