Beyond Blue

Beyond Blue

Recovering People-Pleasers

I was relieved to know that there are quite a few recovering people-pleasers among our readers here on Beyond Blue. Among the messages posted on my “People-Pleasing: Today Is Not Your Day” post were these gems:

I was just thinking earlier today, I wish there were a little handbook on boundaries that I could hand out to people who come in to where I work. Sometimes they are searching and I don’t want to engage beyond what I am able and what is appropriate for my work, but I wish I had something to hand them to take home with them. I’m working on my own boundaries ALL the time and it’s obvious many people don’t have any idea there is such a thing. Then, here you are with these words of wisdom that I needed in my own life regarding men who are nice in many ways, but would be a load for me to carry. It’s tempting when I would really like to have a partner and have been single a very long time after a divorce. Thank you for the reality reminder! –Gloria


I was a people pleaser all my life until it almost killed me literally. I was 95% of the time rushing around doing what others wanted me to do ever since I was in grade school. Three years ago I got really sick. Physically and emotionally down. I could hardly get up to get my personal hygene done. Praying, praying and more praying is all i could do while laying on the couch waiting for my soul to leave my body. One day it dawned on me that the telephone had stopped ringing and nobody was at my door. That was due to the fact that I was too physically and emotionally drained to be useful to anyone. I thanked God for that realization. It took a long haul to get back where i’m at now. I thank God for my husband’s and son’s patience with me thru the painful recovery. The phone is ringing again and there are a few at the door, but I have finally learned to say “NO,NO, NO, I’ve got things to do and for the people who did for me when I couldn’t do for myself”. I’ve found myself to be happier, I feel lighter, it’s inexplicable how I feel. I think i’ve finally found joy by pleasing myself first, for now I have time for my family too. –Virginia
I fully understand the inner turmoil everyone has felt. I had a “so-call” friend for almost ten years and as a people-pleaser, I didn’t even realize letting this or any friend go was an option. Intimate relationships were different and I’ve had my share of the wrong ones, but it never crossed my mind that a platonic friendship could cause so much grief. Friends weren’t suppose to treat friends with disrespect and disregard. When I finally figured it out that I needed to cut the cord, I felt like the bad friend. And then something amazing happened, I began trusting myself and I felt more and more energy. I fully believe toxic people in our lives block the natural flow of energy and harmony in our lives. I wish her well but I will no longer surround myself with energy vampires! –Mac
At this point in my life [58] I’ve found I have no choice but to do something about my people pleasing ways, because the exhaustion of pleasing and doing for everyone has left me with an angry attitude. I’m working on adjusting that bad attitude with the boundry setting you mention. I’ve also began creating more serene atmosphere in my bedroom so that when I’m in there I will be able to truly rest, refresh and recenter myself. It’s a start I wish I’d taken years ago. –Soul Sister

  • Frances

    I truly know how trying to please other will drain you of your own self worth. And the more you go out of your way to please the more they expect from you. I have had people in my life like that If they were sick I would spend hours at the Er with them,If they had problems I would spend time consulting them. But as soon I needed them when I had problems or needed a friend. I always found my self sitting in the ER alone or everyone was never available to console me in my time of need. So now I don’t try to please anyone but, myself and those that was there for me.

  • Lynne

    I have learned over time that the best way to be any good to anyone is to take care of myself. If I take the time to consider then I can be considerate. If I don’t then I’m sure to feel annoyed, irritated, and later regretful. I sometimes feel like I have too many fair weather friends, that aren’t around when I need them. The flip side is I’m fiercely independent and self-reliant and I suppose I take pride in that. I like being able to help out other people whether they return the favor or not. I guess that makes me a giver, but not a doormat. There’s no welcome sign tatooed on my navel!

  • Teresa

    I can totally relate to Lynne’s sentiments.
    I loved to hear about people that have come to their senses, as i have slowly but surely been doing.
    Transition is never easy. But it is definately worth the effort.
    I believe it’s the best thing for everyone. It just take some people longer than others to appreciate it.

Previous Posts

Seven Ways to Get Over an Infatuation
“Bewitched, bothered, and bewildered am I” wrote US songwriter Lorenz Hart about the feeling of infatuation. It’s blissful and euphoric, as we all know. But it’s also addicting, messy and blinding. Without careful monitoring, its wild ...

posted 12:46:43pm Feb. 19, 2014 | read full post »

When Faith Turns Neurotic
When does reciting scripture become a symptom of neurosis? Or praying the rosary an unhealthy compulsion? Not until I had the Book of Psalms practically memorized as a young girl did I learn that words and acts of faith can morph into desperate ...

posted 10:37:13am Jan. 14, 2014 | read full post »

How to Handle Negative People
One of my mom’s best pieces of advice: “Hang with the winners.” This holds true in support groups (stick with the people who have the most sobriety), in college (find the peeps with good study habits), and in your workplace (stay away from ...

posted 10:32:10am Jan. 14, 2014 | read full post »

8 Coping Strategies for the Holidays
For people prone to depression and anxiety – i.e. human beings – the holidays invite countless possibility to get sucked into negative and catastrophic thinking. You take the basic stressed-out individual and you increase her to-do list by a ...

posted 9:30:12am Nov. 21, 2013 | read full post »

Can I Say I’m a Son or Daughter of Christ and Suffer From Depression?
In 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, we read: “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” What if we aren’t glad, we aren’t capable of rejoicing, and even prayer ...

posted 10:56:04am Oct. 29, 2013 | read full post »


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.