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When people-pleasers stop pleasing...

Old 03-15-2011, 09:25 AM
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Question When people-pleasers stop pleasing...

...everyone gets mad! Yeesh! I feel it coming from almost every which way these days. Certain people have even gone so far as to ask ME what is wrong with ME?

Setting boundaries and then standing firm on them is difficult. It's hard not to back off, feeling the weight of the responsibility of someone else's feelings, feeling the manipulation creeping in...

How do you tell someone you don't want to have a relationship with them, especially on their terms? If you're respectfully direct, you've "hurt their feelings". If you don't respond to their requests, you've "hurt their feelings".

I have to stand back and look at the responses and wonder if I am going about this incorrectly?! How do you stand firm against the guilt trips?
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Old 03-15-2011, 09:34 AM
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"It's just not working for me" usually does it. Some people are going to be offended regardless of what you say, so, say what you mean, mean what you say, but don't say it mean.
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Old 03-15-2011, 09:35 AM
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"Im sorry that you feel that way" is a good thing to keep in mind.

Also,
"I can only control how I react and how I live my life. Other peoples choices about how to feel and react are theirs"

"I am making boundaries for my own health and self preservation"

"I cannot be a helpful person to anyone if I am not taking care of myself."

You dont have to say these things to anyone but yourself.
No one NEEDS to know or understand why you are making youor choices. They are yours.
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Old 03-15-2011, 09:38 AM
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If you feel you need to respond to the person, do it once and do it simply.

"I am not continuing with this relationship. Please do not contact me again".

You do not owe that person an explanation of your decision. Also, by clearly stating that you do not want any further contact, you can feel free to absolve yourself of any unnecessary guilt you're carrying around.

Other people's opinions of you aren't your business anyhow!
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Old 03-15-2011, 09:54 AM
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i love all responses! ^^^especially, NodayBut2day, that one is clean and not judging...and off i go...*swinging my arms side to side by my hips*
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Old 03-15-2011, 09:56 AM
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I started saying no and questioning things that AH was doing and you'd of thought that the world was ending.

I think they take it a as a threat to their authority because they no longer have someone that just does stuff or keeps quiet.

I had to say that this is my opinion and how I feel, if you don't feel this way you're free to not carry on this conversation.

Of course he was usually mad, but oh well, he was gonna be mad one way or another. At least I walked away knowing what I did made me feel that I'd done the right thing and I didn't have to hold my head in the sand.
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Old 03-15-2011, 11:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Buffalo66 View Post
"Im sorry that you feel that way" is a good thing to keep in mind.

Also,
"I can only control how I react and how I live my life. Other peoples choices about how to feel and react are theirs"

"I am making boundaries for my own health and self preservation"

"I cannot be a helpful person to anyone if I am not taking care of myself."

You dont have to say these things to anyone but yourself.
No one NEEDS to know or understand why you are making youor choices. They are yours.
Thanks all - and these statements above are great...I am copying them to remember for when the situations arise. I use, "I'm sorry you feel that way" a lot these days.

It's not just with my RAH, it seems to be everywhere I turn, or maybe I am just more aware of it today. My kids are mad at me, my sister is really pulling the guilt trip of , my RAH is back to the same old, same old tactics of just ignoring my very existence, I walked out of a meeting yesterday when someone attacked me and really violated my boundary of appropriate office behavior. I am not playing the poor me card here, I really don't feel bad about how I have reacted - just truly perplexed that it seems to be coming at me from every angle. Makes me wonder if this has been my life before and I just never noticed it because I was too darn busy pleasing everyone instead?
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Old 03-15-2011, 12:14 PM
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Makes me wonder if this has been my life before and I just never noticed it because I was too darn busy pleasing everyone instead?
Wow what's going on really?

I've gone through that from time to time...I had tendencies to accomodate others or people please and when I started stopping, it doesn't go well. In fact, I think I tend to attract controllers or people like that that expect something from me so it's an ongoing thing at times. Certain things I've learned to say are "That doesn't work for me" and "I'm sorry I just can't." And I don't elaborate or say anything more than that. Unfortunately, that really seems to p!ss some of them off. When someone like that wants something look out!
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Old 03-15-2011, 12:26 PM
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I'm sorry that you feel that way
NO!

You want to send me full - tilt radioactive meltdown mode
say that to me.

