Saturday, June 27, 2015

Still a people-pleaser

Dear Rhonda and Dr. Cheri,                                           

I grew up with a family that answered the door or their phones and pretended to love what that person was doing, saying or asking, but would turn to us and say, “So-and-so always wants me around just to do something for her or him. It makes me mad.” But then they would do what the other person wanted while pretending to be really happy to help.

I realized at 17 that I was the same people-pleaser that each of my family members were. I was angry, at first, with my mom, dad, sisters, brother (and myself) for allowing ourselves to be used because we were so nice!

When I started blaming myself for being a hypocrite and helping out everyone else’s situations and problems as if they were more important than mine, it was hard to stop making sure that everyone else was happy and I (believed) was the cause of their happiness!

When I complained to my family, they all agreed how horribly used we all were (and also, how good we were). We agreed about the great suffering we all were in. We were so self-righteous about how giving and unappreciated we were. But we still kept being a people-pleasing family.

I decided that I didn’t need to be a people-pleaser just to feel loved by my family after I went to church and another girl said to me that she had made a decision to create boundaries with others and make sure that her actions, thoughts and feelings were true beliefs according to God. I didn’t understand what boundaries were until then.

I started practicing this new behavior at home, after praying about changing myself and being true to myself and God, and I thought my family would understand and do the same. Wrong! They threw me under the bus with everyone else they were so “nice” to.

It’s hard to try to communicate with them when they act like I’m a traitor. They say behind my back that I really wasn’t ever the nice one in our family.

So I’m trying not to talk with them because no matter what I say or how I say it, I feel like I’m the rotten sister and daughter.

Why am I still trying to please them?


Still a Pleaser-Pleaser

Dear People-Pleaser,

People-pleasing is a habit in your family. You grew up with a family that shames and blames others, behind their backs, because they don’t have their own feeling of worth.

You found your true value through the eyes of our Lord. He validated that you are loved and using the greatest gift he has given all of us … free will, free agency, or call it free choice.

His greatest gift means that you can choose who you want to be. He’s helped you to use your voice, heart, and wisdom to change for the best.

You are obviously a truth-seeker and found out it makes you happier to be true to yourself and to your creator. Change, though, creates fear in others and ourselves until we are solidified in our choices. Why?

Your family probably knows deep in their hearts that being a God-pleaser will make them happier than a people-pleaser. You are being a genuinely giving, caring and authentic person. However, if you are right, they think, in their pride, they must be wrong.

Being agreeable is your family’s mantra right now and you can’t change them. But don’t doubt yourself and the revelation that you have received from your omnipotent source. Keep practicing being strong, fervent, and humble about living truthfully. Pray for your family, too. You have started to change a cyclical dysfunctional family habit that will benefit your next generation.

Rhonda and Dr. Cheri

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