abusive relationships, codependence, domestic abuse, narcissism, narcissistic abuse, people pleaser syndrome, psychopathic abuse, toxic people

People Pleaser Syndrome and Being Targeted for Abuse

If you are always finding yourself at the bad end of unfair and unbalanced relationships, then you might have People Pleaser Syndrome.

Most people who have People Pleaser Syndrome, including myself, have come from a background of being emotionally and mentally abused, manipulated and scapegoated.

It may not be readily apparent to you that you had emotional abuse as a child, because this syndrome will cause you to question any abuse that you have experienced. People may have manipulated you into thinking that your childhood was free of abuse, as part of the mental abuse itself.

Gaslighting a person into doubting their own feelings of being abused, is mental abuse. When you feel like you are being treated unfairly and cannot communicate about it, your reality about the abuse can become confused.

I have done a lot of research recently about People Pleaser Syndrome. There are many lists that you can find that will describe various characteristics and qualities of people that suffer from it. I have also gone through my own situations in my mind, to identify what characteristics that I have tended to demonstrate over the years.

I recommend that you do your own research about this topic, if  many of things on this list  seem to ring true for you.

I have written this list off if the top of my head. Some of these characteristics have been brought to my attention from articles that I have read.

Some of them are direct examples from my own life. All of the things on this list have caused me problems in my own life over the years.

Characteristics of People Pleaser Syndrome

1. You take on the feelings of others as if they are your own.

2. You feel the need to fix the problems of other people

3. You feel responsible for other people’s problems and guilty about them

4. It is easy for other people to make you feel guilty

5. You can easily be forced by others to feel shame

6. You carry toxic shame

7. When other people are unhappy, angry or disappointed with you, it makes you feel like you have the responsibility of fixing their feelings

8. You have trouble doing, not-doing or saying anything if it will get a negative reaction from the other person

9. You want people to always approve of you, your beliefs and your actions

10. You feel the need to always justify your actions and decisions to others

11. You have great difficulty in saying “no” to people

12. You are often talked into doing things you really do not want to do.

13. You are talked into not doing things, that you do want to do

14. You tend to do whatever will keep the peace, even if it is not good for you

15. You have trouble standing up for yourself, but always listen to other people who are standing up for that they want

16. You give other people their way, much more often than you just do things the way you want to

17. You question the validity of your personal wants and needs, when it conflicts with those of others

18. You often put your own dreams and goal on the back burner, in order for someone else to fulfill their dreams

19. You do not express your anger about being treated unfairly by others

20. You tend to allow your partner more benefit of the doubt than they allow you

21. You cover  for other people,  even if they would not cover for you

22. You have C-PTSD from some sort of childhood abuse

23. It is sometimes unclear to you how you feel about things and if your feelings / thoughts are being “put into your head” by the other person

24. You allow other people to tell you “how you should feel” about some things

There are a few reasons that you need help for People Pleaser syndrome. If you are recognizing very many things from the above list, then I encourage you to do some further research, get materials which will help you and work on a plan of overcoming this.

In some cases, professional mental health treatment may be appropriate. I am not a therapist and this article is not intended as a replacement for professional mental health treatment. I am just validating your experiences with my own and hopefully helping you to take a look into your own tendencies and patterns.

If you have the characteristics of People Pleaser Syndrome, then you are likely to be a target for predators that will take advantage of your good intentions. There are narcissistic people and other toxic personalities that look for people that are easy to manipulate with guilt and shame.

There are people that actively seek “people pleasers” in order that they can subject their will upon them. If people can easily push our anxiety buttons about confrontation, then you are the type of person that can end up in domestic abuse situations and abusive relationships.

People pleasers try to avoid confrontation that makes them feel guilt or shame. Abusive personalities will sense this about you and deliberately force you into anxiety, in order to manipulate you.

Other problems you probably experience are in work situations and social situations. Dominating people will overcome you at work and in social circumstances. It is just the way they are.

It is hard to compete and get ahead at work if people take advantage of you. Even if there are nice, kind people where you work, there is always one that will destroy you, when they realize that they can use you as a means to get ahead.

It is nice to want to believe that the world is full of people who are compassionate and caring, but  we realize that this is not the case. You may be around many good people in your situations, but it only takes one person to really injure you.

We will talk more about this issue and ways in which we can retrain ourselves to have different habits. These are habits that are rooted into us, but they are not unbreakable.

The most important things are to be able to identify when we are being treated unfairly and not to feel guilty for standing up for ourselves, or otherwise protecting ourselves from abuse.

You have a right to your boundaries, your self confidence and your self esteem.

In fact these things are necessary for you to live and thrive well. Your dreams matter and your happiness matters, just as much as anyone else’s.

I got the following idea from a Teal Swan video about how to make the decisions that are best for you. What she suggests is to ask the question “What would someone who loves themselves do?”  If you keep this in mind as you are interacting with people, then you will have a frame of reference for when to say “no” to people. 