That's what the child molestor used to say.
Like somehow it was my problem.
As if *I* was in the wrong.

No.
I vote against that response.

Suki's is best.
Honest. to the point.

because when honestly examined
we're NOT sorry anyone feels anything.
At the very least the people who say that ...aren't.
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Old 03-15-2011, 12:37 PM
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this is all normal...

...people really struggle when somebody changes. Some of the relationships you have now will become better over time as they adjust to the new you, and some will not survive the change.

However, and this is exciting, new relationships will start off on the right foot with the right "rules" so to speak.

To your kids, after years of my enabling and controlling her my daughter really, really, really struggled with me changing that. I had left her almost unable to make a decision on her own, but also expecting me to do things for her. Even worse, she attached "love" to me doing and controlling these things, so when I stopped she was scared I didn't love her anymore. She doesn't completely understand this, but I know it when I see it, so just tell her some form of "I love you but you have to do this yourself," or, "I love you but the answer is no."

We are still struggling with this, but I truly believe as painful as this is for her it is what is best. She is learning to do things on her own, learning to take responsibility for herself and her actions and learning that if she doesn't do things they just won't happen (I'm fairly certain she hates me right now).

I'm learning that she can do damn near everything I used to do for her, and that she does it just fine. I'm learning to let her sI'm also learning to let her fail. That's hard.

I just keep telling her I love her, keep trying to support appropriately (doing what she can't, but not what she can), and go from there.

It isn't easy, but I truly believe it's better than before.

Take care,

Cyranoak
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Old 03-15-2011, 12:41 PM
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I'm afraid I can't help you with that. No explanation. Short, sweet and right on point. It works for me.

I don't start anything with, 'I'm sorry'; that just plays on the whole guilt thing and I save sorry for apologies (it might creep in when I'm having an attack of the sarcastics.. but I try and keep that to a minimum :/ ).

I use 'I' instead of 'You'; to avoid that whole attack/defend dynamic.

Tx
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Old 03-15-2011, 01:21 PM
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I have always been worried about hurting people's feelings... I think saying things like "It's just not working for me," or "This isn't what I'm looking for" could work.

One of my neighbors did try to set me up with her son. I got a bit of a "busybody" vibe off of her, and Peaches didn't like her either (first person my kitten didn't like!), so I just told her that I was being stalked by an alcoholic ex-boyfriend (she met him, when I was moving in) and I wasn't interested in another relationship, and that I'm sure her son would have no problem finding someone from the way she described him.
She backed away slowly. She looked about ready to call the police if she saw him, and I didn't even mention the abusive part! Mission accomplished.
But I would not recommend that approach for most situations.


I do have to post the March 9 reading from The Language of Letting Go, because I'm still referring to it, as well.

We cannot simultaneously set a boundary and take care of another person's feelings. It's impossible; the two acts contradict.

What a tremendous asset to have compassion for others! How difficult that same quality can make it to set boundaries!

It's good to care about other people and their feelings; it's essential to care about ourselves too. Sometimes, to take good care of ourselves, we need to make a choice.

Some of us live with a deeply ingrained message from our family, or from church, about never hurting other people's feelings. We can replace that message with a new one, one that says it's not okay to hurt ourselves. Sometimes, when we take care of ourselves, others will react with hurt feelings.

That's okay. We will learn, grow, and benefit by the experience; they will too. The most powerful and positive impact we can have on other people is accomplished by taking responsibility for ourselves, and allowing others to be responsible for themselves.

Caring works. Caretaking doesn't. We can learn to walk the line between the two.

Today, I will set the limits I need to set. I will let go of my need to take care of other people's feelings and instead take care of my own. I will give myself permission to take care of myself, knowing it's the best thing I can do for myself and others.
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Old 03-15-2011, 02:22 PM
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There's been too much sugar coating going in this world and it's been hidden behind the word, manners.

Naw. If people had manners they'd tell the bloody truth up front instead of this BS clandestine wordsmithing manipulation which has done nothing but blur the lines of understanding since it's inception.

Do I sound fired up about it? Deal with it.
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Old 03-15-2011, 03:20 PM
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Yep, human beings don't like change. People will have a strong, negative reaction sometimes. But, we can't completely prostrate ourselves just so someone else is not hurt.

