"But I Shouldn't Feel So Angry..."Aug 29, 2022
Said the people-pleaser who did everything for everyone at all times...
Did you know? People-pleasers experience more anger than the average person.
Why is this?
Because people-pleasers do more in relationships than the average person and feel resentment as a result.
The really tough part about this pattern is that when people-pleasers notice that their relationships feel unfair or unbalanced, or that they feel angry, the typical response is to gaslight themselves.
People-pleasers are so uncomfortable with feeling angry at others that they blame themselves for being angry! For example:
- "I shouldn't feel angry - I love this person!"
- "I should give without feeling bad about it"
- "It's crazy that I feel so angry"
- "There must be something wrong with me!!"
And the result is to ignore the anger and stuff it down, pretending that everything is fine.
Let's review the pattern:
Give more than you get --> Feel resentful --> gaslight yourself --> keep overgiving
This pattern can go on for a while. Sometimes psychologists also call this pattern:
"Stuff it, stuff it, stuff it, stuff it, EXPLODE"
Because eventually, it is impossible to ignore the anger and unfairness feeling, and it comes out in a big explosion of anger or ending the relationship.
And of course, these are NOT the outcomes that anyone wants. These are actually the outcomes that people-pleasing is designed to prevent.
Unfortunately, these occasional explosions are very harmful to relationships. The other person usually has no idea that the people-pleaser was struggling or feeling upset. So experiences the anger as "out of nowhere" and usually feels very upset about it (further confirming the people-pleaser's difficulty with anger and validating their own anger).
What's the way out of this relationship-harming pattern?
Stop gaslighting yourself.
If you notice feeling like things are unfair or you're feeling angry, pay attention to those feelings. They are probably completely accurate. Those feelings need your care and understanding.
Slowly start to rebalance your relationships.
This can be done by:
- Starting to ask for more help, accepting help, and receiving
- Refraining from overgiving and trying really hard
- Refraining from giving people things they didn't ask for
- Starting to practice refraining from doing things you don't genuinely want to do
This is very hard and, of course, takes practice. But it is mental health and relationship saving.
For step-by-step guidance from me on how to STOP People-Pleasing, join my comprehensive online course.
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