Moodscope's blog



The pros and cons of people pleasing. Thursday February 2, 2017

I thought there were only benefits in being a people pleaser, I never imagined others would see it as an undesirable trait. To me people pleasing is all about thinking of others before myself and so being a caring compassionate person.

I would proudly say I was a people pleaser then I noticed a few years ago people saying 'yes you are' with a sarcastic tone. After googling I saw the tide had turned and now most of the articles were about the down side of people pleasing.

According to the articles people pleasers are unhappy because they please people when they don't want to and feel guilty.

This isn't me or is it? I like to do things for other people because I like helping.

One point was that we must learn in life that we don't have to like everyone, everyone doesn't have to like us and that's ok.

I want everyone not to like me but to like each other. I can't handle conflict. So I will everything to make people get on with each other.

It also said you feel exhausted and depleted from putting everyone else's needs before your own and not taking the time out to practice self-care. I thought that was just the definition of being a parent or a carer.

If your people pleasing affects your own health, then it becomes a becomes a problem.

If you find it hard to say no even when saying yes will stress you, you may need to limit your people pleasing activities.

Some of the high costs to a people pleaser, can be deep resentment, loss of self awareness, exhaustion and low self esteem.

I can relate to some of the negative results of people pleasing, especially the exhaustion and the loss of self...

Practicing saying no to people without feeling guilty later is another important skill... I have learnt to say no but am still working on the guilt.

Do you see yourself as a people pleaser?

Is it a problem for you - in what ways?

Or are you a people pleaser who has found the balance? How?

Any advice for a people pleaser who wants to change?

A Moodscope member.

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment below.

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the room above the garage Thu, Feb 2nd 2017 @ 6:27am

So pertinent Leah. Me totally. Exhausted and in need of change. Thank you for highlighting, love ratg x.

Hopeful One Thu, Feb 2nd 2017 @ 7:24am

Hi RATG- welcome back.Missed your contributions.

Leah Thu, Feb 2nd 2017 @ 7:52am

Ratg Look how many people have missed your words. Take care

Bearofliddlebrain Thu, Feb 2nd 2017 @ 8:31am

Bear hugs, RATG...x

Jul Thu, Feb 2nd 2017 @ 8:45am

Hello ratg. This time of year is totally exhausting and pretty grim. I need a a change too but can't work out how to make it happen. I have always thrived on change and for too long, I have stagnated. So I think I know how you feel. It's nice to see you again but I know you are there in the background, battling with life (!) and when you feel like it you will appear. Like most of us. Julxx

Tutti Frutti Thu, Feb 2nd 2017 @ 8:52am

RATG Nice that you are here today. Hope you will be feeling better soon. Love and hugs TF xoxo

Leah Thu, Feb 2nd 2017 @ 8:56am

Jul I am in a different season but am feeling totally exhausted and more so than usual. I keep trying to find a reason. I am not sure what to change.

Tutti Frutti Thu, Feb 2nd 2017 @ 9:08am

Hugs to you to Leah love TF xoxo

the room above the garage Thu, Feb 2nd 2017 @ 7:47pm

HO, Leah, Bear, TF, Jul the welcome from each of you is sublime. I feel I've walked into my favourite cafe to find you all at the best table...with a cup waiting for me :-) Its been a wind tunnel here...Christmas rolled into illness (each of us) rolled into exam season which made my volunteering go into overdrive. I'm feeling delicate and have been up and down up and down thing. But you know, better than I remember any year thus far! Usually by February I'm broken in two and I'm only a little bruised! Love to you all, you're special friends, love ratg x.

Leah Thu, Feb 2nd 2017 @ 9:07pm

Ratg So great to hear from you. It sounds like has been full. Look forward to read more of your words soon.

