Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Being a People Pleaser Leads to Addiction??

Being a people pleaser comes in a variety of shapes and sizes. I used to think that I wasn't a people pleaser because I didn't please people all the time but I just recently realized that theirs a lot more to it than that.

What's a People Pleaser

It's about worrying what others think and watching what you do all the time so you don't offend anyone. It's also avoiding situations where you might want to say no because you don't feel comfortable saying no. It's about feeling bad and replaying a conflict you had with someone over and over in your head. It's also about doing things that we really don't want to do just because we know if we didn't it might upset someone. Not being able to take criticism or being hurt easily is another sign that you might be a people pleaser.

All these situations are based in some way or another on wanting to please people. So I came to realize that just because I don't feel like I'm always pleasing people doesn't mean I'm not a self-destructive people pleaser. Worrying or simply thinking that you don't always please people can be another sign that your a people pleaser. 

Is Being a People Pleaser a Bad Thing

Some people might say being a people pleaser is a good thing because you're selfless. Or some would even say that you couldn't possibly be a people pleaser because you didn't care when you were addicted. You definitely didn't try to please anyone while you were doing anything to get your next fix.

Well let me assure those people that being a people pleaser never goes away even during addiction. It's just numb during that time and for me this was one of the reason why I wanted to stay high. I just couldn't deal with all the displeasing I had done while high and it was easier to just stay high. Getting high was a relief because I could be who I wanted and do what I wanted without worrying about what others thought.

To those who think that being that being a people pleaser is a good thing because its selfless let me assure you that it isn't. We will go to any limits to please someone even to the detriment of our own happiness and safety. We aren't strong enough to have boundaries and in my case this led me to trying drugs and getting addicted. Nothing good about that. Being a people pleaser played an important part in the reason I got addicted and I imagine this to be the case for many addicts.

Why Do People Worry About Pleasing

I always doubted that this might be from a lack of confidence but I thought that because I was popular, I socialized a lot and make friends easy that I didn't really have a lack of self confidence. Its only recently that I've truly come to accept that I lacked self confidence. I always knew it on some level but never truly accepted it until now.

Self-confidence issues can be hidden very well and it's different from person to person. I always had this image in my head that having a lack of self-confidence had to mean that I was shy, didn't like my appearance or didn't have many friends. Even thought I didn't think I was any of those things I realized I really didn't like displeasing people, not even a little bit. That's until I was too high to care.

As a teenager, I always wanted to please my friends, but I had a big mouth and would portray this tough girl persona so no one really suspected that I was a people pleaser or a pushover. And before it could even really become noticeable I was already addicted so being a people pleaser was put on the back burner.

Does Being a People Pleaser Lead to Addiction

Although being a people pleaser probably lead me to getting addicted. For example, I did coke for the first time to be accepted and please my father. I wanted to be closer to him so when he offered I took it. Also  I smoked weed to be accepted by friends. Isn't that the case for many addicts? Peer pressure. I think self confidence building workshops in high school should be mandatory.

Now that I'm sober being a people pleaser has become an issue again. I worry about what others think and I avoid situations where I might want to say no. I'm easily hurt by criticism and get very defensive. Not pleasing the ones I care about all the time hurts me and it makes me sad. I've also noticed that I do more to please certain people and not as much for the people I would like to do more for and deserve more. I'm missing out on a lot by being this way so I really want to take some steps to build some self-confidence and not be a self-destructive people pleaser anymore.

Some Tips to Find Balance:

On Wiki How they say to "Start small by finding something small to say "no" to, and say it firmly. Say it politely, but mean it! You'll be surprised, the world will not collapse around your ears! People rarely take offense, and those that do aren't worth pleasing." We can also ask for time to think about it that way we don't feel put on the spot and we actually have time to evaluate if we really should be doing what there asking.  It's easier with time and as we realize people can be reasonable towards our desires. Then we might be able to start to voicing our desires on other things besides saying  no.

Also do something for yourself that you really want but were afraid others might not like, I think we might exaggerate what other people's opinions would be. Chances are if they matter they will respect your decision. Wiki How says: "Remember that there ought to be things that you truly want to do for yourself, regardless of what anyone else thinks, not in spite of it. Other people's opinions are a factor in our lives, but they should not be the determining factor." Once we do something for ourselves it becomes easier to do a second and a third (like saying no).

Another important thing to do is examine our fears. Write it down and make a list. Are they realistic? Are they truly terrible? Try and determine the cause of these fears as well. We might be afraid that no one will like us, that someone will leave us, or that we will be left all alone if we don't say the right thing. Once the fears are laid out in front of us its becomes easier to realize they aren't realistic which is a step towards overcoming them.

Figure out ahead of time before people ask you for something what is acceptable to do for others and what is unacceptable? Being able to analyze this factor allows you to measure what can be done for others and what shouldn't be done for others in a much more objective manner. Wiki How says "Learn how to identify and label unacceptable treatment from others and how to set limits on their behavior when they violate your boundaries."

In Conclusion

Although these ideas are helpful I believe it doesn't address the root cause of the problem which is a lack of self-confidence. I'm working on another post dedicated to working on self-confidence and not worrying about pleasing people all the time. Finding that balance and not define our worth on what we do for others and what others think of us.


PS. Check out the Crystal Healing Trees I make myself. They are super pretty and I find they can be very soothing and healing.