The Disease That is the Need To Please

Recently, I was inspired by a fellow blogger’s post about an annoying co-worker that she had begun to avoid. The offending employee was new to this blogger’s office and the annoying behavior of which I am about to address was something we’ve all had a little experience with… no matter which side of the fence we’re on. I am talking about the need to please.

In case you are curious, the entry—cleverly titled “Killing Me With Kindness”—that inspired THIS entry can be found here:

See, while my blogging buddy writes from the perspective of the person who finds “people-pleasing” behavior to be quite vexing… I, on the other hand, am The Pleaser. So you can imagine why I found her post to be so insightful. This was, for me, a view from the other side of the fence.

So inspired was I by her view of things that I posted the following comment below her entry: “I am so glad you wrote this post. Because, let me tell you, although I’ve been on BOTH the giving and receiving end of your co-worker’s obnoxious chipper-ness… MORE of me definitely falls into her camp. And I wrestle with it. Constantly. See, at 36, I have become more aware that I am “that” person to some people and it is a HUGE struggle. Honestly… I am being serious… I have asked my therapist about it. I told my therapist that I feel I should just shut the hell up and not talk to anyone and that perhaps that would make everyone happier. (See… ever always TRYING to PLEASE) But then she tells me that I shouldn’t deny being myself around others. It is a tough one. I must admit that even with her advice in tow… I probably have been TRYING (at least mentally) to be more of the “shut-the-hell-up” person anyway. And it’s hard.”

People-pleasing is a horrible and (I’m not being melodramatic here) destructive trait to have. If I were to serendipitously cross paths with a genie in a bottle, and he granted me just one wish—I honestly think I would ask him to change this manner in me.

It is downright crippling at times, not to mention it causes you to constantly cast aside your very own identity and wellbeing in order to make others happy or more comfortable. And here’s the kicker: Most of the time… they don’t care that you’ve done it. They might not even notice that you’ve done it. It is a lost cause, wasted energy, and an exercise in futility. It is a sickness. A disease. The Disease That is the Need to Please. So… if anyone has been successful in finding the cure—or happens to know the whereabouts of a certain genie in a bottle—you can see why I, for one, would REALLY like to know.