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Alan G. People-pleasing isn't really people-pleasing

Discussion in 'Ask a TMS Therapist' started by Guest, Aug 3, 2016.

  1. Chris GR

    Chris GR New Member

    I understand and agree that people-pleasing is really just anxiety avoidance, but, if as a world class people-pleaser myself, I start saying no to people, won't my anxiety and guilt increase and thereafter my TMS symptoms, since TMS is linked to anxiety and guilt? Won't that affect my internal state?

    Thanks
     
  2. Tennis Tom

    Tennis Tom Beloved Grand Eagle

    Like anything else you have to practice saying "NO"--or "I can't answer that now, I'll get back to you later"--(when I have a chance to come up with a good excuse). As people pleasers TMS'ers probably don't ask others for help much at all so we haven't heard all the excuses people would tell us for NOT helping us. I think saying "no" is that setting boundaries thing. As T personalities become aware of their autonomic g00dist behavior and how it produces their sub-c pain, they can practice taking a breath when someone puts them on the spot and asks for a hand-out or a favor they don't really want to do. Practice saying NO first--you can always change your mind. Is that charitable behavior coming from the heart--or the TMS sub-c that feels put on the spot by social pressure?
     
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  3. Chris GR

    Chris GR New Member

    Good stuff Tom. My problem is my TMS is coupled with social anxiety disorder, if I say no then I automatically think people will hate me. I guess practicing saying no and not avoiding or trying to escape from the the very painful feelings of subsequent guilt and anxiety, is a kind of in vivo desensitization that I am willing to cope with: I would rather feel very uncomfortable after a no response than live indefinitely with physical pain, its a fair trade off. I'm gonna try this!

    Chris
     
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  4. plum

    plum Beloved Grand Eagle

    Start with the small and the manageable and ease gently up the gears. We've all been where you are (admittedly to varying degrees) and we all know the excruciating twist of tension, anxiety and guilt that saying no creates. But it gets easier, I promise you that, and somewhere along the way you realise that you are being authentic and that others realise this too. You become a strong person and that is as rare as never in today's world. Have compassion for your weaknesses and work kindly on them so that they become emotional scar tissue, and as we know, scar tissue is the strongest tissue of all.

    Plum x
     
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  5. honey badger

    honey badger Peer Supporter

    Wow Plum. Another great response. I totally agree with you about seeking authenticity and that it's a rare quality, but when we see it in others, it's such an attractive one.

    Chris, I don't know how your family situation was growing up, but given your difficulty saying no (I too have struggled with this, but I am so much better at it now), I wonder if you might want to consider a book that helped me a great deal called If You Had Controlling Parents. Here's the link from Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/If-You-Had-C...r=8-1&keywords=if+you+had+controlling+parents

    The therapist I was seeing last year recommended it, and it was extremely helpful for me in identifying the ways in which control played a role in my life growing up, and the type of personality I developed (compliant, perfectionistic, etc) as a result of that control. If my therapist had not suggested it, I never would have gravitated to such a title because ... well, like a good TMSer, I was in denial about my parents' control having been really harmful to me. The book helped me connect with some anger that I didn't even know was there. It was really eye-opening and it empowered me further in committing to saying no to others when I need to say yes to me. I hope it helps you as well.
     
  6. Tennis Tom

    Tennis Tom Beloved Grand Eagle

    They probably won't hate you, people who want, want, want others to do or give them stuff, will likely not waste any of their valuable energy hating you--they'll just mark you off their list of potential people to con or turn into tools. Or, let them "hate" you and tell 'em to tell all their friends and associates to hate you too--your life will become a lot easier.
     
  7. Chris GR

    Chris GR New Member

    Thanks Everyone!

    Honey Badger: I will definitely look into that book as I need to examine more the relationship I had with my parents as there were some issues. My father had a very bad temper and I'm sure this affected me. My mom while caring, was a very anxious person and I sensed and absorbed her anxiety as a child. I also had an older brother who taunted and bullied me, so I never really felt "safe" growing up, especially since he was 10 years older than me.
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2017
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  8. honey badger

    honey badger Peer Supporter

    "So to answer your question, the way to become less of a people-pleaser is to increase your capacity to tolerate conflict or guilt. And how to do that is a post for another time."
    Alan, did you address this in another post? If yes, would you mind directing me to where it is on this forum if you get the chance? Thank you!
     

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