Pleaser Women Lose out – The Difference Between Pleasing and Giving

I see a huge problem among us women, especially when women are in a relationship. This problem is the problem of pleasing all the time. Most women would pass this off as ‘oh it doesn’t apply to me’, I’m a cool woman and I would never be one of those silly pleasers!

However, in my experience, many women like to think they’re not acting like pleasers, but they actually are. Part of this comes from not really understanding the difference between pleasing and giving. (Click here to take the quiz on “How High Value High Status Am I on Facebook?”)

And more often than not, truly giving to someone is counter-intuitive. It’s not something many of us have been taught.  And many women mistake pleasing for giving.

The trap: Your own feminine mindset. What is valuable to men in a relationship is not the same as what is valuable to women. Most women will read this and nod, yet continue (for the rest of their lives) to give to their man in the same way they always have, which is in a way that the man perceives little value, and wonder why the relationship is failing, why they’re becoming another divorce statistic, or why their man is withdrawing or leaving, or cheating. (read my article about how to deal fear of being alone)

It’s not anyone’s fault. How are we supposed to know what we’ve never been taught?

Anyway. In your relationship, being a pleaser is a very quick way to destroy the attraction. Most of us would just rather ignore the loss. Denial is a common option. Denial feels certain, after all.

If you want to be a treasured friend to somebody, being a pleaser won’t get you there.

Pleasing and giving are two very different things. But they do have one thing in common: each of these actions fulfill 1 or more of our 6 human needs, and as such, I believe there is no truly selfless act. Even if a man dies for his wife – dying for someone is one of the most self-sacrificing acts there are. However, even in a situation like this, we are serving ourselves in some way. However small.

What I’ve noticed is that most of us operate more from a pleasing place than a giving place, and we are not consciously aware of it.

The real difference: Pleasing vs Giving

Pleasing is about you. When you try to please someone, you’re coming from a place of fear – fear of loss of love, and desperation or neediness, and you are looking for something in return; whether that be a reaction, or approval, or to get out of trouble (a mistake I’ve made) and a sign that you actually ‘did ok’.

Note: it’s not that you can’t ever need or want somebody’s approval or have fear – the point is that you don’t want to live there, and consistently act from that state of emotion.

Giving, however, comes from a place of pride. Giving is what you do when you truly care about somebody, and their future, and what they really need – not what they want, and not even what they seem to want or say they want.

Examples of pleasing…

1) A good example of pleasing would be: the woman who makes plans with her friends, but when her man calls to meet up, she changes her plans with her friends because, inside, she feels bad for saying ‘no’ to him. Why? Because she feels she might lose his love. Poor friends! (read my article about don’t be a woman who fits in)

2) Another example: Stacking up too many plans with loved ones and “doing too much” for the people around you. You are attending to so many demands and ‘requests’ of your loved ones that you can’t keep to your plans and end up late for people or having to cancel on people – and worse still, you are so much of a pleaser that you are way too scared to call up and say ‘I’m so sorry, I’m going to be late by 30 minutes’ (and make sure it doesn’t happen again) that you end up disappointing people because you kept them in the dark.

So much for ‘pleasing’.

3) The classic example of pleasing: parents giving their children everything they want (or almost everything). And saying that they do it out of love. I’m not saying they don’t love their child; but this act itself, more often than not, comes from a place of not wanting to lose the child’s love, affection or even the attachment of the child. After all, the more dependent someone is on you, the more safe they are. At least we sometimes trick ourselves in to believing this.

Too bad children are so dependent on you. Until they’re not.

The ‘K’ Word

The classic phrase used by a pleaser is: ‘keep him happy’ or ‘keep her happy’.

A lot of women strive to ‘keep’ a man happy. Can you see what I’m getting at here?

If you’re not a pleaser, there’s nothing wrong with the word keep, because you’re genuinely keeping someone – in the sense that you give so much to someone that they’re a raving fan of you – but a pleaser woman’s ‘keep’ is very different from a high value woman’s keep.

