Confessions of a Recovering People Pleaser: Discovering Places Between Pushover and Pusher

a tower of colorful blocks (that are stacked like a Jenga tower) with several blocks off to the side on the table
Image by Pixabay / CC 0

I write quite frequently about being a recovering people pleaser, including one piece I wrote for a client about the 10 biggest lessons I learned while recovering from people pleasing.

And yet… sometimes I feel like I’ve only scratched the surface in addressing how profoundly different my thinking was before I began to critically examine it.  » Read more

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Fight, Flight, Freeze… Fawn?: Responding to Danger by Becoming a People Pleaser

a sign that's broken that says "yes"
Image by Anthony Clearn / CC BY

Many long-time readers of the blog know that I identify as a recovering people pleaser. It’s been a long road to recovery, bolstered by an excellent support system and a round of assertiveness therapy several years back.

Growing up under the thumb of a difficult mercurial parent, I learned early on how to anticipate her needs and accommodate them,  » Read more

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PQ 16.1 — When my partners have competing desires, how well do I express what I need? Do I make sure my own desires aren’t lost in the shuffle?

two black lab dogs playing tug of war with a yellow disk on a sandy beach
Image by m01229 / CC BY

PQ 16.1 — When my partners have competing desires, how well do I express what I need? Do I make sure my own desires aren’t lost in the shuffle?

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There’s a certain kind of story I grew up believing: No sacrifice was too great for love. In fact, my own personal picture of love required a large sacrifice.  » Read more

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Kindness Misers: “I’m Always Doing Everything for Everyone Else”

3 stacks of silver coins, of varying heights
Image by KMo Foto / CC BY

“I’m always doing everything for everyone else,” she says. “And where does it get me?”

I’m taken aback. I’m not sure where this is coming from. She’s got good qualities, but she’s far from anybody’s whipping boy. If anything, she’s more selfish than most.

“To hell with what they think,” she says,  » Read more

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The Crumple Zone: Partners Who Bear the Impact

The front end of a black car, driver's side. It has clearly been involved in an accident. The crumple zone (the nose of the car) is all banged up.
Image by Rick Marshall / CC BY

crumple zone: noun

a section of an automobile body designed to absorb the force of an impact in order to protect the passengers (Merriam-Webster)

a part of a motor vehicle, especially the extreme front end and rear, designed to crumple easily in a crash and absorb the main force of an impact (Google)

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I’ve written a few times about polyamory and emotional labor:

I’m yet to find a polyamorous relationship system that extends beyond a few folks that hasn’t occasionally run into these patterns of uneven one-sided emotional labor.  » Read more

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Any Particular Person: On Growing Up Catering to Difficult People

a close up of piano keys, bathed in red light
Image by Juan Antonio Segal / CC BY

Born with a Target on My Back

I wasn’t allowed to be particular.

Growing up, only two people in my family were allowed to be particular. One was my sister Alice. Her default state was disgust. Dismay.

Alice was nasty. Particular. And catered to. She was consulted first on where she wanted to go whenever the family went out to eat.  » Read more

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