There is a fine line between doing favors, being generous and being used. Most people cannot decipher between the two. There are plenty of people who have fallen in the category of People Pleasing yet, one of the people that they fail to please is themselves. If your life isn’t filled with tons of people you give to some may call you selfish. If you’ve been called selfish and it hurts you try not to be selfish. You may over do for others and attempt to get rid of that label and just like that you can become a People Pleaser. People Pleasers usually have very little to no boundaries. They fail and suck at saying “NO”. Resentment begins to build in their hearts and minds and eventually they explode, get angry, become depressed, or have a nervous breakdown. Some may blame the people who have called upon them, and some may blame themselves.
It is totally possible for a user to not realize that they are being selfish and that they are a user. They may very well feel validated in asking for favors, help and assistance at all costs at all times to anyone. Some people use friends instead of services, like to babysit, do their chores, give them rides, and on goes the list. They may even become offended if the friend asked for money for the service. But everyone should know their limits and set boundaries.
If you are self-aware, signals will go off in your head when you start to feel used by someone. It is at that point that you need to have a conversation and or set certain boundaries that will protect you from whatever happens to you when you feel taking advantage of. Myself, whenever I feel as though I’m being used, I become enraged. This is partly due to the fact that I struggled with People Pleasing for so long in the past. I thought I’d never happy. It’s almost impossible to be happy when you are never focused on the things that make you happy while trying to make everyone else happy. And the people who you’re making happy are focused on making themselves happy. Then comes the emptiness. But you only have yourself to blame. I am not a selfish person, and anyone who knows me realizes that. I no longer need to prove that to anyone. I can say no and be fully okay with the fact that someone may think that I am selfish. I am not and that is my fate and that’s what I hold to. The only one that I still required to prove anything to is my God and he actually doesn’t require me to prove anything to help, he already knows me.
When friends develop a “You Owe Me” attitude like the one described here in a recent blog post, it usually causes the relationship to struggle. Some recover and some head for the hills of destruction. But in both cases that attitude is unhealthy.
Favors are gifts, but to expect them from your friends is a very unrealistic. All you should expect is that they be true to who they are and honest. If they are not into doing favors and that’s what you are looking for in a friendship, then maybe you just shouldn’t be friends with them, it does not necessarily mean that they are not a good friend. Maybe they are in recovery from People Pleasing and they need to set up strict boundaries so that they don’t fall back into that unhealthy condition. That isn’t to say they never help out their friends ever, but when they begin to feel that twinge of pain, anger, or what ever the signal is, they have to pull back. True friends that aren’t in the relationship only for themselves will understand that.
Have these types of relationships ever crossed your path?