When I say I was a people pleaser, I mean I always felt like I was being taken advantage of, like people used me, and I was becoming resentful. I realized through my own personal therapy, that I was allowing all of this. I wasn't a victim. A more official word for people pleasing is Codependency. I know that word sounds big and scary...and some understand it to be all about living with and loving alcoholics, but that's not necessarily true... it's so much more and affects so many of us on a continuum. This isn't about a diagnosis. It's about knowing where to start to change your behaviors. Let me ask you a few questions...
*Do you think and feel responsible for other people--for other people's feelings, thoughts, actions, choices, wants, needs, well-being, lack of well-being, and ultimate destiny?
*Do you feel anxiety or guilt when other people have a problem, and almost feel compelled to to help that person-by giving rapid fire suggestions, fixing their feelings?
*Do you over commit? Then, feel pissed at the other person?
*Do you sometimes feel like you're crazy?
*Do you come from a dysfunctional family? (probably 98% of American families are somewhat dysfunctional)
*Do you deny that your family was dysfunctional?
*Do you reject praise or compliments? Get depressed that no one compliments you?
*Have you been the victim of sexual, physical, or emotional abuse, neglect, abandonment, or alcoholism?
*Do you feel the need to be in control? Have others called you controlling?
*Do you lose sleep over other people's problems or behaviors?
*Do you wonder why you don't have any energy?
*Do you overspend, overeat, over work, or deny these things too?
*Do you tolerate abuse to keep people loving you?
*Do you look for happiness outside yourself? Maybe in other people?
*Do you find yourself in painful relationships?
*Do you think God has abandoned you?
*Do you cry a lot, get depressed, overeat, get sick, do mean and nasty things to get even, act hostile, or have violent temper outbursts?
*Do you feel scared, hurt and angry?
*Do you have sex problems?
*Have you not sought help in the past because you tell yourself the problems aren't that bad, or you aren't important enough for it?
I lived with the answer yes to many of these questions. I was miserable. I felt like my life was spinning out of control. I thought I was crazy. I loved people so much and on the other hand, I hated them. I was physically sick a lot. If any of this resonates with you, it's okay. There's hope! I promise. I am a recovering codependent now for 20ish years. I love my life! I love my work! I live presently in today. I genuinely love myself and others too. My life has BALANCE. I feel GOOD. You are not alone. I can help you and support you as you get healthy, and go on to live your BEST LIFE EVER!
(Questions above adapted from