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How can I stop people pleasing????
September 9, 2005
8:11 pm
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trying2hard
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I have a big problem. I need everyone's approval and if I don't get it it really hurts. I am always trying to guess what other people think of me?? This doesn't make sense..logically I know my thinking is wrong. I have also been married 3 times. First to an alcoholic, then a lazy drug user (pot only) I FINALLY got it right, even though my wonderful hubby is a recovering alcoholic and has been attending AA for 10 years. I have 2 children that are drug addicts. I do not use drugs and I do not drink. BUT I am an enabler and I can see now I am very codependent. HELP!!!!

September 9, 2005
8:36 pm
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lilmissfixit
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I just recognized that I was codependent about a month ago. Though I haven't been married, like you I have had several relationships with men who have addiction issues.

A couple of things have really helped me start to break my cycle.

1. Reading and responding to these posts. You'll see "your" story in so many other people's situations. But a funny thing happens. When it's someone else, it is so easy to see and pick out their self-defeating behaviors. Then you start to realize that you're doing the same thing. Just reading these posts has served to build an awareness of my own behaviors.

2. Read "Codependent No More". I couldn't put the thing down. It touched on almost everything I was struggling with and showed me how I was contributing to my own misery.

Hope this helps.

September 12, 2005
9:31 am
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jack122064
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Maybe try saying "screw everyone else" for a while. A friend helped me a few weeks ago after I went through a very difficlt time; she told me "Remember, it's all about YOU..." And it truly is. I am done with worrying about what people think, or how they feel. If I make them feel bad, that's their problem. Not that I won't help a friend in need, but I'm not bending over backwards anymore. It's my turn to be selfish.

Jack

September 12, 2005
9:36 am
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thewall
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Ahh,

Now you're talking my language. I too had this issue and found the most perfect book in the world which helped me tremendously.

Its called "The Disease to Please" and it even has step by step responses to various situations you might find yourself in when you cant seem to say "no". She also wrote another awesome book called "Who's Pulling Your Strings". I have both books highlighter to death. 🙂

thewall

September 12, 2005
9:43 am
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thewall
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ps...

The reason we find ourself going back to difficult friendships/relationships is much like playing a slot machine.

Some days you win, get rewarded, for the money you put in. Somedays you loose.

That unpredicatable cycle of win-loose, is what keeps a person addicted to anything, including relationships or a person. Its because you never know when you're going to win so it keeps you wanting to go back for more, just in case today may be your lucky day.

So in a relationship, his good days are what keeps you going back and helps you forget the times he was cruel ,,,the sweet things he says, the little gifts, are the things one tends to focus on when feeling sentimental and needing loved again.

If it sounds crazy making, it is. But it is possible to break the cycle. It just takes alot of practice and hard work 🙁

September 12, 2005
10:08 am
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cindle
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thewall..

Thanks so much for the slot machine analogy. Its so true. I recently have been working on letting go of a friendship - this is the third time! I've been doing a lot of thinking and can see where I've been doing a lot of "people pleasing" things to keep this unhealthy friendship going.

So...thanks!
cindle

September 12, 2005
1:55 pm
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Rasputin
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Hey there,

There is a book entitled "Addiction Approval" by Joyce Meyer. I do not have problem with pleasing people a lot, but I believe it is very good book. The author is one of my favorites! ~Love, Ras~

September 12, 2005
2:26 pm
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flutechick
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I too like what Joyce Meyer has to say. Has anyone listened to her tapes on freedom from co-dependency? They really were life changing for me as I was going through a very difficult time with my younger sister. I didn't see how co-dependent I was being and even though I don't agree with her choices, I have been free to let her go her way and no longer spend my nights grinding about it or trying to figure out how to fix her situation. I am letting "the environment" do the teaching. Right now I am out of communication with her, but that is okay. She is also free to make her choices as to who she wants in her life. Only when I realized that you can't be the fixer (good person)in every relationship and that some relationships are just plain no good and you can move on in your life. I am now very selective as to who I let into my life. So far, for the most part things are working out.

September 12, 2005
4:09 pm
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Rasputin
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Sorry I reversed the title. It should be "Approval addiction."

Flute- I like Joyce Meyer a lot. I learned from her so many things. She had codep marriage and was working hard to improve her marriage and she did come a long way.~Ras~

September 14, 2005
4:04 am
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lessthanalive
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women have a funny nack for realizing things as we say them. i think that is why people pleasers get such a satisfaction out of trying to help others because we feel it helping us in some way or another. there is a book called A Womans Journey To God that talks about the healing benifits of inviting your girlfriends over for a cooking party late at night and talking all together about what is going on in eachothers lives and offer HEALTHY insight to one another rather that single handedly trying to solve everyones problems. i dont know...just a thought...

September 14, 2005
5:49 pm
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SoulSpirit
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I too am a major Joyce Meyer fan. I just listened to her tv broadacast for the past 30 days on How to Change your Attitude. So many times, I felt like she was talking directly to me. I admire how she uses her own life mistakes to help others! She is real, honest, and very pointed in her teachings. I bought he Approval Addiction book for a friend of mine who suffers from the same thing... she is gradually learning, and applying principles taught by Joyce.

September 14, 2005
5:56 pm
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sensitive
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tryingtoohard,
i have the same problem and i have always had this problem. i don't know how to say no and i dont know how to be selfish..i have noticed that all my life i am different with different people...i know that is somewhat normal but i am not the same person meaning that i act how i think each person wants me to act. it is ridiculous but since i have done it my whole life i dont know how to change it i dont know who i really am because of it. i have a lot of friends because of it but i get confused and dont know how to act when i am around a lot of people at once. its like i am pulled in so many directions. i also do things so that the people that mean a lot to me will notice instead of just being myself.

September 14, 2005
5:57 pm
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sensitive
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thewall,
that was an excellent analogy and i am going to have to tell my sister that cuz she is going through something similar and it is perfect...thanks.

September 14, 2005
6:43 pm
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somebody told me once that women (and/or men) who show (extreme) "people pleasing behavior" most or all of the time are looking for acceptance ... sometimes "people pleasing" is described or defined as "over-adapting" behavior (blurring one's sense of self, personhood or identity) ... some kind of survival strategy learned early on in life (as a child?) in response to a significant other (mom or dad?).

Why do we have a difficult time honoring or accepting the fact that it is usually far more fulfilling and rewarding to strive for self-approval instead of always (compulsively?) needing to seek the approval of other people ?

How do we (learn how to) pull our own strings ????????????????

September 15, 2005
10:03 pm
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thewall
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Sensitive and cindle,

thanks for the compliment, I'm glad it helped. 🙂

thewall

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