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Beyond Blue

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

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