About the People-Pleaser Personality Subself
People who endured early-childhood abuse and psychological ne-glect often develop a protective personality subself whose goal is to please other people at all costs. The "Pleaser's" intense, narrow focus is protecting Shamed, Abandoned, and Scared young subselves from the agony of social rejection, scorn, disapproval, criticism, and dislike. By definition, the Pleaser doesn't yet trust the resident true Self or Nur-turer subselves to guard these vulnerable Inner Kids from more pain. The Pleaser often works with the Perfectionist ("We must follow rules and obey all authorities"), Inner critic ("Displeasing anyone means we're a failure!"), Catastrophizer, ("If we displease people, we'll be alone and unloved forever!"), and perhaps a Good Child ("I must please Mommy and Daddy!")
Common behavioral clues of an overactive Pleaser include (a) rare-ly confronting or disagreeing with important people; (b) over-apologizing; (c) smiling and joking despite major inner pain, (d) consistently focusing on other people's needs and feelings and neglecting their own (self-aban-donment); and (e) rarely asking for, or accepting, help. Until excessive shame and fear of abandonment are reduced via personal recovery, the Pleaser often influences the host person to choose wounded associates - despite significant relationship strife.
self-improvement Lesson 1 can empower the resident true Self (capital "S") to lead and harmonize the other subselves, and relax or reassign the Pleaser to a new role. Do you have an overactive People Pleaser?