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Forums / Staying well / How to know/do what you want?

Topic: How to know/do what you want?

3 posts, 0 answered
  1. sparrowhawk
    sparrowhawk avatar
    159 posts
    7 October 2019

    I notice in myself that I have the tendency to do what people tell me or suggest I should do before even thinking about if it's something I want to do. I think I have always been this way...my dad is great but quite controlling, and I think in a way it's a sort of defence mechanism to prevent me from disappointing or upsetting people. If I do what they want they will be happy and won't reject me. It's how I've always tended to be with friends and acquaintances.

    Someone very close to me got quite irritated with that and pulled me up on it. It honestly made me feel terrible and like the most annoying person on the face of the earth. I don't know if anyone else has this sort of thing going on in them, but if so, how do you manage it? How do you even KNOW what you want? I think I have been so used to just doing what everyone tells me to do that I don't even think about my wants, hopes, dreams, etc.

  2. smallwolf
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    smallwolf avatar
    5755 posts
    7 October 2019 in reply to sparrowhawk

    Hi sparrow (again),

    I am not familiar with your entire story, but I have been seeing a psychologist for 2 years now. In this time I have learnt a fair it about myself. Once with my psychiatrist (yeah, one of those also) I said I am a people pleaser and we chatted about the positives and negatives of that. Someone else in my family is self-centered and there are positives and negatives there also. More recently, as I was with my psychologist, we were talking about how I hated arguments, for a similar reason of not wanting the other to dislike me. There were other things around this topic that are irrelevant here, but I was issued with a challenge at the end of a session. The challenge was to the "rock the boat'. That is, if there was something I wanted to say, then I should say it. If nothing else, it would give the other person another perspective on a situation or topic - something they might not have thought about. One could almost say this is about honest as well, allowing yourself to be honest, not just maintaining equilibrium. There are other tip and tricks like setting boundaries for yourself, having the difficult conversations. These things all take time - take practice.

    Tim

  3. sparrowhawk
    sparrowhawk avatar
    159 posts
    8 October 2019 in reply to smallwolf

    Thanks Tim. I am a huge people pleaser, also hate arguments and confrontation for the same reason. I can see a positive in that I am conscious of others and their feelings, and quite sensitive to those things. At the same time, my boundaries (particularly time) are compromised because I agree to everything for fear of "rocking the boat", and am very shy about expressing my opinion. I put myself down and feel bad about myself that I am a people pleaser, but at the same time I can see there are positives in that, and want to work less on pleasing others and more on just being honest.

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