Blessings to all,

Annie

#beWoW, be WoW on wednesday, beWoW, blogging, empowerment, life, narcissistic abuse, spirituality, writing, writing challenges, writing contests, writing prompts

Be WoW on Wednesday Post

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This is my #beWoW post which stands for be Wow on Wednesday, This is sponsored by Ronovanwrites blog

Please take a pop over and see what interesting things he is doing. And now for my post.

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October in New Jersey

October in New Jersey comes with various feelings, memories and triggers for me. I love Halloween, so that part of October is fun and exciting. I love the creativity of Halloween such as the costumes, the imagination of both children and adults coordinating together, the haunted houses and the decorations. 

October is also a reminder to me that I am not living the life of freedom and independence that I would like to be, I ended up having to move back in with my ex in-laws a few years ago.

This was following a situation that I had to exit rather quickly and the offer from the in-laws was a last resort, emergency measure for me, in order to keep my kids safe and make sure there was a warm place for them to be for the winter. 

Along with living here comes many restrictions, control, manipulation and boundary crossing, which is how I knew it would be from many years of past experience with them. There are always conditions and intentional miscommunication about things that are important to me. 

If you have ever been in a situation where you felt your freedom was restricted then you know what I mean. I am sure many of you have felt your creativity, self esteem and your efforts to follow your own dreams and values, restricted by situations and people before. 

The reason October reminds me of just how controlled and limited I feel is that the in laws do not like Halloween. In fact they see it as Satanic  Witchcraft Time, which if any of you has ever done research about these things, you know that people that call themselves witches do not worship Satan, and that Halloween is not al about witchcraft for most people anyway. 

But living here restricts the type and amount of decorating I can do. I have to try to sneak my kids out in their costumes for trick or treating, or just deal with the consequences. My ability to be a parent that makes my own decisions about my own kids is severely interfered with in all kinds of areas of their lives. Halloween is not the biggest one. 

Other things about my life are intentionally interfered with and monitored to the point where I have to keep certain goals, dreams, activities, and even mail and bank statements invisible. I am completely alone with my decisions to move forward in my life, my behaviors towards those goals, and there is no one I can discuss or share these things with at this time. At least not in the “real life” world.

I have to count on myself. I have to plan by myself. I have to keep everything to myself, in order not to have any of my plans undermined by people who would rather have me dependent upon them, and follow the role and identity that suits their agenda.

But herein lies the questions…

How can we follow our dreams and become the spiritual person that we want to be…contribute to the world in the way we feel lead…and blossom and bloom…when we are in locked down situations …even to the point of mental abuse in some cases? 

What happens after an abusive situation is over? Are we condemned to a life of post traumatic trauma that we can never get out from under? Can we still reach towards being the person we were meant to be? 

If we were meant to do certain things…contribute to humanity in a certain area…care and love others…then why has the universe restricted us?..punished us?…

Are we being tested? Are being strengthened? Are we being punished? Are we being educated somehow? Are we being prevented from reaching our full potential due some bad thing we did in our past?

Have we been forgotten…forsaken… by God or the universe ?

sunset 2

I have been thinking about all of these questions lately and I have found that asking questions in a scientific, detached sort of way, rather than a reactive sort of way, can lead you to answers and possibilities.

There are always possibilities even when we do not see them. 

Even when we are able to see possibilities, there are even more possibilities and more potential within ourselves than we are able to see. 

One of the first steps to surviving the feeling of being controlled and imprisoned, is to consider the questions and to consider that there are possibilities that we cannot see.

Our minds allow us to see only that which we believe is possible. It has been proven by quantum physics that there are many things happening around us that our brains see but that our eyes do not see.

How can there be something in front of you that your brain sees but that does not get sent to your eyes? 

It has to do with the subconscious mind and how it interacts with your conscious mind. The subconscious mind has all of our associations stored in it. It holds our beliefs about reality, our biases, and associations between things and situations to what we think the meaning is of those things.

Our subconscious mind assigns meaning to what we see, what we hear, what other people do and everything else in our environment. Our subconscious mind decides the rules about what we can allow into our consciousness. This includes what we see with our eyes or what we do not see that another person right next to us, might easily see. 

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This does not just apply to seeing objects that are in our space of vision. This also includes seeing possibilities for us. It includes seeing what potential we have. It includes seeing reality in a completely different way than we are used to seeing it. 

If we can begin with questions about what we think and what we believe, we can open a connection to that subconscious part of the brain.

We can question the rules about how reality has to be. We can question our inner rules that dictate how we expect people to treat us, how we expect people to see us. 

We can question any beliefs we have about ourselves such as not being good enough, deserving to suffer, being  easy to control or manipulate and any beliefs we have about being inadequate to go after the things we want. 

Once we begin to question the beliefs that have been programmed into our subconscious minds, then we can question where those beliefs may have come from. 

If you think that you are destined to be controlled and manipulated for example, where do you think that belief came from? We did not put it there ourselves. 

