People Pleasing is an Addiction.

People pleasing is an addiction just like drug, food and alcohol dependency.  The difference is approval addicts seek out people for their fix. People pleasing is at the core of every self esteem issue.  The people pleasing, approval addict uses acceptance (or non acceptance) of others to determine their self worth and feel loved.  The approval addict compromises or negates their own needs and moral compass.  This behavior enables others to treat approval addicts like a doormat and the people pleaser, accepts it. And worse: believes they deserve it.

The first step to recovery is admitting  you have this addiction.  Once you own that, recovery from people pleasing can begin.  Awareness of YOUR needs and making that your priority will slowly replace the need to please others to feel loved.  You will begin to love yourself, and that is a wonderful feeling.   people pleaser

By |2015-09-10T13:35:31+00:00September 10th, 2015|Miscellaneous mattiness|26 Comments


  1. rosemarysummers2 September 11, 2015 at 10:45 AM - Reply

    I’m trying, I do feel guilty not complying and not
    making the other party happy, but I’m trying and when I do succeed am much happier for it, and lose the guilt.

    • ivytobin September 11, 2015 at 11:27 AM - Reply

      Keep trying Rosemary. That’s all you can do. A life time of ‘people pleasing’ can’t be changed overnight. <3

    • rosemarysummers2 September 28, 2015 at 12:49 PM - Reply

      It is so much easier just to go with the flow without branching out into different waters. But this does not give one happiness just a feeling of hopelessness.
      To make changes one has to take baby steps, and change is not easy, so much easier to comply and not stir the teapot.

      • ivytobin September 29, 2015 at 1:28 AM - Reply

        Hi Rosemary, you’re right . It is easier to just go with the flow. BUT that only perpetuates the doormat life: people pleasing and not getting your OWN needs met. Personal growth is truly hard, and is a day by day process. Feeling guilty for not complying with others is very common when you start your journey as a recovering doormat. Keep trying, it gets better. <3

    • Kippi March 19, 2016 at 1:26 AM - Reply

      I know exactly what your saying. Notice no where here does it say it will be easy. Once you get the hang of it its definitely worth it though. I’m getting close 🙂

      • Rose March 19, 2016 at 5:11 PM - Reply

        I pleased for you Kippi, I think one has a need for love and acceptance and try and give love in the form of doing what others would like us to do and say, also how they would like us to react to a particular situation. Often at the expense of ones health and wellbeing. Good for you in finding the strength, to say ‘no’ and it does make one feel that you are taking back your power.,
        I have always been rather easily intimated, but I have been able to say ”no’ although one part of me would like to acquiesce, I know health wise I cannot tolerate verbal abuse and am not worthy of disrespect.

        • ivytobin March 19, 2016 at 8:57 PM - Reply

          So happy reading your comment, Rose. You are worthy of love and respect. Accept nothing less.

      • ivytobin March 19, 2016 at 8:56 PM - Reply

        No, change is never easy for most people. But, like you said ‘definitely worth it.’ 🙂

  2. ann September 25, 2015 at 3:35 PM - Reply

    Keep going Rosemary. U will conquer it.

  3. rosemarysummers2 September 29, 2015 at 10:03 AM - Reply

    Thank you everyone, I really should not complain. I think everyone of us just want more out of life. More interests, more family get togethers, more excitement. Maybe sometimes one must try to feel gratitude for what we already have as there are many out there who have but a needle in a haystack. I find going to church on a regular basis has helped me enormously, also helps to put life’s trials and tribulations into perspective.

  4. rosemarysummers2 October 12, 2015 at 12:45 PM - Reply

    I am slowly but surely regaining my self confidence, eg although I have painted for many years when viewing others work think mine is nothing better than a childish dabble. Lately have changed my way of thinking and I put paint of and stop my negative thoughts.

    • ivytobin October 13, 2015 at 9:25 AM - Reply

      That is great progress. I hope you’ll continue painting and continue those positive thoughts. <3

  5. rosemarysummers2 October 12, 2015 at 5:14 PM - Reply

    I put paint on, an expression for painting, was what I intended to write. Just wish I had the motivation to paint at home.. Cannot understand my reluctance not to do so, am aware that I would greatly improve.

