Changing Yourself To Please Others

I realized something a little while ago.


I went to choose some music to listen to while taking a shower.  I wanted something different, so I picked Michael Bolton’s “The One Thing” CD.  While it played, I realized I hadn’t listened to it in years.  In fact, I hadn’t listened to any of his music in years.  Admittedly, I usually prefer hard rock over soft, but even so the main reason I hadn’t listened to him years was because my husband dislikes Mr. Bolton’s music.


Did he ever ask me not to listen to those CDs?  Only in his presence, which really is just common courtesy anyway.  (I don’t care for bluegrass, but my husband does, so he listens to it when I’m not around.)  Sooooo…. what the heck?!


I realized quickly that this is typical behavior of someone raised by a narcissist.  Narcissistic parents expect their children to morph into whatever pleases them & abandon their own likes, dislikes, dreams, feelings, needs, etc.  Apparently I carried the habit well into adulthood & marriage.


I’m not amused.  It’s not even about the music- it’s the fact I so readily gave up listening to an artist whose music I enjoy just because my husband doesn’t feel the same way.  It makes me mad that this behavior was so ingrained in me, I did it without thinking.  My husband & I have been together since 1994.  It’s now 2016 & I just realized it.  That had to be a very deeply ingrained behavior, to take me so long to figure it out!


Have you done the same, Dear Reader?  Have you changed yourself for another person just because you thought it would please that person, even if they didn’t ask you to?


If so, then I urge you today to go back to what you were comfortable with.  If you & the other person in the relationship disagree on something, it won’t hurt your relationship!  Normal, healthy people respect each others’ differences in personality & taste.  They don’t expect someone to change to please them.  In fact, they encourage their friends or lovers to be the best person they can be, no matter how similar or different they are.  If someone wants you to change to please them, it may be time to reevaluate the relationship.  It’s one of the warnings that you are in the presence of a narcissist.


Be the person God created you to be, Dear Reader, or as Shakespeare said, “to thine own self be true.”  You will be happy & at peace with yourself.  And, those who truly love you will appreciate the real you.


Filed under Abuse and the Healing Journey, Christian Topics and Prayers, Mental Health, Narcissism

14 responses to “Changing Yourself To Please Others

  1. Cindy Cindy

    Yes,narcs have a huge problem with agreeing to disagree,because they think they are always right.My mom always got mad at me for not voting the way she did,but our troops fought and died for MY right to do so,any way I choose.Boundaries,they know nothing of.
    They also like to make you overly responsible for choices they don’t agree with.All of a sudden,because I had voted democratically,it now meant that I was responsible for every abortion that had ever occurred,or will occur,in the US,just for choosing whom I thought could best run the country.It’s ridiculous.


    • Cindy Cindy

      Sry,I wasn’t implying Eric is a narc.I was on;y thinking how it pertained to my situation.


    • Cindy Cindy

      Oh yes,I forgot,guilt trips,too.”You’ll stand before God for your choices someday!” FIne,bring it on.There is more than one issue on the table when voting,,and no one should feel guilty for making the choice they thought best


      • Absolutely!! Even if you’re making the absolute wrong choice (just for the sake of argument here, not saying you’re wrong), you’re deciding on the evidence in front of you. Maybe you simply don’t know better. How would God punish you for not knowing better?! I don’t see Him being so unreasonable!


    • You’re so right there, Cindy. You have to agree with them or else you’re wrong!! @@ I also totally get what you’re saying about you being responsible for abortions. My mother blames my car for environmental problems. Yep, single handedly, I put a hole in the ozone layer! I’m waiting for Al Gore to show up on my doorstep & chew me out.. lol


  2. Wayne Holmes

    This can be so hard. I’ve spent so long being a people-pleaser and being someone I think other people think I should be, that I’ve pretty much lost touch with who I am and what I want. I’m now left in a sort of process of elimination in trying to find out what I love to do in the hopes of one day doing what I love for a living.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This is something I struggle with too. Yes, this has happened to me a lot. I’m very susceptible to letting go of what I like in order to keep peace or do what I think others want me to do. Like Wayne, I don’t really know what I like anymore. I feel like if I try something new or do something out of the ordinary it will send off huge alarm bells to my narc wife. She’s quick to point out when I do something “unusual” and wants an explanation for why I did it. On the other hand, like your husband, I am not a fan of Mr. Bolton’s music either and would not want to have to hear it very often. Relationships are about balance and compromise, so maybe you just listen to Bolton when he’s not around but don’t stop listening to it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I understand what you’re saying there. My ex husband was a narcissist as well as my mother & trying something new was a scary experience for the same reason. It’s a shame people try to put others into a small box simply for their comfort. I’m sorry you’re in that situation.

      You’re so right. I don’t plan on listening to Bolton’s music around my husband since he’s not a fan, but I also don’t plan to give it up entirely. Being more of a hard/classic/Southern rock fan, I listen to that constantly, but the change of pace sometimes is fun.


  4. My husband does this from time to time too. I can’t think of any specific examples, but I know I’ve said, “Why didn’t you tell me that?” more than once to him. He tends to put himself in a suffering position without telling me, even when I ask him if he’s okay, he still says yes. Sometimes I wonder if he’s just agreeing with me to “keep the peace” (that horrible saying his EF always says to him) and I’ll have to dig out his true opinions. Even when we fight, he’ll sometimes say, “Just hit me because you’re mad at me.” That really gets to me and I say, “No! Hurting you is not going to make me feel better!” I think he does get that I’m not trying to change him, but he still has those habits from his NM and EF. I think EF did just as much damage as NM did since he was his example of what a husband is supposed to be.


    • I’m sure you’re right.. the EFs do plenty of damage. Often they are covert narcissists, & do just as much if not more damage than the overt narcissist parent.

      I’m sorry your husband feels this way. Hopefully as time passes & he gets healthier, he’ll get better in this area.


  5. Pingback: Narcissistic Abuse and Gaslighting: Reader Shares Decade-Long Survivor Story - QueenBeeingQueenBeeing

  6. ibikenyc

    “I don’t care for bluegrass, but my husband does, so he listens to it when I’m not around.”

    Oh NO; not in THIS household!

    I regularly get blasted with Linkin Park, or did, until I finally steeled myself for the butt-reaming I knew I’d get if I put on headphones and — GASP! — listened to something else!

    Now he just walks in, sees the phones on my head, and storms out in a rage.

    The one time he was listening to them and I dared to say, simply, “Not a fan,” my ears were ringing for days.

    I honestly cannot remember the last time I used the stereo in the living room, or the computer in here without headphones.


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