Monday, June 4, 2012

People Pleasing and Identity

I find myself in this place again, hovering between being okay and not okay. Some days are great. I feel positive, loved, behavior-free, and it's beautiful. Other days I feel as if I'm lying on the bottom of the ocean floor, being crushed by the depth and darkness I find myself in. What I would give to not have these extreme highs and lows. Every word people say, every facial expression and every tone in their voice has me under a spell. People pleasing- that's what they call it- when your self worth is dependent on what other people think of you. How unreliable. People have differing opinions that also seem to change with the weather. In other words, I'm setting myself up for failure. I can't please everyone. I can't make everyone happy. Because everyone wants something different from me and they more often than not conflict with each other.
So what is the answer? Find who I am, who I want to be- no apologies? Is it weird that I find this concept terribly inconsiderate of other people and their needs?
Can I be more confusing??? I will ponder.


  1. I had a similar conversation with a friend (about her) a few months ago.
    We talked about how being SELFLESS and SELFISH are at different ends of the spectrum. How it is entirely human to put yourself first. You can strive to 'treat others as you wish to be treated' but people with EDs (and therefore rather perfectionistic traits) tend to take this to an extreme level where they aren't looking after and pleasing themselves because they strive so hard to please other people.
    You deserve happiness and pleasure as much as everyone else, you weren't made to serve other people. Does that make sense? Like from whatever perspective you want to see it (anthropological or Christian) the world goes round with give AND take. No one can be perfect and striving (to hard) for perfection ultimately makes people sad.
    Eurgh this isn't very sensical. Hmm.
    You can't be perfect, you aren't an angel, you aren't being happy by trying to please everyone else. It is not selfish to be less-than-selfless. There is a (large) inbetween ground where you can be nice and lovely and do good but have boundaries where you make decisions which are best for you.
    Hope things pick up, I'm glad you're having some good days :)

  2. Sorry, looking back I didn't make much sense...
    I was kinda trying to say:
    1. Selfless-------------------lots of middle ground--------------------Selfish
    2. Everyone deserves (and is given the gift of the potential) to be happy and loved, trying too hard to make other people happy can destroy this for yourself which ultimately means you can't live you life as intended (be that intended by God or in a more fate-like way).
    3. You are a person in your own right and I guess part of recovery is working out who that person is. It is like when you don't know what foods you LIKE because you *think* you like loads of low cal stuff and are terrified of 'bad' or 'binge' foods and then in recovery you realise you quite like foods you previously despised.

    Okay this is kinda rambly again and I dunno if it makes sense! But you'll work it out with time and pondering :)

  3. It's good to love others as yourself. It's encouraged. However, you are allowed to set boundaries. How can you actually love others when you don't actually love yourself? I'm trying to figure out that balance myself. The past months I've been put in a position where I need to learn who I am again, and now I'm in a position where I need to take what I've learned about myself and balance it with another relationship.
    Bottom line, love others deeply, but don't get caught up in pleasing their thoughts. A person can be loved without being pleased because they want happiness in the wrong way.

  4. I've spent so much of my life living for others, and trying to please society, but I discovered that there is no perfect cookie-cutter person that everyone is going to love. I hung all of my self worth on whether or not people accepted me or responded to me in a positive way... until I finally met a few people who I could just by "myself" around. I could be goofy, anxious, angry, depressed, hyper, pretty much any emotion, around them and they still accepted me. It was only then that I decided to hell with the rest of them and to hell with society! I decided I wanted to be a person I was proud of. I try to be kind, considerate, a good listener, non-judgemental, honest, trustworthy, empathic and positive, because this is the sort of person I wish to be. Of course, I have my days of being moany and depressing, but anyways, sorry, I'm ranting... Basically I'm pretty proud of the person I am now, and if someone in society hates me, for whatever reason, then so be it. I don't need them in my life.

    I still struggle a lot with my ED and with confidence, but at least now I can say I'm proud of the way I am and who I am, even if I don't feel confident... If that even makes sense?! Ok, I'll stop now, sorry.

    I'm not trying to tell you how to think or how to feel, but hopefully I've said something slighty encouraging. You are a beautiful person, I wish you could see it <3

  5. I decided about 7 years ago after many, many years of people pleasing (and a great deal of extreme pain) that I was going to change things. I remember where I was when I said to myself "I will always from now on stand up for what my truth is. I will never again throw myself under the bus to please ANYONE else."
    I now care about only two people's opinions. I care about what God thinks about my decisions and I care about if I feel proud of those decisions.
    When I made that decision,I told myself that if I lost everyone else, it would be better than selling myself out. I did lose friends but they were ones who needed to go. I have gained friends that value a strong woman, who is direct and safe. I am not mysterious and I don't hide. If I want something, I ask for it. If I feel like something is wrong, I say a phrase that is gentle. That phrase is this: " You know, that's not going to work for me." It's a kind way of saying "no". I have been happy since I decided always stand for MY truth. I am more giving than before because I am giving with the right motives. It's amazing how much space you have for loving others when you stand up for your own truth.

  6. I am so pleased to have stumbled across your blog. This post describes how my life works (most of the time). Having an ED is one thing, I know, but your identity seems to become some what distorted, and sometimes I just don't know who I am any more. This post actually puts into words what I've been trying to figure out for a while, so thank you.
    I hope you are well