If you have a belief that you will never find a partner that understands you, wants the best for you and really loves you…where do you think that belief came from? You did not put it there yourself.

These things were programmed by other people and situations that you were in…mostly during your childhood.

Once you begin to question your limitations and the beliefs that are behind those limitation,  people will find you much harder to control and to threaten. Once you can change the early programming from your childhood, you will not be stoppable by others.

You will begin to see possibilities where you did not see them before.

You will see ways around other people and situations that may have been right in front of you the entire time. But other people may have been redirecting your conscious mind so that you would not see them. 

You were meant to do great things in this world and in this reality. Begin with the questions…

Why do I feel stuck? Who do I think is controlling me? What authority do they really have over me? Why do I feel inferior or inadequate? Who told me that?

What agenda did it serve for them? Were they telling the truth? Did they know the truth about me?

Is this feeling of being stuck something new or is it a conditioned state that is familiar to us from our past? Maybe others are trying to control and manipulate us but do they have as much power over us of we refuse to react the way they expect us to?

Why do I want others to approve of me? Do I need everyone to approve of me? Is everyone looking out for my best interest? Does everyone tell me the truth?

Did the people who told me I was inadequate, non-compliant, undeserving or not worthy…have some agenda of their own? Did they really know me? Were they telling the truth? Were they lying? Did they even know what the truth was about me? 

Who knows me better than I know myself? Why should I live my life to please other people who will never be happy with me anyway? What am I trying to avoid?

Is avoiding the pain of conflict worth living for others? Is the fear of upsetting someone else worth giving my dreams away, my self esteem away, and my life purpose away…just to serve someone else’s agenda?

Begin with the questions and see what your subconscious mind in holding.

See what beliefs are no longer serving you. Anything negative about you is not serving you at all. Anything that is limiting your possibility to go after your dreams is also not serving you anymore. 

Let go of the early programming and other programming that other people forced onto you only to serve their own purposes.

Anyone that told you things like.You Can’t….You Don’t Deserve…You are not good enough…

You will fail…You should …You should not……. was probably thinking of their agenda and not about your happiness… or  “the Truth”  for that matter….

You have one life to live. You should live this life in order to fulfill  your happiness and your dreams. The people that really matter are the ones that will love you for being who you really are.

Blessings,

Annie   of gentlekindnesscoaching.com  and gentlekindness blog on WordPress

abusive relationships, dealing with annoying friends, empowerment, friendships, life, lifestyle, relationships, self-esteem, self-help, toxic personaloties

Choose Your Relationships with Wisdom ; Friendships and Partner Relationships

True friends will show you their love by being supportive and allowing you to follow your own path. They will listen to you without judgement when you talk to them. They will respect you as a person and not say things that lower your self esteem.

You can tell if you have a great friend by how you feel when you are with them. You should feel comfortable when you are with them and they should not do or say things to make you feel bad about yourself or to make you doubt yourself.

 Your self esteem should go up when you are with them and never down.

Rather than viewing your friendship by only  looking at things that your friend does, it is more important to think about how you feel. Even if someone does nice things for you but you still feel your self esteem lower when you are with them, then they may not be a good friend for you.

A friend is someone who you spend time with and while you are interacting with them, you feel good about yourself. In turn they should feel good about themselves when they are interacting with you.

There are certain combinations of people that are better together than others. No matter what, a good friend is someone who pulls you up mentally and emotionally. You can be yourself without fear of judgement. They want for you to be able to be yourself.

The same goes for intimate partner relationships.

No one can tell you that they are a good partner for you.  They cannot decide for you that they are good to you.  Only you know whether you feel good when you are interacting with someone. You always know yourself better than anyone else does. 

There are certain kinds of manipulative people that will tell you that they are good to you because they did this or that fav or for you. They will try to convince you that they are a good person for you and that you should appreciate them. 

Someone telling you that they are good to you does not mean that it is true.

Some people just decide what they think you want and need. Other people intentionally try to control and manipulate you. A real friend will ask you and pay attention to what you need, what you like and what how you feel.

If you are in a relationship and you are not sure if it is good for you, one way to evaluate the relationship is to pay attention to how you feel mentally and emotionally. Here are a few situations to think about.

In order for this to help you, it has to be done in a way that is honest with yourself. Think about it objectively like a science experiment and you are having to gather data. What are the actual emotional feelings and also feelings in the body.