Leah Thu, Feb 2nd 2017 @ 6:40am

I am so glad to see your name and your words. How are you going besides being exhausted.Take care Leahx

the room above the garage Thu, Feb 2nd 2017 @ 7:50pm

Hello Leah. I love conjuring up a picture of your life on the other side of the world from me, your shop, your walks in the bush, the heat to our cold. And your blogs are always so on the pulse. Good to see you. Me? Answered above, bruised but breathing! :-)

Leah Thu, Feb 2nd 2017 @ 9:05pm

Ratg I see you in the highlands wearing a kilt, eating haggis while playing a bagpipe and at other times in your room covered in a quilt!!

Leah Thu, Feb 2nd 2017 @ 9:07pm

Bruised but breathing, is that your next blog, Ratg??

Rachel Thu, Feb 2nd 2017 @ 6:54am

Thoughtful words. I too was pleased to see ratg - was wondering if you were ok?

the room above the garage Thu, Feb 2nd 2017 @ 7:50pm

Thank you :-) so caring and I swear I can feel the welcome through the air. Love ratg x.

Jane Thu, Feb 2nd 2017 @ 7:14am

I've been looking forward to this blog, thanks Leah. Yes, I am! But I have gradually over the past few months eased off and learnt to make decisions that are better for me and not others all the time. The guilt, or overthinking these decisions, can be a problem though. However I have found that my true friends have remained just that-true friends x

Leah Thu, Feb 2nd 2017 @ 7:47am

Thanks Jane, Trying not to overthink is very hard -any ideas?

Jane Thu, Feb 2nd 2017 @ 11:15am

I sometimes just say to myself STOP! You are probably wrong about this Jane, you usually are! My Mum always said 'bake a cake.' In other words keep busy but that doesn't always work. The only time I forget everything is when I'm making a model or art project with my daughter.xx

Leah Thu, Feb 2nd 2017 @ 9:09pm

Jane I like the back a cake comment. I think I loose myself in my shop when I am putting my books into alphabetical order. Thanks for replying. I have you to thank for inspiring me to finish this blog. I often have a few ideas going at same time but your comment a while ago made me finish it. So Thanks.

Jane Thu, Feb 2nd 2017 @ 10:10pm

That's really nice to hear, thanks Leah. I've been down today and this has picked me up. I'm so glad you wrote this blog!

Leah Fri, Feb 3rd 2017 @ 12:25am

Jane, sorry you have been down today. I always find your comments interesting and helpful.

Jane Thu, Feb 2nd 2017 @ 7:14am

Hello ratg!

the room above the garage Thu, Feb 2nd 2017 @ 7:51pm

Hello Jane! :-)

Hopeful One Thu, Feb 2nd 2017 @ 7:23am

Hi Leah- an interesting post that made me look up a psychological theory called Transectional Analysis.Maybe reading this book 'Discovering your real self' about to be re printed under a new title as'Five personality Types' by Mavis Klein might help.One of the personality drivers it identifies is 'People pleaser' which your blog seemed to invoke. Remedies for this personality type are suggested which you might find helpful.

As you probably know I am of course busy developing my own theory - LCBT( Laughter based Cognitive Behaviour Therapy) based on the premise that it is impossible to be depressed and laugh at the same time and the observation that depressed individuals rarely laugh. They may appear to as a facade as in 'masked depression' but not an endorphin producing genuine laugh.

Here is today's instalment of this theory.

A man and a woman are having dinner in a fine restaurant. Their waitress, taking another order at a table a few paces away notices that the man is slowly sliding down his chair and under the table, with the woman acting unconcerned. The waitress watches as the man slides all the way down his chair and out of sight under the table. Still, the woman dining across from him appears calm and unruffled, apparently unaware that her dining companion had disappeared. After the waitress finishes taking the order, she comes over to the table and says to the woman, "Pardon me, ma'am, but I think your husband just slid under the table." The woman calmly looks up at her and replies firmly, "Oh no, My husband has just walked through the door"

Leah Thu, Feb 2nd 2017 @ 7:50am

Hopeful One That book sounds interesting. I like LCBT too, I have a Chocolate based behaviour therapy,(CBBT) that needs constant practice research. You joke made me smile.

Hopeful One Thu, Feb 2nd 2017 @ 8:17am

Hi Leah- perhaps we could combine the two and rename it ECBT( endorphin generating cognitive behaviour therapy)?

