In this special Holiday edition, we have just the one article. But the topic is oh-so important… people pleasing. Let’s help each other maintain healthy and loving boundaries. To read more, purchase the holiday calendar in which this article is continued. All proceeds to support someone who needs microfinancing, whom we will find through Kiva.
Are you a human being or a human “doing”? Are you always thinking about people — how you “need” to help someone, or how someone *should* be helping you? Is your only and highest value based on what you do?
Have you ever given in to what others want, even if you had doubts and misgivings? Even when it hurts you? Some of us are saying “All the time!” I was like that, when I couldn’t say ‘no’ to my friend who wanted a ride to another state, my boss who wanted me to work extra hours, and my kids who wanted yet another new gadget. I was a people-pleaser. And I had the declining health and frazzled mind to prove it 🙂
People pleasing causes problems
Giving and getting help are normal activities of human life. In fact, the goal of relationships is to be “inter-dependent”. Independence is too isolating, avoids love, and leads to pain. And codependence give abusers a captive audience. The love addict cannot walk away from their abuser because of the addiction.
In people-pleasing, you ignore your own limits. You don’t even know you have them, and you run over the limits with a Hummer. And you give permission to these takers to keep taking from you. So you give more time, attention, and value to others than you should be. This can result in a strain on your body and your energy. When I used to help everybody, my health was poor. I would have sharp pains in my left shoulder, a sore neck, unexplained lumps all over my body, and bowels that would reject half of what I ate. As soon as I learned to say “no”, these went away. People started to tell me I looked younger and happier.
The Cure Is Boundaries
Interdependence is when you can ask someone for help, and they can tell you yes or no without a negative reaction from you, and the other way around. And when you do say “yes” to your partner, the help that you give them does not diminish your dignity, your resources, or health, in any permanent way. These are your boundaries, and you watch over them. Furthermore, in the interdependent relationship, you get when you give, and you also can ask for help. That is healthy giving and getting.
You need to have these boundaries to prevent your resources and energy from being depleted. Boundaries also protect your Self from pain. When you have boundaries, you don’t allow someone to change you, or to act in a painful disrespectful manner to you.