Non-Traditional Addictions: People Pleasing

People Pleasing Addiction 

This one is tricky as well. Most of us have an innate need inside us to please other people. Individuals who don't care what anyone else thinks or feels typically don't have very positive relationships. But what we are talking about here is a need that drives someone to please others, usually at the cost of losing themselves.

It's addictive in that the more the person pleases others, the more positive feedback they get (just like with drugs, alcohol etc.) But the more they please and ignore what's going on inside them, the more they lose who they are, little by little, until they don't know who they truly are anymore. They have been pleasing everyone for so long, they can't remember what they like or how theyactually feel about things.

Here are some characteristics of people pleasers: *Have a hard time saying "no" to people *Are constantly doing things to get positive reactions from others *Neglect their own needs and often their family's needs to please other people *Avoid telling people their true feelings (especially conflict) *They don't ask for help *Believe to do something will fill them up or make them feel loved *Feelings of emptiness or that they are never enough

The problem is, people pleasers usually get burnt out and feel depressed, anxious, and lonely. They are trying to fix pain in their lives but they end up creating more (much like many addictions do).

Usually their family feels neglected and often feels like the person doesn't really care about them. They see them do so many nice things for others but not for them. The person is too wrapped up in pleasing others.

This addiction is truly a challenge to treat. The person has to be okay with the fact that the people they have been trying to please for so long, aren't going to be very happy with them and will most likely treat them differently. This is depressing for them, thus making them want to please people to get the "high" from doing so, to get rid of the pain of losing relationships.

It may sound like a silly addiction but we have actually seen it create major problems in marriages, with peoples health, finances, and difficulty with life in general. It truly is an addiction and the person needs help to stop the cycle.

Tomorrow Joleen will share one last addiction. Thank you for reading this week. We hope it has been educational and shown you some non traditional addictions.

Written by Natalie Chandler

Natalie Chandler, MA, LMHC, LCAC is a therapist at Imagine Hope Counseling Group. Natalie enjoys doing marriage counseling, individual counseling, and relationship counseling.  We also specialize in family counseling, child, and adolescent counseling. Imagine Hope serves the Indianapolis area including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Fishers, Noblesville, Westfield, and Zionsville.