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*People-Pleasing* Behavior

Old 02-15-2007, 04:19 AM
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*People-Pleasing* Behavior

Today I’m remembering “signs” of my misery…realizing now, that my actions in the past few months are VERY TELLING! They were my defense mechanisms—my people-pleasing actions.

This is so hard to admit to myself, let alone others b/c I feel so selfish, but I have been forcing myself to FEEL my own feelings, and try to share them, so here goes....

This past Christmas, I spent hours and hours—entire days—wrapping gifts so that they were unbelievably extravagant. I bought expensive cloth ribbons in every color, and gorgeous gold and silver, sparkling wrapping papers. I bought glittery gift tags, and markers, hundreds of rolls of tape, and tissue paper… I did not hold back. In my mind, if it was money spent on ‘wrapping supplies’ it was worth it no matter how much it costs. –In reality, it was money spent on an attempt to make me feel I was worth something.

My thoughts here are another struggle between the real and fake me—because I know the real me LOVES to be creative—and part of the gift- wrapping was: me expressing my artistic talents—but I KNOW there was more to it than that. I sat alone wrapping gifts, for hours at a time. I told my boyfriend I could not spend time with him because “I HAD” to get this done—making excuses for my behavior.

I remember these thoughts in my head…

“People are going to tell me how wonderful my gifts look”

“They will look better than anyone’s”

“I know this person will say this…”

I yearned for compliments. I wanted every single person to compliment my beautiful wrapped gifts.

I know this is true, because the gifts I wrapped for my pets—the gifts NO ONE would see but me—I wrapped crappy.

As Xmas neared, and I was running short on time to wrap everyone’s so beautifully—I found myself prioritizing the packages of which I knew I would receive the most compliments.

I spent hundreds of dollars—more money that I could afford—on everyone. I wanted everyone to see how thoughtful my gifts were—I wanted compliments.

ALL THE WHILE, I defended my people-pleasing behaviors…I knew I was spending money I didn’t have, but I thought---oh, but its not selfish, its not money for me—its for someone else…. I am so selfless.

That’s right—I was “selfless”—but not in that meaning of the word. Instead, I was without self.

I feel so sad for me—I tried SO HARD—looking to others for my self-worth.

And when Xmas came, I was had much self-pity, because within all of my efforts—all of the money spent, I still felt so empty inside.

I had put everything I had into these gifts—and I guess I expected to be fulfilled by compliments, and by what others bought me. Why didn’t others spend this much time on me??

I felt so sad for myself because I didn’t get much of anything I wanted from others. I wasn’t as thrilled with my gifts, as I tried to make them be thrilled by theirs. But I DARE NOT say this aloud—these SELFISH thoughts, right?

I acted happy.

I felt unloved my dis-satisfaction of the presents others bought me.

Of course, I received MANY compliments on my wrapping, and the gifts I gave—but really I must understand, they were meaningless; Because these people would have loved me no matter what—even with no gift.

However, now that I think of it—not my dad. To this day he says things like this… “Where’s my present? You better have a present for me. If you don’t get me a present, I will not get you one ever again.”

My dad compares me and my brother… “Oh look what you got me! This is a great gift—and your brother, he didn’t even spend $10 on me!”


My brother has always been the “black sheep” of the family. He has been in trouble many times, he didn’t finish school, he is not in college, etc…

He was always the “bad one”

I was always the “good one”

I must always be “the good one”


Now, I am trying to be more aware of my actions. I pray for God to give me the strength to be myself, and realize what “myself” really is.
I pray for God to help me love myself...and to help me look inside myself for love rather than looking to others.

Thank you all for your support!
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