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?