Are you afflicted with the dreaded People Pleaser Syndrome?
Before the loss of my first husband, I know I certainly exhibited the major symptom inherent in a people pleaser, which is putting the desires and needs of everyone else before your own. Although I am somewhat recovered, remnants of my former self do linger, for, at my essence, I simply like to do things for other people and please them.
There is a subtle difference now, though. Previously, I would give and give, only to eventually feel depleted with nothing left to sustain myself. Today, I have stronger boundaries and, although I do try to please, I complete this action in a healthier manner. What it comes down to is that I allow myself to say “No!” and not feel guilty when I do so.
Learning to temper my enthusiasm for only pleasing others, at times to my own detriment, has allowed me to actually become better at helping others. I know that when I feel balanced and replenished, it is much easier to extend a hand outward.
As you move into the dating world, you will be encountering all different types of people. Some are givers; some are takers, and it is not always evident at a first glance or even after many glances. That is why it is always a good idea to take your time getting to know someone.
Although seemingly innocuous, a people pleaser could actually use his/her skills to control his/her environment and the people who reside in it. If everyone is seemingly happy (because the people pleaser has fulfilled all wants and desires), then all should be copacetic in his/her world. This type of people pleaser is one that never wants to rock the boat, so he/she sublimates his/her own needs and makes sure there are never any arguments or even minor disagreements.
Unfortunately, emotions that are continually pushed below the surface usually erupt and, when they do -- watch out! Often times, it is like a dormant volcano spewing out for the first time. Both parties are surprised by its virulence, for there was no warning in the calm life that was being led.
The acts of recognizing your inherent traits and then modifying the unhealthy ones both fall under the readiness process to complete before dating with intention. Of course, practice is always encouraged, for it is in these practice dates that we learn a lot about ourselves.
As for people pleasing … never fear; there are ways to mitigate this tendency!
Recognize that fear can reside underneath the desire to continually please. It is usually a fear of rejection, if the pleaser would stop catering to those closest in his/her life. Since all actions stem from two emotions, love or fear, change the motivating factor in yours to love. This includes learning to love and respect yourself and your own time. Realize and accept that you can be a caring, loving (and even pleasing) person towards others at the same time you can care, love and please yourself.