  1. When the person tells you that they are on their way over to your house, do you feel anxious and upset? Do you feel relaxed or excited? Are you looking forward to this visit or are you secretly hoping they will not come?
  2. When you hear the text message sound on your phone, how do you feel i your body? Tune in to your body and think about the sensations that occur. Do you get butterflies in a good way? Do you get twisted knots in your stomach?
  3. What words are said in your head when you hear the text sound? Do you say “Oh no” or do you rush to the phone thinking “I hope I can talk to them”
  4. How do you feel when you hear their car pull up in the driveway? Does your body react in a way that feels uncomfortable? Do you get a rush of dopamine and feel good?
  5. How do you feel when your partner is in the house with you? How does this compare to how you feel when they are not there? Do you feel anxious or nervous when they are in the house? Do you feel safer and comfortable when they are in the house?
  6. How do you feel when you hear your partner coming closer to the room you are in? What is the first thought that goes through your head when you hear your partner? 
  7. When you have to make a decision about something that you will have to relay to your partner, how do you feel? Does the thought of having to tell them you made a decision make you worry about how they will react? Do you feel that they will respect your decision and you ability to make decisions? Do you have fear or anxiety about what they will say?
  8. How comfortable do you feel sleeping when they are in the house? Do you feel safe to be vulnerable and sleep?
  9. If you accomplish something like getting a promotion, how do you feel when you think about telling your partner? Are you looking forward to telling them? Are you nervous about telling them?
  10. How do you feel when you make a mistake about something they wanted you to do? If you cannot make them the dinner they requested because you forgot one ingredient at the store, are you afraid of how they will react?

The above list are some of the questions that can help you to get a more objective perspective about the relationship. You can think of some of your own to add, if you like.

No one should ever be afraid of their partner, friend or family member. You should not always have anxiety and nervousness around them. If you are afraid to be near someone then it should be a red flag. This includes being afraid of feeling embarrassed or criticized or being made to feel bad in any way.

You should not feel like spending time with them is taxing, draining or lowers your self esteem. You should be able to maintain feelings of self worth when you are around them. 

The relationships should have balance.

You should not spend more time thinking about how to please someone than you spend thinking about yourself. They should not always be focused on what they need and neglect your needs. 

Discussing any problems in the relationship should allowed and not make you feel afraid of any punishment, including emotional punishment.

 What I mean by that is that you should not feel that you cannot express your feelings about the relationship to them. If there is a problem you should be able to speak about it without the fear of angering them or the fear of them leaving or threatening to leave you.

Friendships and partner relationships should be positive and have the effect of building up your identity. You should not be losing your identity or feel like it is being taken over by someone.

You should not feel overshadowed or dominated by a friend, a partner or a family member. 

Each person should have a separate identity and an equally important role in the relationship that is valued and appreciated. You need to spend time with people who allow you to be the best You that you can be.

abusive relationships, emotional abuse, life, mental abuse, narcissism, narcissistic abuse, NLP for dealing with emotionally manipulative people

Emotionally Manipulative People / NLP Techniques for Dealing with Reaction Seeking Behavior

codependence, life, mental health, people pleaser syndrome, toxic people

People Pleasers, Codependent People and Self Care

Many people that some from abusive backgrounds have forgotten or never learned how to love and care for themselves. What comes naturally to most people does not come naturally to everyone.

If you have a codependent personality, suffer from People Pleaser Syndrome, or just seem to keep ending up putting the needs of others over yours, even to the point of it causing you harm, then you probably never learned how to care for yourself well.

It probably puzzles you how other people seem to have it all together and you always feel behind. You feel like you are always the one who cannot do what other people can do.

One of the reasons for this could be that other people are spending a reasonable amount of time taking care of the things they need to take care of in order to be okay. They make sure that other people do not guilt them into doing things for them, when there are important things they need to do for themselves.

It is not a matter of not helping other people. It is a matter of not putting yourself and your needs last. You have bills to pay just like everyone else. You have a right to eat well, rest and exercise just like everyone else.

When people try to cut into your time that you need to take care of yourself, then you have to practice telling them no. People may be shocked at first, because they are not used to you setting normal boundaries. But think about what they would do of you demanded that they neglect something that they really need to do, in order to take care of something for you that you could take care of yourself.

Many times we agree to do favors for people who could take care of it themselves but they are just making time for themselves to do something extra. In the mean time, you are neglecting something that is much more important that if it were them, they would never even consider allowing you to interfere with by asking for a favor.

Other times they could easily get someone else, who has more time and more ability to do it, but that other person is also busy taking of themselves and they are keeping the free time to do something they want to do.

There should be a fair balance between people. You should not be guilt tripped into doing something that someone else could find another way to get done, at the cost of your basic needs being neglected.

You have to prioritize

1. Sleep

2. Work

3. Exercise and health

4. Nutrition

5. Your money situation

6. Your personal space and time

7. Personal hygiene

8. dr appts

9. Your comfort about situations

10. Your plans

11. Your schedule

12. Your mental health

13. Your physical health

14. the relationships you value

15. the time you need to clean the house or any other chores

16. time to get your errands done

17. your family situation and responsibilities

18. your personal emergencies or urgent situations

19. taking care of your car repairs and maintenance

20. Relax time for you

21. Anything that you feel frustrated about if it does not get done

22. Anything that you feel frustrated about if you do not have enough time to do it properly

People who have People Pleaser Syndrome are easily manipulated into neglecting these very basic needs because they do not really know if it is okay to prioritize themselves. In the mean time everyone else makes sure that they take care of these basics and then they use the extra time to do some extra things  which puts them ahead of you at something.

