It could be said that there are going to be times when it is possible to please others and times when it isn’t. But while this is just part of life, it doesn’t mean that everyone is able to accept this.
When someone can accept this, it doesn’t mean that they won’t try to please others; it just means that it will be easier for them to handle the moments when it doesn’t take place. Behind just about everything that they do could be the desire to gain other peoples approval.
As a result of this, it is going to be a challenge for them to focus on their own needs, and this is going to create inner conflict. Still, the pain that they experience through neglecting themselves is likely to be kept in check.
The reason for is that through doing what they can to fulfil other people needs, it will allow them to receive approval. What happens externally is generally going to keep what is taking place within them at bay.
When this doesn’t happen, one could end up feeling down and depressed. If they are aware of the fact that they are living in an inauthentic manner, they will be able to understand why they feel this way.
One could then look into what they can do to change their life, and to live in a way that will allow them to fulfil their own needs. Alternatively, they might not believe that their mood has got anything to do with their behaviour.
What may allow them to change their mood is to look into what they can do for someone else. The positive feedback that they receive from them might enable one to rise up once more.
On the other hand, when someone is unable to accept that it is not always possible to please others, they can end up experiencing even more pain. Their whole life can end up being completely taken over by their need to do what other people want.
Their needs will be replaced by other people needs, and one is going to be nothing more than an extension of others. As they are estranged from their true-self, there will be a false-self in its place.
The Same Outlook
Therefore, regardless of whether one is able to accept that they can’t always please others, they are still going to suffer. Also, by trying to please one person, it is going to cause them to displease someone else.
Ultimately, one is going to be playing a game that they can’t win and, until they realise this, they are going to be creating unnecessary problems for themselves. Their life would be far more fulfilling if they were able to pay attention to their own needs.
Yet, while paying attention to their own needs is going to allow them to live a life that is worth living, there is going to be a reason why they behave in this way. What one could find is that pleasing others allows them to feel good about themselves.
So, if they were to take a step back and to focus on their own needs, they would end up feeling worthless. It is then not that they truly want to please others; it is that they don’t want to feel bad about themselves.
An Unconscious Process
In general, this is likely to be something that just happens, and not something that they even think about. Their need to feel good about themselves will be what drives their behaviour, and it could be said that this is perfectly normal.
It is then going to be vital for one to change what is taking place within them; if they don’t, their behaviour will stay the same. Taking a step back and no longer trying to please others might be hard in the short-term, but will be worth it in the long-term.
What one is likely to find is that their value is attached to pleasing others, meaning that they are a human doing. Whereas if their value was based on who they are as opposed to what they do, they would be a human being.
This shows that one is out of touch with their own inherent value, and this could be how their life has always been. If this is the case, it is likely to be due to what took place when they were younger.
A Lack of Love
Their caregiver/s may have seen one as nothing more than an extension of themselves. This would have stopped them from being able to accept that fact that one had their own needs and feelings.
If one did what their caregiver/s wanted, they would have approved of them; which would have allowed them to feel good about themselves. But if one didn’t do what they wanted, they may have been harmed and/or neglected.
The kind of care that they needed in order to develop in the right way wouldn’t have been provided. One is going to be disconnected from their inherent value and they are likely to be carrying trauma.
It might be a good idea for one to reach out for external support if they can relate to this. This is something that a therapist or a healer can provide.
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Oliver JR Cooper
Oliver JR Cooper
Author of 26 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.