  6. Karen Cass March 16, 2016 at 3:56 PM - Reply

    So very true.Its been the downfall and story of my life.Hellish

    • Rose March 17, 2016 at 1:41 AM - Reply

      It is so good to put ones thoughts down in the written word. Although I am far from young unfortunately still suffer with bullying both from my other and another very close to me.
      The Professional other has grown away from me,he is most sought after and admired by all, for compassion and caring, but until recently bombarded me with racial slurring and verbal abuse.
      Completely unfounded, unfortunately it had made me very ill, then recently my ‘other’ who has a viperous tongue let loose on me, also takes great delight in humiliating me.
      I now have a return of fibromyalgia my friends were most concerned when seeing me and told me that I was looking very ‘white in the face’ but after awhile regained my colouring.
      Life has been most unkind to me lately, but on a positive note my painting came out well. I paint in oils and my passion which I had not indulged in is always seascapes, and did one recently with great success, it surprised even me.

    • ivytobin March 17, 2016 at 1:49 PM - Reply

      Sending many (((Hugs))) and much love to you Karen. <3

  7. Rose March 17, 2016 at 1:47 AM - Reply

    With the verbal abuse suffered from the one so close to me when small, who was never neglected in any way, unconditionally loved. Now grown into a powerful professional, hurt so badly I took nearly took steps to end it all.

    • ivytobin March 17, 2016 at 1:45 PM - Reply

      I feel your pain Rose and hope you are seeing a trained mental health professional to help you through these very disturbing feelings. Find something to do that brings you joy, and don’t have any expectations of receiving anything uplifting from the person who has consistently disappointed you. If you count on YOU to bring YOU joy and fulfillment then you can’t be disappointed. Hard to do, but so worth the effort. Sending you love and (((hugs))). Rose Gardner, founding member, creator and admin of The Society for Recovering Doormats. <3

  8. Rose March 17, 2016 at 5:50 PM - Reply

    Thank you so much for those wise words, when in distress one cannot see the wood for the trees. With the recurrence of fybromyalgia, I am determined to take myself in hand.
    and have started spoiling myself without having a guilt complex. Thank you once again.
    I’m excited that I am painting with more confidence.

  9. Rose March 19, 2016 at 5:49 PM - Reply

    Feeling much better, I was in a lot of pain with fybromyalgia went to see my Medical practitioner, who afforded me enough time to help me . With pain relief medication and ultimately also with the deep sadness I’ve been experiencing.
    A joke on me, if a friend or family member has a birthday I try at least three times to wish them in one way or another. Silly old gal!

    • ivytobin March 19, 2016 at 8:59 PM - Reply

      So glad you’re feeling better Rose! Keep taking good care of yourself. <3

  10. Rosemary Summers July 30, 2016 at 3:41 AM - Reply

    My health has improved enormously, only get fybromyalgia when I have tension at home, then not always. The trigemal neuralgia has gone with the wind now for at least a year or more,. Loose track of time.
    I seem to have become stronger, also try to walk regularly, even doing a little gym occasionally. Now all I have to do is stop baking cakes and puddings and seriously put a halt on sugar in all its many forms. If I could lose weight that would be a big plus in boosting my self image.
    What to do when someone out of blue makes an insulting remark? this usually floors me!
    I’m at a loss for words. How to respond? I normally just ignore but stew on it for weeks.

    • ivytobin July 30, 2016 at 11:24 AM - Reply

      Hi Rosemary, so glad to hear your health has improved. Wonderful! Now, how to confront an insulting remark…First of all, people who are your friends, don’t insult you. So consider the relationship. Then consider the source. Then make a concentrated effort to let it go! Hope this insight helps. <3 Rose.

      • Rosemary Summers July 30, 2016 at 1:25 PM - Reply

        Thank you, a very wise reply. The individual is of little importance to me, but we do art at this individuals home, there are other irritating mannerisms that really get to me.
        I do ignore but to be honest I can do without this sort of irritation. Ignore, right I shall do just that . Maybe with luck will think of something witty to say.

        • ivytobin July 30, 2016 at 9:04 PM - Reply

          I’m sure you will think of the perfect thing to say. In the meantime, don’t let this person ruin one moment of your day. 🙂

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