You are the one who does not get the promotion at work even though you worked harder than everyone else. That is because while you were helping other people with their job, they were using the time to get ahead of you. People will take what they can get a lot of the time.

Everyone is not like you. They will not try to balance out the favor . They will not all cover for you just because you covered for them.

Learn who is taking advantage of you on a regular basis and cut them off. Tell them that you has a certain amount of favors allotted for each person in your life and that they have already used up their lifetime of favors.

Take care of the people who care about you. Look at the actions of people and not just their words. Notice when people are only nice to you when they want something. Notice when people expect you to do something rather than asking you with no expectation.

See what different people do when you say no. The ones who try to guilt trip or shame you are manipulative people. Anyone else would accept and respect your no.

domestic abuse, mental abuse, narcissism, narcissist, narcissistic abuse, toxic personalities

When Toxic People From Your Past Suddenly Show Up

Toxic people sometimes exit our lives in their own, and then suddenly reappear years later and act as if no time has passed.

They pretend that none of the cruel things they did to you ever happened or that your perception of them is exaggerated. They suddenly, out of the blue want to rekindle the old relationship.

Or you  may have been the one that left and now they are suddenly talking to you as if nothing happened. It is like you are long lost friends who accidentally drifted apart.

As a kindhearted and somewhat curious person, your first reaction will probably be to feel confused and then you will allow them whatever contact they are asking you for. It might be a lunch date or a phone call. They may be asking for your new address or wanting to confirm your old one.

They will ask you how you have been doing, as if they have great concern for you and have been worried about you all this time. There is no apology from them for anything.

More likely they will make you feel as thought you were over sensitive about the past situations with them or that your memory is in question. They will deny, avoid, redirect, and minimize any conversation you bring up about the past.

If this is a toxic personality that is skilled in gaslighting tactics, then they will create a false past reality that is not the way you remember it to be,

They were very supportive of you an always believed in you. They will attempt to draw you into this fantasy reality in order for you to trust them,

If your memories do not match what they are telling happened then they are gaslighting you. This is an intentional manipulation of reality, in order to confuse you, make you question your own memories and perception, and also create a false ideal of them in your mind. 

If they begin to do a lot of talking about themselves and how many great things they have been doing, then they may be trying to get you to see them in a false light, that makes them look like a more compassionate person than they are.

They may want themselves to appear more together, more mentally balanced or more successful and desirable than they really are.

If the relationship did not mean enough to them, to keep up on it for a long time, then why are they suddenly interested in you now? If this is a red flag going off in your head, then listen to it.

If there is any cognitive dissonance occurring in your brain, then something is wrong with this situation. They are playing a game with your memories and your thoughts. Cognitive dissonance happens when you have two realities that are co-existing in your mind and they do not match together. In fact the two realities are mutually exclusive.

Here is an example.

You remember this person talking about your family as if they hated them. They called your sister a stupid slut who lived off of others like a parasite.

 They called your other a greedy manipulator. And they said that you were always defending your family and putting their needs first.

Now, in this present conversation, they ask how your lovely sister is doing. They talk about how they always used to like her and knew that she could do something good with her life.

The ask about your mother.  They say how they know she always worked hard for all the things she has  and never asked a soul for help.

They tell you that you were always independent minded and did things for yourself. Maybe you could have done more to be supportive of your family, but you can’t help but to have the personality that you have.

Thus they have altered your perception of the past and how they see your sister and your mother.

They always cared about them and thought well of them. You however have changed from the clingy daughter, who did too much for the family to a selfish daughter who let her mother struggle and did not offer to help.

This is Gaslighting.

You remember one thing and the person is telling you a completely different version of reality and hoping that you have low enough self confidence that you will believe that your own perceptions are wrong. They are so smooth and certain about what they “remember” that they do not seem to be lying.

Hoovering

If this is kind of toxic person that is trying to hoover their way back into your life, then do not let them. They want something from you and then they will leave you injured for letting them in. The “hoovering” tactic refers to the vacuum cleaner that sucks up things in its path. If you are “old Supply” of their and not they are drawing you back in then it is called hoovering.

Maybe you have run into this person at a family event. Maybe you were hospitalized and this person has suddenly appeared to be there for you, even though they have not given 2 cents about you for 2 years. 

What does your rational brain tell you?

If this person has turned their back on you in your times of need in the past, then why do they suddenly care now?  If is does not make any sense to you, then it is not right.

Another characteristic of toxic people is that they are self centered and cannot help but to center the attention around themselves. They may be able to play the game of pretending to care about you for a short time, but they will go back into talking about themselves and how everything affects them.

Personal Story

I had not heard from my sister in 5 years. I was recently (about 2 months ago) put into the hospital. I notified my step mother, so that she could tell my father. I got an email from my sister.

She was sooo concerned.  At this point during the hospital stay I was very ill and I was very week. I told her that, but she decided to ignore my state and just chat cheerfully away over the email.

