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Day 26. Where does people pleasing come from?

Discussion in 'Structured Educational Program' started by giantsfan, Mar 12, 2016.

  1. giantsfan

    giantsfan Well known member

    I honestly don't know where it comes from. Is it a habit I learned through society/family? Is it a distraction? Perfectionism? Is it an addiction to a natural release of oxytocin? Anyone have any ideas where theirs came from?

    This is the most stumped I've been since I started the SEP, not like I really care, but it's interesting regardless.

    Edit (7 minutes later), figured it out lol

    I personally think all of those things I mentioned above are partial culprits, but the fact that I wanted/want people to like/love me is a big part of it. I believe that I would get rewarded with love and respect if I did things right in my life, but if I did something wrong or nothing at all I wasn't shown love. Lack of unconditional love I suppose. So my unconscious strategy was to help others so that I could get rewarded with love, which isn't bad thing, but I suppose it would've been nice to be told that I was loved no matter what. As my therapist has said before: parents are only human, they don't come with instructions on being a parent.
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2016
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  2. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi giantsfan,

    Great post. I think your finding resonates with mine. There is also just the survival aspect of a child needing to be in the "field of parental love." As children, any time we were not seen, or as you say "loved unconditionally" this is at some level threatening to our survival. We needed to be accepted/loved in order to be fed, clothed, cared for. At a non-verbal level children get this deeply, at an early age. So pleasing others is certainly about being loved, and being loved is about survival. We're trying to manipulate our environment to stay alive. So it is no wonder we're compulsively doing some of these behaviors!!

    And as your therapist is saying, in essence, as humans, our parents, and us here now, have a limited capacity to "love no matter what." Our human existence is often living in reactivity and conditional love! So we all get imprinted with experiences of lack of unconditional love.

    Andy B
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  3. Stella

    Stella Well known member

    I so desperately wanted my Mother to love me. I watched everything she did. I watched and heard every sigh and breath and every gesture. Couldn't I just be "good enough " "nice enough" and just maybe she would love me. I kept trying. ..years of trying. Years of wanting to be good enough and fearing rejection.

    But now I know why I have all these personality traits that are so out of whack. I try to journal every day to manage myself and maintain awareness of my thoughts in order to stay on top of any physical symptoms I may have.
    giantsfan likes this.
  4. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    People pleasing... I am one of those and have been all my life, maybe going back to when I was seven and my parents divorced. Maybe I thought I was part of the blame for it... My older brother and sister and I probably were, because we were three mouths to feed and kids to shelter during the 193-'s Grat Depression and my folks both worked but rarely had enough money for us to barely survive. Now I realize it was their decision to have children in those tough economic times, so we shouldn't have felt guilty. Oh well, that's water long passed under the bridge. I don't think I knock myself out pleasing anyone, except maybe my dog, and she deserves it and gives me back plenty in her love.
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