I think you should say exactly what you mean, mean exactly what you say, but do not say it meanly or angrily. Easier said than done sometimes, I know.

I think you are doing great by upholding your personal boundaries!
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Old 03-15-2011, 04:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Shellcrusher View Post
There's been too much sugar coating going in this world and it's been hidden behind the word, manners.

Naw. If people had manners they'd tell the bloody truth up front instead of this BS clandestine wordsmithing manipulation which has done nothing but blur the lines of understanding since it's inception.

Do I sound fired up about it? Deal with it.
This made me laugh, while at the same time nodding my head and saying "hmmmmm" on the manners thing. See, I wasn't rude to my colleague when she told me I would be responsible for $100,000 in overspent grant funds because my predecessor made some errors (yeah right). I wasn't rude to my sister when I calmly stated I don't need "emotional support" from her right now as I find that in Al-Anon and SR where people can relate completely to my life. I haven't been rude to the kids but have been firm on boundaries and behavior expectations. Haven't even talked to the RAH in a couple days.

The difference here? Before I would have been responding differently to all of them. I am now direct and honest, while maintaining a sense of consideration (i.e. not rude). I don't assume to know what other people need or want, I ask. And I respect the answer I get. I don't believe others need my support unless they ask. And if they offer me theirs and I don't need it, I say thank you, no. I don't stick around and let people act badly toward me. I leave the room, house, office, whatever. Just walk away...

And the people in my life aren't liking this much! I see it now - thanks all. It is a confusing time because I am changing and that must be confusing to everyone else who is so used to me doing whatever so nobody is displeased. When did I turn into such a doormat and how did I not know I was doing that to begin with???!!!
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Old 03-16-2011, 12:11 AM
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There's a wonderful quote from the Language of Letting go (which I can't find now) that says you can't simultaneously set a boundary and take care of someone's feelings.
So, I comfort myself with that.
Not my job. Not my job. Not my job. I tell myself over and over.

It helps.

Hugs,
peace
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Old 03-16-2011, 12:25 AM
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I wish I could have copied you on a text message correspondence I had with one friend that I sort of had to let go. I said "I can't be the friend you need right now, because you need more than I am willing to give you of my time and energy."

She said, "Oh, don't apologize -- you're a single mother, I understand."

I said, "I'm not apologizing. I'm just stating a fact."

She said, "Wow, way to be rude."

:rotfxko
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Old 03-16-2011, 08:38 AM
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Originally Posted by lillamy View Post
I wish I could have copied you on a text message correspondence I had with one friend that I sort of had to let go. I said "I can't be the friend you need right now, because you need more than I am willing to give you of my time and energy."

She said, "Oh, don't apologize -- you're a single mother, I understand."

I said, "I'm not apologizing. I'm just stating a fact."

She said, "Wow, way to be rude."

:rotfxko
This is the kind of stuff I am experiencing! Thanks, lillamy. This is it...I told my sister something similar (substitute friend for sister) and she is all bent out of shape that I was rude and uncaring. She actually told my Mom she is worried about me because I don't have any friends. I got a laugh out of that one...ya know...at this point I probably don't have the kind of friends you think I should have anymore! Energy vampires!
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Old 03-16-2011, 09:14 AM
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In a spiritual, mythical sense my teachers throughout life would call this the mirror self attack effect, LOL...

The idea is that the world around you mirrors your inner feelings of worth, of self attack.

There is a part of you that feels guilty in retreating your people pleasingness.

What would my teachers say to do next?
FORGE ONWARD. IT IS JUST RESISTANCE to forward growth, like the last gasp of a drowning man...

Your Higher self is saying," I dont want to perpetuate this needy/provider dance anymore. I am going to make a stand for me. I want to evolve onto something healthier"

And your lesser evolved, unhealthy dancing self is kicking up a storm, and so, the world outside of you reflects that, and it is a bit of a test of your commitment.

Unhealthy people either come up to meet you at your new level of operation, or they fall away.

Healthy people start to get your signals, and start showing up on your radar.

You are transmitting a new signal. A higher frequency, if you will...it might take a minute for the old stuff to clear out.
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Old 03-16-2011, 03:17 PM
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I'm sorry, I'm interpreting your post into language I can relate to, Buffalo, and it would be something along the lines of, "F this S, I'm done being pleasant."

My higher self has a foul mouth on her.
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