Pleaser women become low value women

We all value givers, even if their actions make us angry and resentful at first, because givers are valuable women. I mean truly valuable. However, we don’t truly value pleasers. People who seem to value pleasers are people you don’t want in your life. They’re most likely leeching off your insecurities and your desperation for love and approval. It’s easy to manipulate pleasers. We don’t ever respect people we can manipulate. Let alone value them.

Giving is an act, a message, a gesture, done from a place of pride – knowing that giving won’t take away anything from you. Giving is something you do because you already have so many internal resources that you can afford to give to others. See, pleasers have little to no internal resources (little value), because the ‘feel good’ moment from pleasing only lasts so long and it’s like a bottle being emptied the minute it is filled, and then needing to be filled, again and again.

I can attest to the difference between pleasing and giving because I’ve done both in my life. I’ve gone and pleased people and felt the awful after- effects. It never works out – even if it does for a day. In fact, I’ve ‘pleased’ – only to find that those ‘friends’ I wanted to please actually didn’t really value me. No wonder. I wasn’t even valuing myself!

I’ve given so much also, that I recognize just how rewarding the act of truly giving is. I’ve given in ways that no-one would expect me to. I can say that it always works out. Like I heard once: “what you give, you get to keep. What you fail to give, you lose forever”. Giving adds to your sense of pride, but pleasing never does.

So what is giving?

Examples…

1) Giving could be telling a good girlfriend that yes, she would feel much better, look much better and be much happier if she changed her eating habits and lost some weight, rather than saying ‘oh honey! Your body is fine just as it is!’.

2) Giving could be telling your man that you need time to yourself, to re-charge so that you can come back to the relationship with more to give, instead of seeing him every time he says he misses you. (Click here to take the quiz on “Am I Dating a Commitment Friendly Man?”)

3) Giving could be not having sex with your man at all this time, rather than laying there like a dead horse while he does his thing, like he’s having sex with a blow-up doll or a rigid post.

How to give instead of Pleasing:

Now, learning how to truly give to a man (or to anyone at all) is not something you can easily learn overnight. It’s a big topic, much too big for this article in itself, and it’s a learning process.

Nonetheless, here is a start on what you need to do to become a giver rather than a pleaser:

1) Get out a piece of paper, right now. Write down every decision you have made (or that you can remember) out of a need to please someone in the last month. Next to each of those decisions you’ve listed, write down the consequence of that decision. How did you feel after making that decision?

How did the person you wanted to please react? Did the reaction you wanted last? Did the reaction you hoped for even occur at all?

2) From now on, instead of focusing on how you might ‘upset people’, what you must do in this moment to prevent someone from being unhappy with you, or how you might ‘disappoint people’ or ‘make people dislike you’, start using some new language. As soon as you notice yourself reacting out of fear, ask yourself, what would really benefit me as well as this person right now? What would truly benefit our relationship? (Click here to register to watch the Commitment Masterclass for free.)

For example, you may be scared to speak up in a situation where you feel your opinion is not as ‘clever’ or ‘right’ or that by speaking up, people will ostracize you. In fact, truly giving to these people would be to actually stand up with certainty and either share, or tell the truth. Whatever the situation calls for.

By the way! I just want to ask you a question: can you share with us why the word ‘keep’ in the phrase ‘keep him happy’ is dangerous? Share with us below, your experience with pleasers and givers. Looking forward to hearing from you.

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129 Comments

  • Linda says:

    THANK YOU !

    Somebody else has finally said, YOU DON’T NEED THEIR APPROVAL!!!!!!!!! YAY!!!

  • The Dude says:

    Some women are seeking attention and so they give as an act of pleasing because they think you want suggestions, information, chit chat, discussions, etc…when in fact, it’s about them. If you are truly giving, you will ask questions that are meaningful to the person, not to yourself. A woman who has an agenda, say of interview questions about where you are in life and where you’re going is looking for you to fulfill something for them. It’s a trap…a dangerous one. When a woman gives her time…to learn you and not judge you…that’s a keeper.

    A woman judging you for not being a pleaser is a narcissist abuser. Don’t run, stand your ground, defend yourself when necessary, and have compassion.

  • Amy Kammerer says:

    “Keep” is dangerous as it implies a loss of freedom.

  • Elise says:

    Thank you so much for this article!!

