If one is in a position where they’re pleasing other people from time to time, it is unlikely to have a negative effect on their life. However, when one pleases other people as a way of life it is going to have a negative effect on their life.
And while it is harming their life and stopping them from meeting their own needs, it could be normal. It is then not something that happens on the odd occasion, it is something that has become a way of life.
Part Of Life
One might be aware of what is taking place or they might be unaware of what is taking place. And this can depend on how long one has put the needs of others before their own. If one has experienced this for a certain period of time, they may have resigned themselves to a life of pleasing others.
Based on this outlook, it is not possible for them to see the light at the end of the tunnel, so to speak. There is then no hope and this is going to be hard for one to handle. The outlook that they have is not just an outlook, it is how their life is.
It then won’t matter what their needs are or how they feel, as the needs and feelings of others are going to take precedence. Ones focus is not on what is taking place internally and what is taking place externally; it is primarily focused on what is taking place externally.
This is not to say that one is completely oblivious to what is taking place within them; this would be an inaccurate assessment. While one might be out of touch with what they want and how they truly feel, they are likely to be aware of the need to please other people.
On the inside, one could be aware of the pressure they feel to please others and what arises when they try to please themselves. This could include fear and anxiety and one could feel that they have no control.
And if one is not aware how they feel, they might just end up wondering why they behave as they do. How they feel during the moment when they feel compelled to please others is then a mystery, but they then end up confused once the moment has passed.
While it is not going to be possible for one to always please themselves, there are going to be moments when it is. This is going to allow one to live a life that reflects what is true for them and because of this; it is going to be a lot easier for one to feel happy in life.
However, when one lives a life when they rarely, if ever, please themselves, it is going to be a challenge for them to live a life that reflects what is true for them. They’re going to be experts when it comes to fulfilling the needs of other people, but the same can’t be said when it comes to fulfilling their own needs.
A Momentary Boost
This doesn’t necessarily mean that one will always be unhappy, as the approval they get from other people is likely to give them a boost. Through doing the right things, this approval could consistently appear from other people.
There is the chance that one’s real feelings and needs and the pain they feel as a result of not fulfilling them, is then kept at bay by the external approval that they receive. Ones true self is then unable to see the light of day and has ended up being overshadowed by a false self.
It is clear that this false self is not aiding their life and that it is causing them to sacrifice their own well-being. But this might be what feels comfortable, whereas if one was to put their needs first, it might feel uncomfortable.
This shows that one is not working with themselves, they’re working against themselves. And while one may have got used to living life in this way, they were not born like it. Their false self is something they have developed as a result of the experiences they have had.
These experiences are going to include what has happened in their adult years and what happened during their childhood years. And while ones adult experiences are not to be overlooked, it is often what took place during their younger years that will have set them up to please other people.
What happens to them as an adult is then a continuation of what took place during the beginning of their life. And while it is not allowing them to live their true, it is what feels safe at a deeper level.
During these years, one would have formed certain associations around pleasing others. If they did what others wanted, it would have enabled them to survive. At this age, pleasing the people around them would have been a matter of life or death.
This usually happens when one ends up taking care of their caregivers needs and their needs end up being overlooked. A role reversal has then taken place and although one needs to have their needs met, they have to take care of the needs of others.
One has then been conditioned to please other people and until they feel that it is safe to please themselves, they will continue to put other people first. The associations that were formed all those years ago around ones needs will need to be questioned.
From here, one might find that it is possible for them to change their behaviour, if this is not enough, it might mean that the emotional experiences of their past have remained trapped in their body. And as these are processed, one will no longer feel the need to please others. The assistance of a therapist, healer or some kind of coach may be required.
If you feel this has been of value, please leave a comment, like or get in touch. And feel free to share this article.
Oliver J R Cooper
Oliver JR Cooper
Author of 26 books, Transformational Writer, Teacher & Consultant.
To book your free 15-minute consultation, click here.
That which is contained within these articles is based on my own empirical understanding and is true for me at the time they were written. However, as I continue to grow, what I perceive as the truth will inevitably change and as a result of this - parts of these articles may not reflect my current outlook.