The Art of People Pleasing

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The Art of People Pleasing

Postby PuppyEars » Mon Jun 27, 2016 4:45 pm

Is it an art?
I get so twisted up thinking about it. I am aware one of our goals is to work our way up to Servant but the ego in me won't allow me to cross that line or I simply haven't learned how to yet. Maybe in my head I have ass kissing and people pleasing mixed together and I am unable to separate them. I sincerely do not wish for anyone to try to please me by going out of their way to make sure something is in line for me because I am such a low maintenance type that I can get by with next to nothing. Hell, I've been scraping my entire life. But since I am that way, I have a voice in me that says that I don't have to adhere to serving others because I work hard for mine. And if I see you people pleasing it makes me look down upon you.
A good example would be at work. Watching the hustle of other employees speed up every single day around the same time because they know the owner is walking through the doors. They get into an almost panic mode and their entire demeanor changes. Mr. Bigshot Me does quite the opposite. I tend to slow down during this time as a silent act of rebellion. I love this job, I want this job, I need this job but don't you dare expect me to act a certain way around a certain person - or give off the impression that I am going above and beyond just because so and so walks in. Is this a bad approach?
Keep in mind, all this, is the chatter going on in my head throughout my days. I am not making this aware at work because I am being rewarded and told I am thriving, but I do know it's only a matter of time before these thoughts become actions and I will have made a mess out of nothing.
I could lump this silent act of rebellion into the 'old ideas' category because I was acting this same way in a past life, and ask for the willingness to let it go but then the fear of being that hole in the donut crops up. Won't I become just another mindless sheep being herded to people please?
How much stock should one put into upholding an image, in sobriety?
Should one stay grounded in who they have become or should they be ready to be constantly shaped and molded given the circumstance?
Do you people please? Did you become a people pleaser? If so, how did you squash that rebel voice?
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Re: The Art of People Pleasing

Postby avaneesh912 » Mon Jun 27, 2016 6:01 pm

If so, how did you squash that rebel voice?


You don't squash it. Know its there. Don't react.
Show him, from your own experience, how the peculiar mental condition surrounding that first drink prevents normal functioning of the will power (Alcoholics Anonymous, Page 92)
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Re: The Art of People Pleasing

Postby Brock » Tue Jun 28, 2016 11:01 am

The gist of this seems to be I don't want to do service because people might think I am doing it to please them, or putting forward the right image by doing it. I agree absolutely that those who try to please others or look good when the boss is around, are a test of my patience to put up with, but service in AA or service with spirituality in mind should never be like this.

The founders were part time bible thumpers, and Bill says much of the inspiration for the book came from real men of the cloth. Dr Bob in particular lists the sermon on the mount as one of his favorite passages to meditate on, in that we see over and over that any good works we do we must tell nobody, and do it when nobody is looking if possible, if not the work is rewarded by the boost to our ego and we get no other real benefit.

So true and proper trusted servants of AA are the opposite of people pleasers, and do their work behind the scenes, only some boast of how much service they are doing or have done, thankfully they are very much the minority.
"Good morning, this is your Higher Power speaking. I will not be needing your help today."
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Re: The Artgo of People Pleasing

Postby Stepchild » Tue Jun 28, 2016 2:17 pm

Welcome...I guess I'm curious if you taken AA's 12 steps...And if so...Did someone help you with them?...Or did you just do them on your own?
As far as work goes.....I worked most of my life giving less than in jobs I held. Either hung over or thinking about the nearest drink when I got out. Or both. Every job I ever had I lost in some way or other to alcohol related circumstances. Today I work a job where I actually go in and give it my all...Take some pride in it....Whether the boss is there or not. I don't look at that as ass kissing or people pleasing....But more like doing the right thing. It's nice for a change....That's what those steps are about...Changing. I get some peace of mind out of it...And they seem to be pretty happy about it as well..
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Re: The Art of People Pleasing

Postby Lali » Tue Jun 28, 2016 8:52 pm

The way I see it, sucking up to the boss is not at all the same thing as reaching out to another in need.
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Re: The Art of People Pleasing

Postby Tosh » Wed Jun 29, 2016 12:34 am

As long as my intentions are good, I love pleasing people. We've got a deaf lady at my homegroup now; she turns up with another lady who does all the sign language for her. (Bad intentions would be to please someone because I wanted something from them; like sex or money.)

I'm now on youtube learning how to sign-language things like "Hello", "How are you?" "Would you like a coffee?", and some rude words too (to make her laugh hopefully; I want to learn 'idiot', so that I can point at guys I sponsor and make the sign), and I hope my efforts really please her. I want her to feel part of the group. I've asked other group members to make an effort to learn some sign language too. Why the heck not?

Wanting to please someone is a far cry from when I used to upset everyone.

As for work, work is a game. If you want to get on, play the game. If you don't want to get on, don't play the game.

