Thursday, June 14, 2007

The Pleasing Syndrome

We learn at a very early stage of our life that pleasing our parents is a good thing to do. When we pleased them we got what we wanted sometimes and avoided getting into trouble sometimes. We spent a lot of time and effort to increase our sometimes. We also spent a lot of time testing the boundaries to see what we could get away with.

Then came our friends, school mates, work mates, bosses, dates and significant others. Always we needed to test our boundaries so that we could classify our relationships.

Other times we can get so lost in the pleasing of others that we lose sight of who we are and have no boundaries for ourselves. We can hear this in some of the tales of people who have lost a long-term relationships or are feeling the empty-nest syndrome and are lost. 

Some people rebel so strongly that when they become independent  they develop a personality that repels any close contact or intimacy. They feel that in pleasing someone it would mean that they are giving up on what they want and refuse to do that except in little none important matters.

For some people it is not an issue because they have built their life around the pleasing of people as they have found that it guarantees that they will not have to be alone.

Then there are others who realize that all boundaries in relationships are artificial and work to take the relationship to new levels equally valuing each other.

I find even today that I can automatically fall into my old habits of wanting to please and devalue the possible relationship into a pleasing equation.

What has been your experience?

18 conversations:

Jennifer said...

I need some of this pleasing syndrome that you mention. I never got it. LOL....

I am the totally out there do what I want if you don't like it, sorry for your luck. Happy with everything I do crazy person. LOL...

I need a little refining...I admit. Do you offer counseling?? LOL...

Peter Haslam said...

Just a good conversation Jennifer :) as I am usually the one on the couch

paisley said...

Some people rebel so strongly that when they become independent they develop a personality that repels any close contact or intimacy. They feel that in pleasing someone it would mean that they are giving up on what they want and refuse to do that except in little none important matters..... this is me in a nutshell....

Peter Haslam said...

That is why sometimes Paisley we need to redefine what realtionships are and get away from the whole pleasing issue. thank you for your input

pearl said...

Oh this one I really have worked on over the years!! I was a complete mess bending over backwards trying to make just about everyone happy!! Not any more :) Although annoyed a good number of people but it has benefited me in the long run!

Peter Haslam said...

I bet it did Pearl it is surprising how many people just expect it without developing a relationship

-Suzie- said...

Hi Peter,

I just came across your blog via your comment at Princess Haiku and enjoyed your post!

I think, wanting to please others is a real American thing. Also most of Asians are raised that way.

For myself I can say, I really do not feel that I have to please others. I am more that rebel and I cannot please people that I do not like. But on the other hand, I know, that it is much wiser to be nice to all people. You never know... you always meet twice in live. And I most of the time regret that I was rude to some people, telling them right away what I feel (not much thinking at that time).

So I do not like people that always try to please everybody. But I respect those that can be diplomatic. And just rebel when it is necessary.

MkF aka aWkW'dBaSt'D said...

Hello Peter.
the limpidity and accuracy of your posts are most delightful, as always.
I must confess I'm on my way to some sort of once unlikely self-improveent since I first had the chance to read your blog (and pearl's).
Many thanks for tickling my desolate mind.
Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts, experience & luv.
;D

jennifer said...

Hi Peter,

This is jennifer from Goodness Graciousness... :-)

Very good post!

It sounds so easy but for those of us who are "pleasers" it takes some effort... ;-)

Thanks for this!

Jen

Peter Haslam said...

Intresting distinction Suzie thanks for joining in

Peter Haslam said...

Hi D and thanks for joining in and I agree that we never can know ahead of time which nudge shifts our perspective enough to lead to change look forward to more conversations

Peter Haslam said...

Hi Jennifer glad you could join in and I find like you that it initially takes more effort to move from our normal paths and seek a new one and we have to continue to maintain the new path so that it won't become overgrown

The Real Mother Hen said...

Very interesting post :)

Comedy + said...

I have a few folks that I care about pleasing, but mostly they are on their own. I am not selfish, but I can't please everyone, so I am selective in who they are.

When I think about pleasing it revolves around small things I do for those I love or like very much. You are right though, if you are putting all the pleasing into a relationship you are worn out and the other person gets lazy! Another thought provoking post.

Sorry I'm so late, just back from jury duty. They still haven't kicked me off yet. Have a great day. :)

Peter Haslam said...

Good to see you again The Real Mother Hen

Peter Haslam said...

Must be tiring Sandee just waiting around on jury duty. You are just in time and thank you as always for your addition to the conversation

Empress Bee (of the High Sea) said...

you can't please all of the people all of the time and you can't please some of the people any time. i try really hard not to worry about pleasing people. sometimes you just can't help it, but i do try. to thine own self be true and let the rest of the chips fall where they may. just try not to hurt anyone and it should be good to go. make any sense at all???

smiles, bee

Peter Haslam said...

Yes it does Bee :)