She talked about how she understood my suffering and that it was so bad to have to be the hospital. Then she went into her story about being in the hospital and how it was so much worse than my “little situation”.

This is interesting because she did not ask much about my situation and had no frame of reference to decide that hers was  worse.

Their is always more than yours.If you are sick, they were once sicker. If you almost died. they came closer to dying than you and their pain lasted longer. 

I had gastro specialists called in for my case in the hospital. Her version of her own story, had to top mine. Her version was that she ended up with such a bad infection that the Center for Disease Control was called in.

 They had to isolate the entire section of the building. Now, I have some recollection of this incident and I hardly remember the CDC coming on the scene.

And all of this was while I was lying sick in a hospital bed. Your rational mind tell you that this person is not being considerate, they are being rude, and they do not seem to care what you are feeling. 

But your compassionate and trusting  side might want you to believe that this person must be telling you the truth. They must actually be worried and concerned for you, not just trying to top your situation because the family is worried about you and it is taking attention away from them.

So, once you feel these 2 contrasting realities beginning to collide, take a rational look at what is happening. Do not assume that the other person is always telling the truth , especially when they are clearly changing the facts.

Don’t assume the toxic person has changed.

Look at their behavior. Not what they are saying about themselves and how great they are. But their behavior. What are they attempting to do with what they are saying?  Are they listening to your feelings and thoughts ir just telling you what to  feel?

Are they letting you talk and being considerate about whether or not you want to talk to them right then or at all? Are they listening to you or are they dominating the conversation? Is the conversation based in reality or is reality suddenly magically in their favor and against you?

Be careful allowing toxic people from the past, back into your life.

If they were self centered. selfish, malicious, cruel, energy sucking, or even dangerous in the past, they probably still are. If they tell you they have changed, they are probably lying. If they tell you that things were not as bad as you remember them to be and that your perception is wrong, then they are lying.

You have other people that actually care about you. Do not let anyone guilt you into having to interact with them, give them your new phone number or whatever.

Do not allow people to tell you that their perception of the past is the actual version and yours is the version of an overly sensitive, confused person.

Blessings,

Annie

codependence, emotional abuse, life, mental abuse, mental health

People Pleaser Tendency to Reason with the Unreasonable

If someone has consistently shown you that they do not have a desire to care about how you feel, then stop expecting to find kindness and caring from them.

They may not want to care about your feelings. They may not have the capacity to empathize with you. Either way, you cannot force people or convert people to the side of kindness and compassion.

If someone never listens to your thoughts and feelings then they possibly never will. Communication goes two directions. If you always listen to their side, and they never listen to your side, then see it for what it is.

If your communication is consistently not being heard, no matter what the circumstance, then most likely this person has no intention to hear you.

Holding onto beliefs that you can “make them” care about you, is not productive. Find alternative ways to deal with conflicts and situations with them.

Evaluate what they do with information you give them. What has happened in the past, when you explained your reasons, and your thoughts to them?

Do they end up using it against you?

Do they completely disregard it?

Do they hear and remember what you say?

Do they claim later on, not to remember what you said?

Do they make fun of what you say and belittle you?

Do they laugh at you?

Do they become angry when you present your side of a situation?

Do they give you equal time to explain yourself or do they cut you off?

Do they bring other people, who seem inappropriate, into your conversations?

Look at the history and make observations in present time. See if they are the same way with other people.

Learn what their usual tactics are, in order to get their way.

Observe their responses to situations where you or others try to stand up for an opposing or alternative opinion.

Making these observations will help you to learn things about this person’s behavior, attitude and patterns.

Often people that are rigid, unbending, and always right, have observable, predictable response patterns.

If you can learn this about them, then you can use it in order to find ways to deal with their rigidity.

You have to work around people sometimes. Most importantly you have to protect your mental state and not allow people to cross into your emotional boundaries.

You cannot make them care. You cannot logically or rationally convince them that they should care about the feelings of others, or your feelings in particular.

But you may notice that you have been doing things to put yourself in their line of fire. You are giving them the advantage, by assuming that deep down they are really a caring person.

The more you believe that an uncompassionate person really wants to care , the more advantage they have over you.

Not only that. They are probably fully aware that you want them to care and that you believe they want to.

There are people that will use your kind beliefs about them really being a caring person inside, against you in situations.

Observe people like this with an objective, scientific like mindset. Take notes on each situation and how they respond.

If you are dealing with a rigid person that never has empathy, then you need to know their response patterns. It should not blindside you, when they respond with a completely narcissistic attitude.

Dealing with these kinds of people can be stressful and crush your self esteem and feelings of self worth.

Situations where people like this are harmful to you are: as bosses, supervisors, neighbors, therapists, doctors, landlords and other positions where they can affect you.

Intimate relationships with anyone who has no empathy or compassion for you are even more dangerous.

People will not always believe what you have experienced with someone who lacks compassion. You cannot always get your opinions and observations about them validated.

