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Doors of Growth Counseling

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People Pleaser Personalities Are a Byproduct of The Narcissistic Family System!

It is a funny thing to be in a position where you factually know that expressing and feeling a full range of emotions denotes stability, self-awareness, and self-agency, and yet most of the world believes otherwise!

FEELINGS ARE NEVER NEGOTIABLE! When you care about a person, you don’t get to disagree with how YOU make them feel! Doing this is called “Gaslighting,” and is the highest form of emotional abuse there is. Remember intention is key. Intentional gaslighting is psychological warfare, literally. Unintentional gaslighting a learned, extremely dysfunctional behavior. A person’s perception of you and how you make them feel is their reality. Making them doubt their reality because you don’t AGREE with their reality, is a serious behavioral problem that causes unintentional trauma.

OPINIONS ARE SPECIFIC TO AN INDIVIDUAL. They are formulated based off one’s learned view of self and the world, level of functioning, knowledge, insight, psychological state, core values, awareness of self and others, and NEED/s (to name a basic few). The validity of an opinion should be determined by one’s expertise pertaining to a subject matter, sources and quantity of knowledge, level of experience, emotional and moral intelligence, AND should be weighed against the degree of secondary gain (what do they have to gain or lose by having this opinion)!

Disagreeing with someone is healthy, natural, and appropriate! Engaging in hateful behaviors towards someone for not agreeing with you, is a symptom of mental illness. Feeling however you feel because of their disagreeing, completely normal and natural. The key is what we do with those feelings.

Acceptance does not equal agreeance. Accepting and supporting someone in THEIR choices does not mean you agree with their choices, it means you recognize their self-agency and are not trying to control them. In personal relationships, where self-awareness and psychological growth is not a common shared value, feedback without consent can feel a lot like control.

Consent is achieved by asking, “are you in a place to receive feedback?” For feedback to be received successfully, it is important for the giver of feedback to not only be aware of their own psychological state, but that of the receiver’s as well. Timing and knowledge of how another best receives feedback are also crucial. When timing is not considered, and a safe mental and emotional connection not present, feedback is almost never successfully received! Connection before correction!

Being ok and NOT mentally abusing yourself when you cause others to feel “negative” feelings, is HEALTHY! Speaking up and sharing how you were hurt by someone’s behaviors, regardless of intention (if it is noted) is appropriate. Again, we all have unhealthy behaviors and reactions. The more unhealthy behaviors and reactions of your own that you can recognize and take accountability for, the healthier you are!

Most people believe and equate stability, to NOT feeling, to not being affected by feelings. Not feeling does not make one stable, it makes one EMOTIONALLY UNAVAILABLE. Emotional unavailability makes safe connection with another impossible!

Americans have been brainwashed to believe that how we make another person feel denotes our inherent “goodness” or “badness.” Feelings are not wrong. Causing another person to feel is not wrong. Not being able to take responsibility for how you make a loved one feel is gaslighting. Not being able to recognize (defense mechanism of denial) your dysfunctional behaviors AND take accountability for them, is most often the root of dysfunction in all relationships (regardless of type) and anxiety disorders.

Feelings connect us, details divide us, and consistent behaviors define us! Feelings are the language of unity, details the language of divide. So many are struggling right now because they do not have the emotional awareness or language of feelings necessary to heal. There is no such thing as a “good” or “bad feeling.” All feelings are necessary, healthy, and normal. Feelings are messengers and unique to each individual. Feelings allow us to learn who we are and teach others how we want to be treated.

Psychological Trauma in childhood, regardless of intention, often results in a (Complex) Post Traumatic Stress Disorder diagnosis.

Distorted core beliefs formed in The Narcissistic Family System (aka The American Family System).

  • If I create good feelings in you, I am a good person.
  • If I create bad feelings in you, I am a bad person.
  • If I feel and express “negative” (aka: feelings on the other end of the spectrum) feelings, especially publicly, it is interpreted as, I am NOT ok, am unstable, am in a bad place, and am publicly declaring that someone is doing something wrong and/or made a mistake. Feelings do not predict or diagnose mal intent.
  • A person causing you to feel negatively is doing something wrong. NO!!!  It is causing you to feel an emotion. You have been taught to believe is an act of wrongdoing. Feelings are a sign of authenticity.
  • People pleasing (not “hurting” others) is deception.