Bearofliddlebrain Thu, Feb 2nd 2017 @ 8:31am

Great joke...HO x

Jul Thu, Feb 2nd 2017 @ 8:42am

Funny joke Hopeful One. Jul xx

Leah Thu, Feb 2nd 2017 @ 8:45am

Hopeful One I like ECBT- we can go halves with the royalties I will manage the down under section!!

Ailsa Thu, Feb 2nd 2017 @ 11:09am

Another possible book is Boundaries by Henry Cloud. It's written from a Christian perspective but what it says is applicable to anyone wishing to say yes and no to commitments in a healthy way, regardless of whether they have a faith or not. It shows that in doing this you are actually doing good to other people as well.

Jane Thu, Feb 2nd 2017 @ 11:18am

I love this HO!! I'm looking forward to hearing more of the ECBT concept from you and Leah! X

Hopeful One Thu, Feb 2nd 2017 @ 6:08pm

Hi Guys- thank you for your comments. Leah thanks for the generous offer!

the room above the garage Thu, Feb 2nd 2017 @ 7:53pm

HO, I realise I need to hear from you on a daily basis. The jokes are just enough to prompt me out of inward looking to outward looking. Thank you my friend x.

Leah Thu, Feb 2nd 2017 @ 9:10pm

Ratg I like the jokes helping to go from the inward to the outward looking. I agree and they help me smile and sometimes wince too!!

Molly Fri, Feb 3rd 2017 @ 5:28am

It is absolutely possible to laugh and be depressed at the same time.

Leah Fri, Feb 3rd 2017 @ 9:50am

Molly I agree and it feels good for a moment.

Orangeblossom Thu, Feb 2nd 2017 @ 8:25am

Thanks Leah. I too am working towards not being a People pleaser as part of my self-care aim. It is difficult to free ourselves from this tendency. At one time it left me feeling hostile and exhausted. I loved the joke Hopeful One and have just read it out to my partner. He did laugh.

Leah Thu, Feb 2nd 2017 @ 8:49am

Orangeblossom I always like typing your name! I think there are pros and cons of people pleasing hence my title! I am not sure what the opposite of a people pleaser is- selfish ? I have met a few non people pleasers and I find them very obnoxious.

Bearofliddlebrain Thu, Feb 2nd 2017 @ 8:30am

Mawning, mawning....Bear here!
Yes to the a people pleaser...didn't realise you don't even sign up to it! I just seemed to find myself in people pleasing mode and it is hard to get back out again!
Like Jane, above, I have gradually tried to wean myself's a bit like an addiction.

I am trying to be a brave Bear at times, and say no. Argh....the saying got No moment!!!
The Momentous Moment!
But I had to learn how to say it, then to say it with a reason behind it! But it's often hard to think of a reason. And peeps need a reason, don't they?!
But I have friends who seem able to just say 'No, I can't.' And then they leave it at that!!! How is it then that I seem to have to give a reason??? I feel uncomfortable if I don't give a reason. Then I feel so quilty m'lud....oh crumbs the guilt! Should have been a catholic!

Ah well, I am trying!
Bear hugs and paws waiving at all....thank your u for missing me the other week...sorry I have been away. You don't need a reason do you????!!!!!
Bear xxx

Leah Thu, Feb 2nd 2017 @ 8:47am

Bear Manning to you. I m trying to with the guilt when I say no. I didn't know you need to sign up or that it could be a bad thing. Take care xx

Tutti Frutti Thu, Feb 2nd 2017 @ 8:50am

Bear It's lovely to see you back and no of course you don't need to give a reason for being away from here. Well done on the being brave enough to say no. I also find myself frantically adding as much justification as possible if I ever manage to say no to something. I think managing to say no without adding a reason is probably an indication that the person is much more comfortable about their right to say no. Love and hugs TF xoxo

Jane Thu, Feb 2nd 2017 @ 11:19am

Yes Bearofiddlebrain it's like an addiction! Quite comforting reading all these comments

Molly Fri, Feb 3rd 2017 @ 5:39am

The more reasons that are given, I think, sound like excuses. I don't give reasons, unless really necessary or really true. In most cases people don't want a reason, they just want a yes or no. To be honest I don't care why someone cannot make it, depends I guess what the event is or how close you are. On a professional basis, my boss would cancel something and say tell them this or that, and I didn't bother, because what did they care, he can't make it, that's it.

