When it comes to behaviours that will have a negative impact on one’s life, trying to please others is high on the list. And this doesn’t relate to pleasing others on the odd occasion, it relates to trying to please others all of the time.
To set out to please people every now and then is unlikely to cause too many problems for someone. But if this was something they did all of the time, it is going to have a missive impact on their life.
All the time one is pleasing other people, they are neglecting their own wants and needs. So while pleasing others may allow one to feel accepted; it is never going to allow one to feel fulfilled.
What one focuses on in life, is what grows. So through one ignoring their needs and wants, their life is inevitably going to suffer. By focusing on other people’s needs and wants, one might have no idea as to what it is they want or need in life.
This is similar to what can happen when one works for someone else, instead of working for themselves. The others person’s vision is gradually realised through ones efforts, and while this is taking place, one’s own vision can remain unrealised.
Of course, the others persons vision can reflect the vision that one has themselves. Just how pleasing others could be a consequence of one pleasing themselves. In these examples, one is pleasing others, but this is not their primary purpose.
When someone tries to please others all of the time, they could be looked upon as lacking courage or the ability to live their own life. But while this is easy to do and may appear to be an appropriate judgement, there can be more to this than meets the eye.
As an adult, it is clear that one no longer needs other people’s approval to live their life. If they were a child, gaining the approval of others would be necessary. And all because one is still dependent on other people in order to survive.
During ones childhood they would need to receive the approval of their caregivers. Ones survival is based on pleasing them, and if they don’t get it, they would probably die. So at this age, pleasing others is absolutely essential and not something that one can live without.
Ideally, this approval would have been given freely and without any conditions being in place. One then learns that they can be accepted for who they are and this is not something they have to earn.
However, for some people, approval is something that they only received when they were meeting certain conditions. One then learns that the only way for them to survive is by pleasing other people.
Their needs and wants are then secondary, and the needs and wants of others are primary. This could cause one to become disconnected from what it is they need and want, and if pleasing others was the only way they felt accepted, this is to be expected.
At such a young age, one would have done just anything to be accepted. So if that meant losing touch with ones true self, then so be it. But while this allowed one to survive as a child, it is going to create challenges as an adult.
These interactions would have formed certain associations in one’s mind; this would relate to what is safe and what is not safe. And if one was only approved of when they pleased others, this is what their ego mind would come to associate as what is safe.
When it came to pleasing oneself, this wouldn’t have felt safe. And this could be due to what happened if one didn’t do as they were told. One may have been rejected or abandoned, or even abused if they didn’t please the people around them.
So pleasing others is then seen as the only way to survive. But while this is what feels safe, it is going to create conflict. The need to meet one’s own needs and wants is not going to disappear: simply because these are part of one’s nature and need to be fulfilled.
All the time these needs and wants go unfulfilled, it is unlikely that one will feel empowered or that their life is on track. This means that these associations will need to be changed, as this takes place, one will begin to realise that they don’t always need to please others to survive.
The associations that the mind has formed will be a combination of trapped feelings and beliefs. These early experiences would have caused one to experience certain emotions, and based on these emotions and what happened, one’s mind would have formed different beliefs.
Through questioning these beliefs and releasing the trapped emotions in one’s body, the need to always please others will gradually begin to disappear. This can be done with the assistance of a therapist or a healer.
Oliver JR Cooper
Author of 25 books, Transformational Writer, Teacher & Consultant.
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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.