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June is an artist, writer, speaker and advocate for self-empowerment. In 1999, illness overcame her life. During her unwavering search for physical wellness, she stumbled upon the subject of emotional wellness. This discovery led her down a path of self-empowerment for which she will always be grateful. It opened the doorway to her heart. As a result, she has spent a great deal of the past fourteen years focusing on personal growth and self-help. June’s mission is to share what she has learned with other people to support them on their wondrous and sometimes rocky journey. She conducts workshops, writes and paints to share her passion and wisdom with her fellow advocates for self-empowerment.

People Pleaser Syndrome

Copyright 2010. All rights reserved.
By June Blunk 

People Pleaser Syndrome affects many people. Perhaps, you or someone you love is plagued with this affliction. I am a recovering people pleaser. Just maybe, I will always be attracted to pleasing, but I catch myself when unhealthy urges arise and change my motivation to love. Whether you catch it in its early stages or when its full-blown, either way, mercifully there is a cure.

How do you know if you or a loved one is plagued with this dreaded disorder?

You are a people pleaser if:

- Your daily philosophy and rationale anticipates the needs and desires of everyone else with no consideration of your own.

- You place value on other people’s thoughts and feelings while you disregard your own to the point that it is self-destructive.

A classic case of People Pleaser Syndrome involves symptoms such as allowing other people to dictate your actions and words, because you are motivated by fear; the fear of not being liked—rejection. Sometimes people pleasers use their wit and charm to sooth the wrath of poor miserable souls; unhappy, angry, sad, resentful, etc., people that are in their company. In actuality, they are using their pleasing ways to gain some type of control. If everyone is happy, then everything will be fine.

Signs of full-blown cases involve the unrealistic desire of wanting to please every person on the planet; a bit of an energy zapper to the body as well as the mind. Equally draining is feeling the need and attempting to be responsible for the happiness of others. This is an extremely unrealistic expectation. Some people are not going to be happy and you are simply wasting your precious energy and time.

Let me get this straight from the start. I am not a critic of being loving and kind, or condemning these fine qualities. Being loving and kind is admirable, how we should be if we want to be better people—a shining example of humanity in its most heightened form. This is not the problem, nor does it contribute to this syndrome. I am referring to showing little, if any, love and kindness toward oneself.

It is imperative that you give the same respect to yourself that you give to others. Essentially, you need to realize that you matter, right along with everyone else. Yes, you do matter whether you know it or not. Unfortunately, sufferers of this syndrome have a deep-seated tendency to disregard their own significance within their lives. This creates many problems—spiritually, emotionally and physically.

Unbeknownst to those affected, this syndrome is far from innocuous. It is not fatal in a physical sense, but in an individualistic sense; it is fatal to one’s individuality. People pleasers live for others instead of themselves. This is not a healthy way to live one’s life. There is a clear difference between living for the betterment of humanity and sacrificing yourself. Sacrificing who you are for others is not beneficial to your well-being.

This syndrome may go undiagnosed by the host even though it can be easily exploited by all those that choose to take advantage of the host’s symptoms. The symptoms may include bending over backwards (not in physical terms), helping until it hurts coupled with an unawareness of oneself; an unawareness that blinds the host to the fact that he or she, too, is of considerable value—not just everyone else.

People pleasers believe that their feelings are irrelevant compared to everyone else. Whether a conscious choice or not, an undesirable one to say the least. Would you want a dear friend, child or parent to think of everyone but themselves? Respect what everyone else wants and expects, and run themselves into the ground? Would you want them to feel love toward other people but little, if any, toward themselves? No, you most likely would not. But sadly, many people pleasers are unaware of how badly they treat themselves and yet, they would not want those that they love to do what they do—sacrifice their essence and individuality for the sake of others.

Ironically, people pleasers have a tendency to expect very little of others and, at the same time, place a tremendous amount of pressure on themselves. A bit of balance is in order, a game of fair play, a healthy dose of self-love and self-respect. No worries people pleasers, you will still be kind and loving to others, just not to the detriment of yourself. You will be taking the high road and have found the cure. In fact, I guarantee you will become even more kind and loving to others when you begin to be more respectful and consider yourself. You will be much happier, and peaceful, too! This will create an atmosphere oozing with goodness, which is what you have been trying to attain—you just forgot about yourself.

What you can do to end this senseless suffering.
The cure: self-love and self-respect…

- Readily available and plentiful if you allow yourself to flourish and exist

- Side effects include increased happiness, joy, energy and vitality

The dosage: continuous...

- Honor your feelings and thoughts at all times.

- Be respectful and caring toward other people but not at your own expense.

- Start to notice when you are trying to please instead of just being your wonderful self.

- Be motivated by love instead of fear; fear of rejection or the need to be in control of other people.

Love feels far differently than fear.

Love feels pleasurable and satisfying, fear feels overwhelming and unpleasant. When you interact with other people or think about whatever it is that you are thinking about, take a moment and ask yourself: What is motivating my current actions and/or thoughts? An honest answer will do the trick. Don’t fool yourself, just be honest and remedy your unhealthy addiction to people pleasing.

Recovery involves the following significant actions on a daily basis:

- Connecting with your feelings and desires

- An understanding of your motivation and thoughts

- Letting go of the unhealthy and destructive need to make everyone happy

- A willingness to find value in yourself as an individual human being

Primarily, you will be breaking self-destructive urges and the cure will be pleasant and relatively painless to apply. It will take some time to break these misleading urges, but it most certainly can be done. You will become a better person, more loving and kind—just a few of the healthful traits you will fine tune and develop that will greatly benefit your body, spirit and mind.

If you know a people pleaser that is in the dark, share this valuable information with them so they, too, can begin to administer the cure. Amazingly, the cure of self-love and self-respect will work miracles for all types of syndromes, including sufferers of low self-esteem, communication difficulties, selfishness and arrogance. Self-love and self-respect are the magic bullet for much of what ails us. In fact, I think we can accurately conclude—all of what ails us!



3 comments:

Susan said...

People Pleaser.. Yes! I've always thought of myself as a 'Peacemaker', which I learned at a very young age, and it served me well until I got older. After a long and chaotic life of not listening to what I wanted, I really thought there was truly something wrong with me! Then I found a co-dependents 12 step group and it literally changed my life! I finally began connecting with ME and what a surprise I turned out to be to MYSELF!
Thanks for your post! I thoroughly enjoyed it!

June said...

Hi Susan,
I am glad that you enjoyed my post. I was a peacemaker at a young age too. It is wonderful that you were able to find yourself and embrace who you are and learn that nothing was wrong with you. Thank you for sharing your words of inspiration!

Anonymous said...

I really enjoyed this, thank you!