Leah Fri, Feb 3rd 2017 @ 9:54am

Molly I think i give reasons because i am feel guilty .i never imagine anyone will listen to what I say anyway.

Jul Thu, Feb 2nd 2017 @ 8:41am

The other day I spoke completely out of character, the character everyone expects of me and although what I said was right , everyone looked surprised and one person even a little hurt. I had slept well the previous night and felt full of energy and self confidence. So my normal people pleasing me had left the room and a different speaking my mind person had entered and shifted the whole balance. I think that if one is normally not a people pleaser, one gets away with it and if one is normally a people pleaser, everyone expects that too. People like to feel comfortable around each other and ever since I spoke my mind, I have regretted it and wished I hadn't slept almost! I don't like conflict also Leah and will do almost anything to ease tension. I know people who thrive on it or will resort to it without a thought if a conversation doesn't go their way. This is a thought provoking blog Leah and I know I will continue to be a people pleaser and on the days when I feel great, will, from now on, try to hold my tongue. Julxx

Leah Thu, Feb 2nd 2017 @ 8:52am

Jul, Thanks for your insightful comment. I can relate to what happened to you as I have had that happen a few times. I usually bite my tongue but once I spoke my mind in a polite way and a friend said I was thoughtless. I was crushed but I had had enough of this person put me down and felt I was assertive. Then I felt guilty. Thanks for giving me a lot to think about. Leah xx

Ailsa Thu, Feb 2nd 2017 @ 11:04am

Jul, I remember my first counselling tutor explaining that when someone does something out of character, it's like that person changing the steps of a dance. Everyone else is dancing the old, well-known steps, and then the person changes his or her steps. Hence, everyone trips over their feet metaphorically. It can cause mayhem at first because change is uncomfortable but it can be liberating in the end.

Jane Thu, Feb 2nd 2017 @ 11:22am

I really identify with this. It often feels like other people can get away with things that I just can't. People expect me to act a certain way

Jul Thu, Feb 2nd 2017 @ 1:14pm

Ailsa this is so interesting. Thank you for telling me. When I tried not to feel so guilty about it in the ensuing days, I was able to feel liberated. If only I could sustain that self confidence. Jul xx

the room above the garage Thu, Feb 2nd 2017 @ 7:56pm

Hi Jul, I don't know any of the background...but my gut reaction is "hold your tongue?"!! No. It comes out for a reason. The reason is the part worth exploring. Maybe you have made a small breakthrough...

Leah Thu, Feb 2nd 2017 @ 9:14pm

Alisha I like the analogy of the dance steps.

Leah Thu, Feb 2nd 2017 @ 9:15pm

Jul Tell me trick to not feeling guilty. I would like to know that,

Leah Thu, Feb 2nd 2017 @ 9:16pm

Ratg I bite my tongue so much it literally bleeds so maybe I should hold it!

Tutti Frutti Thu, Feb 2nd 2017 @ 8:58am

Hi Leah an interesting blog. Naturally I am also a people pleaser and I would say that the main con is that it's impossible as different people make conflicting demands. You end up pulled in multiple directions at once, guilty and exhausted. I think I am probably making some headway with this since realising that people pleasing is impossible but I still really struggle to say no and can feel guilty. I also tend to imagine that other people will struggle to say no so I am also very bad at asking for help. Love TF x

Leah Thu, Feb 2nd 2017 @ 9:09am

TF Thanks for your reply. I struggle with guilt and would like to learn how to be guilt free too.

