What comes up for you?

Pleasing for me meant

Getting good jobs, and keeping them

Running myself ragged trying to

Please anyone and everyone at any point

Even if they didn’t ask me to


Lots of rewards but

A kick in the ass when we

Realize that we just want to

Be loved and liked

Accepted, approved of

And that we have adopted

One method for getting

Some of that

But it doesn’t always work

And in fact, it sometimes

Creates the opposite effect

Rejection, which we are so scared of

Abandonment, which horrifies us

Aloneness, which part of us wants

And another part despises

All by pleasing

Pleasing you and you

Pleasing parents and teachers

Friends and family

Children and foes

Anyone who breathes

And even some who don’t

Why wouldn’t we keep that up?

What if we put ourselves first or

Somewhere in the line up for our


Oh, well then, how selfish, self-centered

And distressing, especially for

Southern, good Christian girls!

Shame on you!

Instead we are taught

To take care of everybody else

(And anything else) before

Ever even thinking that perhaps

We have needs too, that need

To be addressed and focused on

But, we DO get some of our needs met or

Think we do by helping others

We think they like us, love us but

Once we turn off so much pleasing

We are left alone to fend

For ourselves because


We also get to resent those

Whom we please even when they

Didn’t ask!
We do so much for them and

Never get back much from them

Oh, woe is me!

And, the world/people don’t

Much like us changing

If it weren’t for the pleasers

Of the world, who would the

Takers turn to and get positive results?

Well, I declare!

Who knew?

OK, time to slow it down

Focus within and don’t expect

The world/people to congratulate

You for changing

The good news is that it

Doesn’t really matter much

Anymore because you have

Learned to please yourself and

If people want to be around you

Great, and if they don’t

Their loss




I am a psychotherapist, writer and activist in Nashville, TN:

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Barbara Sanders

Barbara Sanders

I am a psychotherapist, writer and activist in Nashville, TN:

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