“A member of our Depressed Anonymous group said that her father was very authoritarian and strict. She said that she was always trying to please him and do the best she could with everything he wanted. She said that she could never do things well enough to please him. Even today, she still tries to please others, but because of her perfectionistic nature finds herself always inadequate and never satisfied with her self. This produces a feeling of loss as she feels guilty over losing control over those situations in which she wants to excel. She also feels resentments towards other people as they never seem to notice all her outstanding qualities.”
Pleasing others goes nowhere for many of us, usually the results that we hoped for don’t happen. We think that if we please others they will automatically like us more. One result of trying to please others is how we lose something of ourselves in the process. The result here is that we just want to kick ourselves because the person we want to please could care less how we feel. In other words we gradually begin to feel belittled. We don’t measure up to what we had hoped others would think of us.
What results are resentments. We resent others because they aren’t able to see the great person we think we are. Again, the cycle gets repeated, please others, and nothing positive happens as to how others see us.
We feel we are not perfect enough, good enough or unable to measure up to others expectations of us. Which may not be true at all. So, in time, we might be fortunate enough to see the connection between trying to please Daddy and never quite gaining the affection and support from him that she had desired. What we learn in childhood gets amplified many times over as we carry these perfectionistic feelings into our adult life.
In the final analysis, we find ourselves feeling dependent on others for our self worth and value. Our value is only proportionate to the amount of acceptance that we receive from someone else.
For more insights into how “pleasing others” may continue to plague us into our adult lives and spiral us down into those dark moods we call depression, it is in looking at ourselves from various vantage points that we will learn how to prize ourselves as well as learn the many different ways that we can feel empowered instead of weak and worthless.
The way out of these feelings which imprison us can all be dealt with in the context of learning and living out the spiritual principles of the 12 Steps of Depressed Anonymous. Also the Depressed Anonymous meetings, regularly attended, will give you the positive feelings that will gradually help you to learn how to please yourself, instead of trying to please others.
(c) Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. (2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville KY. Pages 92-93.