Sally Thu, Feb 2nd 2017 @ 9:36am

I am a people pleaser to an extent. Much less so than before as fingers burnt! I do value myself, but am very impulsive where gifts of money are concerned. I have difficulty passing charity collectors, Big Issue sellers, paying when we go out, etc. I seem to feel for others' pain, and always want to reach out. BUT mostly, I like doing it, and feel good.
It's the demands I find hard to say no to from people who want to micromanage me: Oh, you'll be alright. Oh, it'll only take an hour. They're the hardest: people who trash your needs for theirs, assume they know you. I hate that and feel belittled. I am trying hard to stand up for myself and mix with people who wouldn't do that. It's an ongoing project!

Thank you, Leah, for getting me to address. All the best to you. You sound a lovely person from your blogs. Don't let anyone hurt you. No one is better than you. It's true.

Leah Thu, Feb 2nd 2017 @ 9:42am

Sally Thanks for your kind words. I think for many of us it is a lifelong project and I think it is important that we are trying. From what I have read you have many struggles in your life so I would be a bit kinder on yourself and admire your efforts so far.

DAVE Thu, Feb 2nd 2017 @ 9:59am

Good Morning Leah,
Why are you worried about how some interpret your loving kindness....Please don't stop giving. We always get some opposition to all we do...But who cares what others think, we have to concern OURSELVES with the 'FEELGOOD FACTOR' dispelling any sign of being dragged down to others who level of GIVING is non existent....It is how we are able to absorb any type of rejection... (usually laughing it off is best), without loosing Self-Control, BY giving this person power over our giving...That requires a period of time to DEVELOP the ability NEVER to allow or permit ANYBODY, Family , Friends or Strangers to OFFEND us !
We give not to receive, because BP and Depression sufferers are probably the most sensitive of folk.
But through our sensitivity comes one of the greatest gifts of all....COMPASSION, how we deploy this gift is NEVER in question., because usually we have been in the sufferer's place many times, and therefore to give with our experience is paramount if we are to find that inner peace, Self-Worth, Needed, and Wanted, all of which inspires Self-Confidence !
To prevent 'Burn Out'...and Weary in Welldoing' before offering help I say, "Give me 5 minutes", I'll call you back (make a loo excuse or something similar), I NEED those few minutes to EVALUATE and measure my Mental and Physical capabilities before I commit to serve. If after 5 minutes I am not up to it. I then say, "I'm very busy right now, how about TOMORROW", this is all about managing time in relation to our Moods and Emotions.
The only exception is of course is if it is URGENT.
Love you lots Leah.

Leah Thu, Feb 2nd 2017 @ 10:03am

Dave As always your replies are full of ideas and compassion. I like the idea about give me 5 minutes. I may try it. Thanks for the reply.

MrsM Thu, Feb 2nd 2017 @ 9:59am

It's so reassuring to realise that there are so many others struggling with the concept of no, and the idea that it's self-care not selfish. It's still a daily struggle for me, but still a distant goal. Thank you all for commenting and good luck today #timetotalk x

Leah Thu, Feb 2nd 2017 @ 10:04am

MrsM Yes it is reassuring to see others are struggling with similar things. Thanks for taking time to reply.

Adrian Thu, Feb 2nd 2017 @ 10:17am

Great comment Leah – one of my very strong defaults is to be a people pleaser and one of the questions I ask myself before doing anything about it is "am I doing this to make people like me – or at least not disapprove of me – OR – am I doing it from the generosity of my human soul" – I may be doing exactly the same thing is but it comes from a different place.

Leah Thu, Feb 2nd 2017 @ 8:34pm

Adrian Thanks for your thoughtful and helpful reply. I will try to ask that question as it will make me thing my motives for offering to aid others. I like the idea it is not what you are doing it is where the motivation is coming from. Thanks again.

