I was recently talking to a friend about her relationship with her husband. She said she knows how to keep him sweet. She praises him (even when she’s angry). She doesn’t ask him to help her in the house because she knows that upsets him. When he does things that she does not agree with she keeps her mouth shut. She does not want to rock the boat by upsetting him. I asked her why? What stops her from being honest and this is what she told me.
“I want a quiet life. I let things go because I cannot stand the hassle of an argument or a miserable face in front of me.”
So is she a people pleaser or is she pleasing herself? Or perhaps there is manipulation going on?
Can you be happy in a relationship where you are not able to communicate honestly for fear of a backlash? Perhaps a degree of happiness is possible if the payoffs are there.
There are times when pleasing others might actually be to your best advantage. Think about being at work and doing a good job to please your boss. What’s in it for you? Promotion perhaps or a good annual review and pay rise. Are you being a people pleaser or are you pleasing yourself?
When it becomes problematic of course is if you are compromising yourself because of another person. For example not getting your own needs met. Sometimes it is a balancing act.
With friends it might be a different scenario. You feel like your voice does not get heard. When making arrangements you always feel you are following the plans rather than making them. In this case it is more about learning to be assertive to voice your opinion. If your friends are caring about you and the friendship they will listen. If they don’t then maybe its time to reassess the friendship.
What do you think?
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