Personally our whole persona is a fake (the word comes from Greek and means 'mask'). The persona that says, "I'm not playing this people pleasing S***; I'm my own man and will be true to my own self", that's just another mask.

So really, who gives a toss? Just go and make some people happy. Or don't. See what makes you happy? I find that trying to make others happy makes me happy, but I'm not stupid about it.
Come, come, whoever you are. Wanderer, worshiper, lover of leaving. It doesn't matter. Ours is not a caravan of despair. Come, even if you have broken your vows a thousand times. Come, yet again, come, come.” Rumi (No sniggering from the sex addicts)
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Re: The Art of People Pleasing

Postby Barbara D. » Fri Jul 01, 2016 8:52 am

I am a loner. I enjoy more private time than most people can stand. But I have an extroverted streak that takes over in social situations. I like to make people laugh.

When I was drinking, this extroverted me frequently judged others and manipulated conversations so that the people I liked would like me. Sometimes, I gave the wrong impression deliberately or resorted to the lie of silence.

When I got sober and began working the Steps, I had to get honest with myself and recognize when I was in denial, when I was letting my own expectations or opinions judge others...I had to be in touch with my own motivations.

I think people-pleasing, like most of the other basic personality traits, can be negative or positive. If I'm not being honest, my results turn into learning experiences. I believe it takes a special kind of person to be able to people-please...I have to pay attention to details, know when the person is being funny or wants sympathy so that I can be considerate and loving. I don't see anything wrong with sprucing up the home before company comes or straightening my desk when I know the boss is in my hallway. In my career job, I saw a lot of nepotism and had several meetings with myself as to whether I couldn't live with it and had to move on...recovery allowed me to stay and mostly be content with my own work ethic.

If I'm upset about people, places, and things, I usually have to check who's in charge and do a 10th Step, take my own inventory. Early on, I did allow myself to be pressured into doing some service work I wasn't ready for, but I got over that and went through many stages in 15 years of service work. These days, sharing with people inside and outside AA is what I have to give.

Thanks for listening. Barbara D., alocholic
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Re: The Art of People Pleasing

Postby RosieF » Fri Jul 01, 2016 8:05 pm

I heard something good in a meeting just this morning "I used to be a people pleaser but the people put me off."
It's very true - being a people pleaser goes hand in hand with having low self-esteem and wanting people to like you, but its not the real you. Doing service is about conquering ego, communicating with others and showing gratitude to the programme. These things all contribute to the one single reason you are in AA - to get sober. Once you are sober you'll discover who you really are and you'll please others only when it pleases you to do so - and hopefully, becasue you'll have learned how to be a less selfish person, that will be often! :D I dont know where the idea about being a servant came from - I used to be a servant of alcohol and ill never be a servant of anything or anyone again. Freedom!
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Re: The Art of People Pleasing

Postby clouds » Sun Jul 03, 2016 7:46 am

I think about the idea of 'people pleasing' as a defect. Its a defect of character such that if I believe something to be true I would deny the truth with an intention to please a person. In other words I would give up a principle just in order to be liked. For me that was something I did as a young person and when I was drinking. So as it is a defect of character, its gone by the wayside through practice of the 12 steps in my daily living and I don't find I'm often bothered by that one.

As for other's 'people pleasing', that would rest entirely upon their shoulders. I have nothing to do with it.

Love and tolerance is our code. It helps to remember where we came from, so we can understand that others are also in a struggle at times, and we can be more tolerant of them. As we get unsick, rewards begin to blossom in our lives, we get less irritable with other's faults and become more loving.

I like what Tosh said about the masks, rebellion, and reactions as well. Its a full time job observing ego activity everyday and keeping my feet from stepping in the $h/t piles of life with it. :wink:
" Burn the idea into the consciousness of every man that he can get well regardless of anyone. The only condition is that he trust in God and clean house." page 98 A.A.
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Re: The Art of People Pleasing

Postby kdub720 » Tue Jul 05, 2016 11:47 am

This is a great discussion as I can identify with the work portion of the post. Certain people in the word have a sense of entitlement and feel that I should serve them. Co-workers see me working hard and choose not to work hard because they know that with me their the job will get done no matter if they work or just look like they are working. Serving others is great. I am all about helping those in need. While at work I love helping those customers in need, yet when an able bodied person treats me as their servant I want to slap them. Serving others through the benefit of my sobriety is my goal. This sobriety thing has made me a little colder to people that try make me a servant.
I like the rebellion side too. Fight the power. This idea drove me to drink for along time, but now I take that same "Punk Rock" anti-conformity/ anti-authority towards alcohol. I am not going to let alcohol control me and I am not going to be like the others who are influenced and controlled by a substance. That is Rebellion. Good luck and thanks for the post, this one made me think and reflect on my personal ideals.
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