patricia Thu, Feb 2nd 2017 @ 10:25am

Hi Leah
I too am a people pleaser, my CPN said to me by trying to please everyone the one person you don't please is yourself, pulled me up in my tracks because how right she was, I seemed to be always between the devil and the deep blue sea. I'd gone so far done the road of pleasing I lost sight of what I wanted if someone said to my (just an example) they didn't like a dress I'd agree even if I liked it, yes how stupid was that, I had got myself in so much of a muddle, because things were backfiring, who was I, what did I really think do, yes I'd help do this, that etc.
My mother and mother-in-law didn't like one another, would bitch about each other to me, but get them together and they were as thick as thieves, I think they must have agreed they both didn't like me, I always had mixed messages from my mother, didn't know where I was there!!! Mother-in-law couldn't forgive me for marrying her only son, so I was doomed from the start, I did my best to please them, no are no longer in this world but that influence will not go away, I've ended up being Bipolar with long bouts of depression.
I'm still trying to please, I hate myself, my husband says oh! everyone likes you, why can't you love yourself, my two children love me, why can't I be happy with my life, unfortunately we can't break the mould.
It is a very very windy and grey day here, but spring is around the corner, a gentleman died and left a lot of money to our town one of his bequests was to plant a million bulbs in the valley, not all have been planted yet thousands have, we will soon be a mass of colour, that is wonderful.
Bye for now look forward to more of your blogs Leah.

Leah Thu, Feb 2nd 2017 @ 8:37pm

Patricia Thank you for your very touching and emotional blog. I was moved by your honesty. I can relate to much of what you say. I find it easier to please and love others but not myself. I am picturing a million bulbs and it makes me smile- what a kind gesture.

Lindy Thu, Feb 2nd 2017 @ 11:08am

Downsides of people pleasing, as a sometime pleaser - it can be dishonest. I find it hard to put my case to doctors clearly, when I am disagreeing with them. I will go a long way to avoid conflict, but when in dark moods I will really lose my temper over things that have obviously been bothering me for a long time, and I may not have made it clear. I really don't want people to deceive me about facts, or their feelings or intentions, and people pleasers do do that. People pleasers can be claiming moral high ground and taking it away from others. Or appear to be doing that. They may be subtly removing independence from others. So beware. Politeness and kindness are important. So is some level of honesty, and some consideration of real needs as opposed to apparent needs. Does that help?

Leah Thu, Feb 2nd 2017 @ 8:39pm

Lindy What a thought provoking comment. I can see what you are saying and guiltily I may have done a few of those things. Maybe it is about a balance. Thanks again you have given me much to think about.

Marmaladegirl Thu, Feb 2nd 2017 @ 12:05pm

I come from a family of people pleasers - my parents, both people pleasers, raised their three daughters to be people pleasers as well. It has worked ok for them and for my two sisters, but not so much for me. I think it has made me vulnerable to people more assertive than myself. I am strikingly unambitious - well, I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings, do I? Also, being a people pleaser is ok as long as you are trying to please reasonable people but some people are bottomless pits of need. I have tried and tried to please some people like this but, of course, it just isn't possible. However, my up-bringing taught me that my worthiness depended on how well I was pleasing other people so this can be a problem. I married a narcissist whose ego needed constant feeding but who never gave anything back, so I just kept trying to get one tiny word of praise or sign of approval.... Eventually that made me very ill. For me, being a people pleaser has definitely got more negatives than positives. I have two daughters and I am teaching them to put themselves first. What is good for THEM? What do THEY need? As long as you are not rude or unkind to other people, everyone should please themselves!

Leah Thu, Feb 2nd 2017 @ 8:43pm

Marmalade girl Thank you for such a revealing comment. I never thought up it being a generational thing but it makes sense. I am glad you have insight now into what was going on and are bringing up your daughters to think about themselves first so they will be able to help others. Makes sense. hanks for your honesty that has helped me and will help others.

Leah Thu, Feb 2nd 2017 @ 9:03pm

Marmalade I think the description bottomless pit of needs is syach an accurate one as many people will know people like that.

