Wednesday, August 25, 2010

a bit of navel gazing

I'm deep in a period of self-reflection, and trying to process some "stuff". Part of my process involves reading self-help books, although these books, like parenting books, can also just drive you crazy with too many instructions and not enough wisdom.

But, along these lines, I just read Pleasers: Why Women Don't Have to Make Everyone Happy to Be Happy. There were two bits of wisdom in the book that I plan to hold onto:

1. The Little Girl You Once Were Is Still Inside You

2. A Positive Pleaser is a person who pleases and is nice, but for all the right reasons

The little girl I once was still has a lot of angst, pain, and is striving for some fairly childish things - like approval from Daddy. But that will always be a part of me, so I just have to learn how to parent that little girl. My adult self doesn't need to let her control me, but can rather work through it.

The other part is about being a pleaser - or a person who is programmed to seek to please others. I like the point the author raises, that there is nothing wrong with being pleasing. The world would be a better place if more people tried to be nice and pleasing to others. But there are many ways that pleasing isn't actually good for the pleaser or the people being pleased.

When my husband wants to go out, and I say Yes even though I want him to stay home with me, but then I am actually upset when he goes - it doesn't do him any real favors.

When we are choosing a major purchase, and I don't assert myself during the process, I end up with something that I may not want as much. But it's me that has to live with it, usually.

When I do too much for others that they could do for themselves, I keep them dependent and immature.

I will not martyr myself. I will say what I want. And I will try to feel neither guilt nor resentment. I will be a Positive Pleaser.


  1. Wise words. Now I'm curious to check out this book...

  2. Does sound like a lot you are taken on. I love the part about the little girl you once were is still inside you. I was recently told about this from my art therapist. We do need to grieve sometimes for that little girl and the possibilities or the potential or even the approval she didn't get...but then we can twist that into finding all the gifts that little girl brought into this world that we can reclaim and shine with.

    I hope you read a light funny book after this to give yourself a well deserved break!

  3. My little girl self was lost too. Still trying to find her AND like you said, not let her rule my current self. Great post. Lots to think about.