Feelings are measured on a spectrum of comfortability. Feelings on the uncomfortable end of the spectrum have been labeled, and universally accepted in The Narcissistic Family System (NFS), as negative, wrong, and bad. It only makes sense that the more uncomfortable the feeling, the greater the level of distress experienced.

Teaching children that causing a person to feel uncomfortable feelings is not only extremely dysfunctional, but it also stunts psychological maturity. This learned “family value” creates distorted, enduring, and powerful false core beliefs, as well as a people pleaser personality. Creating a people pleaser personality makes one highly vulnerable to abusive relationships of all types, and mental illness. People pleaser personalities, because they have been taught to believe it is wrong and means they are bad if they “hurt” another person, are fantastic performers and the best closet critics!

A behavior common in The NFS is weaponized shame, meaning shame that is used to gain control and shape behaviors. For example, “How dare you make me feel that way, what is wrong with you?” Weaponized shame creates a core belief of inherent defectiveness (there is something wrong with me), rather than goodness (I am good).

The level of interpersonal and relational success one experiences throughout life, is directly correlated to whether a sense of inherent goodness (secure attachment), or defectiveness (insecure attachment) was formed in childhood. Inherent goodness attracts partners that consistently reconfirm our positive beliefs, inherent badness, those that consistently reconfirm our negative beliefs.

The main goal of parenting should not be preparing your child for the world, but rather providing for them a safe haven from it (counterintuitive I know, but we need a home base to feel safe). Your child’s choices and allowing them to experience the consequences (protecting and saving them from natural consequences is a huge disservice) of their choices, IS what successfully prepares a child for the world.

Children need you to be their biggest fan first and foremost. Allow their siblings, peers, teachers, coaches, bosses, etc., to be their toughest critics. Again, either/or thinking will prevent one from grasping the importance of this. Of course, you will need to give feedback on your child’s BEHAVIORS. How you approach the how, when, what about, and whys of feedback, makes all the difference.

Please know, Mom and Dad is an eternal state of being. Parenting an act. 95% of Moms and Dads are AMAZING, KIND & LOVING. ALL parents have dysfunctional, unhealthy, and hurtful ways of parenting. Parenting is an act of service that must be properly learned. We parent how we were parented. Until we recognize and unlearn the dysfunction in how we were parented, unfortunately we ignorantly repeat the dysfunction.

Not understanding and recognizing that Mom/Dad is an eternal state of being, and separate from the act of parenting, makes it virtually impossible for a parent to accept and validate their child’s reality of them. Mom and dad is forever, the act of parenting a duration of time that needs to end. When parenting never ends, family estrangement, dysfunction and mental illness prevails!

In order to be successful at any act, whether it be the act of parenting or surgery, one must learn, study and practice the skill sets necessary for successful outcomes to be achieved. Additionally, these skills need to be consistently reflected upon and adjusted, as well as new ones learned. You cannot parent each child the same way.

Parents need to adjust to the way their child needs to be parented. It is not the child’s responsibility to adjust to their parent’s parenting. This creates an insecure attachment, as a child learns pleasing their parents is necessary for belonging (in childhood belonging is necessary for physical survival), which is the pattern they will repeat in their intimate relationships. The NFS teaches conformity and compliance while creating trauma bonds.

It is important to separate behaviors from people. Inconsistent behaviors do not define us, consistent ones do. We ALL have toxic behaviors which can make a person FEEL “Toxic” to another person.

Nice and kind are two totally different traits! Nice is a function of show, kindness of authenticity! Remember, shades of gray….just because I didn’t state “typically,” does not mean I am implying “always.” How one interprets this statement provides me insight about their level of insight and emotional intelligence.

Children are concrete thinkers, so too are adults when they are in a reactive state. Concrete thinking is easy, it is either black or white, love or hate, connection or no connection, bad or good (either/or). Abstract thinking allows for healthy relationships.

Concrete Thinking: Concreteness means that the individual cannot reach proper conclusions through lack of understanding of meanings leading to false concept formation.

 

 

 

 

For me, the biggest growth, and insights stem from talking and sharing about my uncomfortable feelings, dysfunctional (shadow) behaviors and reactions, and unhealthy coping mechanisms! Please don’t people please me.

People pleasers “please” because they don’t recognize it for what it is…gaslighting, deception, and control over another’s image of you (scores high on narcissism scale which is also measured on a spectrum)! Stop selling those you value a mirage of you. Personal growth requires the shattering of many illusions!

Abuse is abuse regardless of intention. We are all abusers to one degree or another!

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