The Gardener Thu, Feb 2nd 2017 @ 3:05pm

Hello Leah - at one of my 'big' parties (140 people stuffed into my garden) a very dear friend said 'you know how to receive'. I found it puzzling. Then over the years I found many outwardly friendly people who NEVER received into their houses - inhospitable? I think not, so lacking in confidence that making a cup of tea and opening a packet of biscuits is too much for them. Our eldest son is here - and he is much cheered at the people we meet, welcome in restaurant and the Wednesday crowd her. He was relieved that however difficult life is, whatever 'vibes' i put out (indefinable) people still arrive. Greatest 'pleasing' effect is giving people something, however minor, 'out of the blue', and sending 'than-you' cards, condolence, get-well. I have some of Marmalade girls 'bottomless pits of needs' - tough, they are sponges, never satisfied

Leah Thu, Feb 2nd 2017 @ 8:46pm

Gardener Thanks for your wonderful picture of 140 people stuffed into your garden, I would like to have been there chomping on cucumber sandwiches and petite fours!! I am glad you still send cards as I do but it is a dying custom as people just send a message on Facebook now!

Dolphin Thu, Feb 2nd 2017 @ 3:28pm

Judging from the responses, I wonder if depressives/bipolar etc are mostly people-pleasers? My name is Dolphin and I am a people-pleaser!!! Downsides are that I often act in terms of my image rather than true feelings, often feel put-upon when I am taken advantage of, often get stressed with overload.

Please all - more ideas about how to change this. Not to stop being kind and compassionate, but to stop being pressurised into doing things you don't want to do or which overload you or to allow bad treatment of yourself.

Like Dave, I've found that slowing down a response gives me time. One infuriated friend said "I'll be your manager. When someone asks you to do something big, say you need to check with your manager first!".

I've learnt to say no more and I've learnt to stand up for myself sometimes, but often get frightened by the response if they other party is used to getting their own way.

What I HAVEN'T learned to do is overthink. Am I being selfish, maybe I could just fit this in, am I being too assertive (or am I being aggressive rather than what I hope is assertive)? I don't think I am able to judge clearly at all. Maybe people pleasers are too focused on the other person rather than able to see themselves realistically...

Thanks Leah for raising this!

Leah Thu, Feb 2nd 2017 @ 8:50pm

Dolphin Thanks for your detailed comments which raises many points. If you read Adrian's reply I think his question to ask yourself as to why you are offering to help someone, may be useful. I too am struggling with the overthinking and the guilt if I do say no, I suppose I keep trying. I think that at least you are aware of what you are doing so that must be a start and awareness can lead to change. I hope that is true.

Wyvern Thu, Feb 2nd 2017 @ 4:47pm

As a reformed people-pleaser I found myself valuing myself in terms of how 'helpful' other people thought I was. If I wasn't being helpful, I was 'selfish' which is Not Nice. Ha!

I started to reform myself by saying 'I'll be with you in 5 minutes' (instead of doing something right away). Then, 'I'll help you tomorrow' (instead of today). Then eventually I managed to say 'I'm really sorry, I can't help you.'

It's still a challenge! But I think better of myself now too. No matter what others try to make me feel.

Lesley Thu, Feb 2nd 2017 @ 7:40pm

Great advice. I can see that I have helped others too much because i am keen to share helpful practices and have ended up relatively poor because of this.I have no guile or worldy wisdom but buckets of compassion.

Leah Thu, Feb 2nd 2017 @ 8:52pm

Wyvern Great advice, thanks. I try the five minutes then I feel guilty and I call back. Just need to work on the guilt. I am glad your ideas worked for you and that you think better of yourself.

Leah Thu, Feb 2nd 2017 @ 8:53pm

Lesley Thanks for your comment. I like that you have buckets of compassion to me that sounds like a good thing.

Anonymous Thu, Feb 2nd 2017 @ 5:26pm

great blog. yes i've been a people pleaser for years and have found it hard to say no without feeling guilty. just today i've had someone asking me to do their work. i havent said no yet, but when the time comes i will find it hard because i dont want to cause conflict etc . but i will be saying no, nicely and that will be that. if it makes them annoyed or argue with me then it's their problem. it will play on my mind but better this than burden myself with someone elses work.
in the past i've also tried to laugh and get on with everyone and when you dont get anything back from that person ti makes you think there is something wrong with you. i've kind of learnt to just leave some friendships . you will never get on with everyone. be polite and move on.

