Tag Archives: people pleasing

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.

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

“To Thine Own Self, Be True” (from Shakespear’s “Hamlet”)

I had the most incredible dream last night, & I wanted to share the valuable lesson learned from it.  🙂

I dreamed that I saw my car parked in front of my parents’ home.  I was a few feet away.  My car is a lovely dark green with a matching vinyl top, but in the dream, she was painted (very poorly I might add!) white on the sides & yellow on the top, hood & trunk.  Somehow I knew my mother had done this.  I was horrified upon seeing this, wondering how was I going to afford the high price of having her repainted green.  I simply said, “God, what am I going to do?”  It suddenly started to rain a bit.  A nice steady rain.  The paint started washing off my car!!  Most of it came off easily but there were a few spots that I had to scrape at with my thumbnail.  Before I knew it, there was my ’69 Plymouth, all beautiful & green again!  In fact, she looked better than ever, now that I think of it…

I woke from this dream a bit shaken, since my car means the world to me.  She once was my Granddad’s car, then my dad’s.  Dad sold her in 1979 to a junkyard, & in 2005, I found her!  Wasn’t looking, but apparently God decided I needed a big blessing, & being a car lover, blessed me with my favorite car of my Granddad’s.  So anyway, dreams where this car is messed with in any way shake me up pretty badly.

Later, I decided to figure out what this dream meant, so I asked God & immediately, He gave me my answer.

Cars represent your life in dreams.  White & yellow are colors representing purity,  innocence, joy, positivity.  Rain represents cleansing.  In the context of this dream, this all translates to this:  growing up with a narcissistic mother, she did her level best to change me into what she wanted me to be.  In fact, still tries to do this even though I am now 43 years old.  My mother likes to present herself as a wholesome, wonderful person.  She wants me to act more like her, like what she likes, dislike what she dislikes, etc.  That is why in the dream she painted my car those particular colors, to make me more like her.  The rain was a result of me allowing God to wash away what others have done to make me into what they think I should be (my mother isn’t the only one who has tried to change me, but she is where the problem started).  Me scraping off the little bits of paint that remained represented me doing my part, cooperating with God, to get the person He made me to be back.

Isn’t that fascinating?

Since many of you who read my blog, website & books are also children of narcissistic mothers, I pray this encourages you as it has me.

Narcissists try to change their children, friends, relatives & basically anyone into what they think that person should be.  I believe it is especially painful for children, because as children, we are so starved for our parents’ love & approval, we’ll do anything they want us to do.  This also sets the stage early in life for you to believe you must please other people, even at the expense of losing yourself- changing your likes, dislikes, beliefs, how you dress, how you act & more.  It’s not right!  No one should have to change so much of themselves just to be in a relationship with another person!  If you do feel you have to change to be in a relationship with someone, maybe  it is time to reconsider being in that relationship.  At the very least, it’s time to consider getting you back & being the person God made you to be!

How do you get “you” back??

  1. To start with, stop listening right now to what others say you should do, like, how you should feel or think.  Their opinions really aren’t important!  Of course you want those you love to have good opinions of you, but if they disagree with some things about you, that is perfectly ok!  No one can be pleased 100% of the time.  If they try to make you feel bad for not pleasing them, that is a big red flag saying this person isn’t safe.
  2. Ask God to help you.  Ask Him to show you who He made you to be, to have the courage to become that person & to help you shed the person you became only to please others.
  3. Step out of your comfort zone.  Try things that pique your interest that you never had the nerve or opportunity to try before.  You may discover a new passion, or at the least, will start to learn what you like & don’t like for yourself rather than what others have told you that you should like or not like.
  4. Try different clothing.  I know this sounds silly, but your clothing affects your mood.  Buy clothes that make you feel good when you’re wearing them.  Better to have 2 outfits you like than 10 you hate because someone else wants you to wear them!

At first, these things can feel kind of weird & hard to do, but I can tell you, they get easier with practice.  I’m trying them myself, & have off & on for a few years now.  From my experience, the hardest thing to do is stay focused on doing things for yourself like this.  It’s so easy to slip back into the old, dysfunctional habits!  That is what happened to me- this dream made me realize that.  To avoid conflict with my husband, I’ve even gone as far as hiding the symptoms of my C-PTSD from him no matter how hard it is on me.  This dream made me really see how bad it’s been, & how it has to stop right now.

Be good & true to yourself, Dear Readers!  You are so worth it!  I pray that God will help you if you are struggling in this area.  ❤

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