It would be MY pleasure

healing-the-people-pleaser

Sometimes I have a hard time thinking about topics to write about now that my dad isn’t a drunk lunatic anymore.  It’s challenging to keep my “blog at least once a month” policy because I find that I’m leaning towards exploring more personal topics and other relationships, which is not the reason I started writing this.

I have written about my tendency to be a people pleaser in the past.  I know from doing research and through therapy that this is a direct result of my upbringing.  I am not usually one to “blame” things on my childhood, but this is a pretty obvious side effect of living with an alcoholic.  Dad drinks, kid tries to keep him happy so he doesn’t, kid “fails” and dad gets drunk anyway…and repeat.  Even though therapy is wonderful, I really didn’t need to have that one explained to me.

However, I have been trying to be a little less…pleasing?  For example, I have a good friend who over the years has become more self-absorbed.  When we talk or get together, conversation mostly revolves around her and her life.  It used to hurt my feelings, but I either just got used it or stopped caring (I think it’s the latter), although it still does bother me sometimes.  I decided to not get myself all upset about it anymore or to overanalyze it.  I can’t control other people and I can’t make anyone care about me more.

Sometimes I confuse even myself about whether I am genuinely doing something nice for someone or if I am trying to please them….like “please love me and think I am a good person”.  I have another friend (not the same one as above) who had some medical issues over the past couple of years.  I made sure to check in with her a lot, sent her little cards to brighten her day, and genuinely made an effort to let her know I was thinking about her.  I am pretty positive this wasn’t manipulative on my part-  I truly love my friend and was worried about her.  There was no “people pleasing” ulterior motive involved.  But, now I am currently going through a medical scare myself (not ready to address that yet) and this friend knows about it.  I told her what was going on a week or so ago and I am yet to hear from her since- no text to see how I am, no phone call to get the latest updates.  My boyfriend says that I expect too much from people…that I think people will do the things for me that I do for them.  And yes, I do.  When one person is making all the effort and it isn’t mutual, then that is not friendship.  I don’t think I am wrong for feeling that way!  Yet, I am disappointed a lot because my expectations are too high.  But I don’t want to stop doing the things I do because then I feel like I am not being a good friend.  So, I guess I am trying to find the right balance of how much effort to put into friendships where I feel like it is not reciprocated.

3 comments on “It would be MY pleasure

  1. judyjourneys says:

    Your post really struck “home” with me, because I am the daughter of an alcoholic. I have been in the same struggles, and I can tell you that you are positively making your way through them. You look at yourself, and you want to understand yourself. I can say that after I wrote my first book, I was able to back off from the hurts a great deal (maybe because I had to reach so far down emotionally and dredge the stuff up and finally reveal the secret shame). Now that I feel I am close to finishing the first draft of my second book (more of living in an alcoholic family), I find that I am tired (maybe fed up) with the “figuring out” anymore. I think that I would like to say I am finally free of being a people pleaser. If my motive is pure for being nice to someone, that is enough reward for me. I do not look for any reciprocation. Every person has her own problems. I am not responsible for what she does with my kindnesses. One other thing, I think that we “perfect daughters” are basically loners. We have been where so many others have not, and they will never be able to understand it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Do Nothing Daughter says:

      I agree with SO much of what you wrote. I never think of myself as a loner (although I do like being alone), but you are totally correct about feeling like others really cannot understand. And yes, I also have felt fatigued from over analyzing my family, my feelings and my choices. A therapist once told me I have a problem with control- again common in COAs…not like I try to control people’s actions per se, but that I have expectations of others and I have learned (the hard way at times) that people are going to do what they want to do. Thank you for responding! I really appreciate your insightful comment.

      Like

      • judyjourneys says:

        I’ve done a lot of thinking about the control issue also. I knew that I did not want to control people but that it looked like that is what I was trying to do. Finally, I realized that I was trying my best to make them happy and comfortable (even at my own expense). When you think about it, it probably belongs to the “people pleaser” category.

        Liked by 1 person

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