Also be careful talking about this person to others.

You do not know who they have manipulated into doing what, including reporting what you say about them.

That is why it will help you to take personal notes. Write down what you said and exactly what they said in response.

If you are on the phone, you can do this with a pen and paper during the conversation. If the interaction is in person, then take notes when you have privacy to write them

Keep your notes as “word for word” as possible. Do not change their wording to what you think they must have meant.

The exact wordings will help you later on, when you look over lots of interactions on paper. You can find inconsistencies and gaslighting tactics this way.

There are compassionate people, but all people are not compassionate. There are people who care about what happens to you and there are people who never will.

Your Peace of Mind matters,
Annie

abusive relationships, domestic abuse, domestic violence, emotional abuse, life, mental abuse, narcissism, narcissistic abuse

People Pleaser Syndrome – Setting Boundaries with Yourself to Avoid Manipulation

What does it mean to set boundaries? The entire concept of setting boundaries is something that those of us with People Pleaser Syndrome did not grow up with. Most of us with people pleaser syndrome, grew up in mentally abusive households and we were not taught about setting boundaries, as a natural developmental course of our upbringing.

The idea of boundary setting can be confusing. Here are some things that I have learned as an adult, that I did not learn growing up. I was the same as you, and I did not understand the need to set boundaries, what they were , or how to set them.

What are boundaries? Boundaries are limits. They are limits of what you will do and  what you will tolerate from others.

One example of a boundary would be a teenager who was still a virgin and she has set a boundary of not having sex yet. 

If she has really set this boundary within herself, then she will say “NO” to someone if they try to have sex with her. This is not something that can control the other person. but it is to control her own thoughts and actions.

 This boundary is something that is in her mind and it dictates her own behaviors. If someone is arguing with her and not taking no for an answer, this boundary that she has set will cause her to leave this situation, and probably break up with this person.

So, this is an example of a boundary that one sets within oneself. You can think of it like giving something up for lent. If you decide to give something up for the period of lent, like candy, then you have set a boundary for yourself that you are not going to eat candy for that period of time.

You can set boundaries like this that have to do with things that you do not want to do. Here are some examples of appropriate boundaries for an adult.

1. I will not have sex with people that I do not feel comfortable with, or in any situation that I do not feel comfortable in.

2. I will not go places that make me feel unsafe

3. I will not be alone with people that make me feel unsafe

4. I will not spend time with people that constantly criticize me and make me feel stupid

5. I will not stay in a relationship with someone who makes me feel afraid in any way

6. I will not stay in a relationship with someone who does not listen to my thoughts, feelings or opinions

7. I will not believe people who try to tell me things about myself that I know are  not true

8. I will not give money to people that I do not trust

9. I will not trust people that have not proven themselves to be trustworthy

10. I will evaluate  people by their actions,  not by what they say

11, I will not spend more time doing someone favors than is reasonable to me. I will not allow someone to cause me to fall behind on things I need to do,  just to do things for them.

12. I will not feel like there is something wrong with me, just because someone says there is.

These are good boundaries to have. Please take some time and add things that you feel are important for you. If you are not in habit of setting boundaries for yourself, then it will take practice for you. 

Try making a list and adding to it every few days or weeks. As you go along, and begin to think about boundaries that you want to set, you will think of more ideas.

Boundaries are healthy and healthy people set boundaries for themselves in order to protect themselves

. As adults we are our own protectors.

If we fail to protect ourselves with proper self boundaries, then predators will easily break into our hearts, minds and homes.

When I was growing up, I was not taught a lot about boundary setting. i was taught that you have to be in tune with an abusive person’s moods in order to protect yourself from their rages. I was taught that if I did not go with the flow, of what other people wanted, then I would be emotionally punished. 

This is not the way that children and teenagers are supposed to learn boundaries

 If you were taught that your feelings were of no consequence, and that other people mattered more than you did, then it is easy for you to fall into those behavioral patterns of allowing others to be manipulative and dominating.

We know what we have experienced. We repeat patterns that we were taught during childhood.

These patterns can be overcome but we have to relearn the proper thought patterns and behaviors.

Having your list of boundaries will help you to be alerted to the fact that someone is taking advantage of you or making you do things that you really do not want to do.

You can make different lists of  boundaries for yourself. You can make one that is specific to someone in particular that is manipulating you. It may have specific things on it that are about issues within that particular relationship.

Here is my list for my mother in law

1. I will not allow her to make me feel inferior to her

2. I will not allow her to make me believe that she knows better how to deal with my kids than I do

3. I will not allow her to convince me that the problems in my marriage to her son, were my fault

4. I will not agree to do things with her that I do not want to do, no matter how much she tries to guilt me into things

You get the idea…

You can also make a list of boundaries that apply to your relationships. I will make another post about making a list of things that you want and things that you will not tolerate from romantic partners.

The more you practice setting boundaries and acting on them, the less of a victim you will be. The learned helplessness can be overcome with time and practice.