Leah Thu, Feb 2nd 2017 @ 8:56pm

Anon Thanks for sharing your thoughts and experiences. I am glad you will be saying no and feel ok about that. It is true that we will never get on with everyone but some keep trying and in the end hurt themselves. Thanks for taking time to reply.

Lesley Thu, Feb 2nd 2017 @ 7:46pm

Such a spot on blog, Leah. You mirrored my thoughts. I am full of compassion and helpfulness and get sickened by the selfishness of others. I strive for peaceful solutions where all can benefit yet so many are objectors who only think of themselves. I am at a stage of life where I must put me first or a dark hole beckons. I also find the love relationship aspect ´men want me to be kind and full of love but when I do that i can't seem to survive in the hard world out there. I am a people pleaser. I never rebelled in adolesence because I was ill and my mother was terminally ill. I acted my way through first years at job but didnt have the male attitude of not caring about customers. The men only thought of themselves and the money. Bad ethos. Only today did I realise the value others claw from me, and now I am paid a pittance compared to what i was 10 years ago and even 29 years ago. It hurts me to see how I have undervalued myself and I feel foolish for it. Others seem to look down on you in the quite twisted Western society we live in.

Leah Thu, Feb 2nd 2017 @ 9:01pm

Lesley Thanks for your kind comments and reply. Your story really moved me and I hope you can now find compassion for yourself. It is sad people have taken advantage of your compassion but it has not helped you . I hope sharing your story on Moodscope helps in some small way. I am sure there will be many who can relate to your story. Let me know how you are going as I think it is so sad that you have given so much of yourself to others but have little left for yourself. I appreciate the time you have taken to reply to me. Leah x

Leah Fri, Feb 3rd 2017 @ 11:16am

Thanks so much for all your wonderful honest and touching comments.
I have learnt so much from other moodscopers.
There is time to comment as I keep checking.
I feel reassured that others are struggling with people pleasing issues.
Thanks to all those who read blogs but never post.

Marmaladegirl Fri, Feb 3rd 2017 @ 11:17am

Hi Leah - Thank you for responding to my comment on your blog. I read Moodscope every day and find it very helpful but I have hardly ever commented (once before I think). It was very exciting for me to read your reply as I really felt part of the Moodscope community! It must have been a full time job for you these last few days responding to all the comments on your blog - you have done a great job - not just the blog but all the replies too! One day I would like to contribute a blog but I haven't found the time to write it yet and I am making a mental note that I will also need to follow up the lovely people who then comment on said blog....
I hope your day is going well today.
Best wishes, Marmaladegirl

Leah Fri, Feb 3rd 2017 @ 8:54pm

Marmalade girl Thanks for your kind words. They are much appreciated. Sometimes people write a blog when they feel well and then by the time it is online they may not be up to commenting.Also people may be away or busy by the time the blog is online. I am glad you appreciated my comments and that you feel welcomed into moodscope community. It would be great for you to contribute a blog. I can tell from your reply that you write well and have lots to say. I think a family of people pleasers is very interesting and would have many possibilities to discuss. Take care Leah

Nicco Sun, Feb 5th 2017 @ 11:44pm

Thanks, Leah. Like you, I always thought I was helping others and always putting others first meant being as helpful as possible to others - it was what I was taught to do. It wasn't until later in life that I realised I'd been taught and manipulating into always putting myself last - with disastrous consequences. I now find it a lot easier to say 'no' to people - partly because I physically cannot do something I'm asked to do, but also because I have a lot less people in my life and, those who are still in my life, have learned to realise that I can't always do what they'd like me to do. It's harder when it's a member of my family, esp when they don't really understand my limitations, when I think they of all people should.

Leah Mon, Feb 6th 2017 @ 12:29am

Nicco Thanks for your thoughtful reply. It is a hard lesson to learn. I suppose I assume no one even close family members, will understand my limitations as I barely understand them myself. I appreciate you taking the time to comment.

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