Blessings,

Annie

* please note that I have a Go Fund me account. If you are able to donate a small amount, I would greatly appreciate it. Thank you. You can connect to the Go Fund me account  HERE.

If you cannot donate, you can help by reposting THIS blog post. Thank you 🙂 ❤

emotional abuse, empowerment, life, mental abuse, mental health, mental illness, people pleaser syndrome, self-help

Keeping Manipulative People from Using You – Seeing the Situation Rationally

One thing to keep in mind about manipultors and abusers, is that they do not always tell you the truth. We want to believe they are, because we do not want to think someone is lying to us.

One thing you can do is to look at their situation more rationally,  rather than emotionally.

Here are some questions that will help you to evaluate the situation.  All of these will not apply to every situation. I tried to cover more than one scenario, with the list.

1. Is their situation that they are asking for help with, really as desperate as they are telling you?

2. Is there really no one else to help them?

3. Have they actually asked others for help, if they are telling you that you are the only one who can save them?

4. Is it as emotionally meaningful to them as they are saying it is? Or do they just want to manipulate you?

5. In the past, has the situation they described turned out to be truthful or as necessary as they told you?

6. How many times has this person used you in the past?

7. Were they appreciative the last time?

8. Is there balance in the relationship,  of both of you helping each other?

9. If they promised you things in the past, to make up for inconveniencing you, did they come through?

10. What will happen to them, if you do not do what they want? Is it really that bad?

11. How what will happen to them, compare to what you have to sacrifice to help them?

12. Are they willing to compromise?

13. Are they willing to help you catch up on what you will be behind on, if you give up your time for them?

14. Are they listening to you about what your situation is, and why it would be difficult for you?

15. Do they care if or how much they inconvenience you?

16. Are they cutting you off when you try to explain your side?

17. Are they using guilt tripping , rather that letting you communicate your feeling and thoughts?

18.Are they open to suggestions from you, about other ways to solve their problem?

19.Are they open to suggestions from you about how not to have the problem again?

20. Are they putting in as much effort as you are, on their own behalf? Or are they sitting back while you do the work?

21. How do they react when you ask them for help?

22. Are they there for you when you need them or want friendship or someone to talk to?

23. How do they talk about you to other people?

24. Do they give you credit for what you do, or take the credit for themselves?

25. Do they remember times when you have helped them in the past, or do they say “You never do anything for me !”

 These questions will help you to see the situation for what it is. If someone is never there for you, but is suddenly calling you when they need help, then why do you have to feel obligated to help them?

It is one thing for someone to ask for your help. It is another thing for them to EXPECT it. Some people feel entitled to things. They may particularly feel entitled to your time, like you are their property.

If they are not being honest with you, or are not listening to you, then what makes them feel the right to expect your help?

 If they do not generally treat you with respect,  and do not respect your boundaries,  then they are taking advantage of you.

 You can spend your time more wisely,  by taking care of yourself.  There are also people more in need and more deserving of your time. While you are caught up catering to a manipulative person,  you could be really helping someone else.

 The manipulator is good at manipulating others.  They can get someone else to do for them.

life, narcissistic bosses, toxic coworkers, toxic people at work, work

Toxic People in the Workplace

You have the right to be happy. People that want to make you miserable are not worth your energy. Some people that make you miserable are trying to and some are not. Sometimes we do not realize that someone is intentionally making us miserable.

We do not want to think that there are people that enjoy the power of making other people’s lives miserable, but there are people like that.

If they are not listening to you about your feelings, then they do not really care how you feel. They are more interested in their own agenda.

Sometimes we have to deal with people that make us miserable on a daily basis. like at work. Unfortunately, there are toxic people in the workplace and in management positions.

This is a difficult situation to be in. I want to work for myself, because I am tired of dealing with disrespectful people that are over me at work. They undermine you and take advantage of you.

If you have to deal with them, then try not to take things personally, even when they want you to. These are not people that you have any emotional attachment to, so what right do they have to try to  make you feel bad? The only thing you owe them is to do your job and to be polite to them.

Sometimes it helps to document interactions and confrontations with bosses that are abusive. Keep track of times, dates and things that were said. It might help, if things come to a head and you can talk to someone who is over them.

Without documentation, and a play by play of what was said, and what occurred, the toxic personality will defeat you in a verbal battle. They will dominate over you, if you end up with them and a higher up.

At some point things can be considered a “hostile work environment.”  If you end up having to go to human resources, then the more documentation you have the better.

Do not count on coworkers to stick up for you, even if they say they will. If you are afraid of the boss, they might be too. Talk is easy, when the boss is not around.

If coworkers were present during any incidents, then document what they saw, said and  heard. Date everything.

If you send emails to yourself, then you have proof of the dates that you wrote the documents.

If the toxic person, is a coworker, then follow the same method of documenting everything for your records. You never know when they might be needed. The more history you can provide,  the better.

Of course it is best to change jobs if things are really bad. Hopefully another place will be better, but there is no guarantee.