    Maybe “keep” means you would be trying to keep him happy by pleasing him for fear that he would leave. I think this would make me seem less valuable in his eyes if I became a doormat and was kissing his butt all the time.

    What do you think?

  • Caryn Parker says:

    Hi Renee,
    The word “keep” him happy is controlling and makes us believe that we alone are responsible for his happiness. That we must constantly be working hard to “please” him. I have been and can be a pleaser at times, I believe I have been learning how to give in the last few years, I have to be so aware that I don’t slip into pleasing, as I have been comfortable in that role for many years.

    Thanks so much for your articles, it has helped me become aware of so many things!

  • candygirl7 says:

    I am indebted to you for this article which has hit me in the face like cold ice. A wake up call I sorely needed. Thank you from my heart.

  • Ana says:

    Thank you for the article 🙂 loved reading what i ,ve been sensing myself but couldn’t figure out what the problem was exactly. last month I postponed plans with my friends to please my boyfriends wish to take me to the movies. I didn’t feel well about my decision but I did it anyway. I had fun but could feel something wasn’t good. Else what I would like to share: I have two girlfriends: one is a giver: tells me when she doesn’t have time to hang out without having to give me reasons, doesn’t put so much emojis in messages when she’s giving me news I might not like and I appreciate her more then my pleaser friend from whome I constantly feel the need to be approved by others and me. Problem with keeping a man happy: it is not a woman’s obligation to keep a man happy. She and her behaviour and love towards him are the reason per se he is happy but it is not a woman’s job to worry about it.

  • LiveWire says:

    “keep” well it says it all in itself when you keep something you trap it. I keep my dog on a leash when out side. I keep my hamsters in a cage. I keep my journal hidden and to myself. The word keep just infers trapping or not letting something go or even breath! I have been a pleaser all my life! I just got out of a really ugly relationship and Im in another with an ex from many years ago, I fear I have let him down because the woman he knew was a “high value” and I have returned “low value” I do want to ensure this man stays in my life but I would like to do it the right way. Not keep him trapped or make him feel smothered. That is why im on this sight I have already begun doing this and with out even a class yet I can see where I am already making my mistakes. I will be taking free master commitment class soon. Money is tight but I may just lump it and buy in to another course just because I want this to work.

  • Wendy says:

    Thank you Renee, this really helps. Yes we all do silly things in the name of love. I think it’s time we start pampering ourselves more than the men we think loves us. Sometimes I honestly feel- love is over rated. But then again- I’m still learning.

    • Karma says:

      She is not suggesting that we be superficially self indulgent, shallow or to forsake giving or caring. Telling us to ‘give up’ or abandon our instinct to give would be solving nothing. A woman who goes around using others, devoid of purpose or ambition to create a healthy world is part of the problem not the solution. Same goes for women who ‘check out’ emotionally and build walls to hide behind only to find themselves wasting away in a prison of their own design. She is not saying for us to do that. What she is doing is making a clear and honest distinction between pleasing and giving so we have the tools to be aware or conscious of the difference those make in our lives.

      Pleasing, or people pleasing does not come from a space of love but of fear. Fear of breaking character, fear of breaking a rule (spoken or unspoken), fear of someone being angry/ upset/ or disappointed in us, fear of losing someone. When we give from a place of fear it is called pleasing. When we please others we are giving without care for ourselves or the other. Non-authentic giving is an act of appeasement or ‘pleasing’. Pleasing happens when we are too focused on the expectation, be it real or assumed, and not intuitively aware of what is really needed of us as opposed to what is being asked or demanded of us. We get caught up in pleasing when we want to control the outcome as to protect our image or someone else’s image of us. Any person is capable of making this mix up however in reference to our target audience, women, they are more prone to extending themselves beyond logic because they have been taught to always put others first, others opinion of who you are.

      See, pleasing can be very deceptive not only to others but mainly to our own selves because we justify our depleted resources by saying that we were being selfless and doing the right thing, putting someone else’s needs first. When, in reality, what we were really putting first was our own perceived image, carefully or haphazardly, assessing reward versus risk. This behavior of pleasing is fear based and in the end serves no true value, which is wasteful when you begin to calculate all of the time, energy and emotion we pour out, in the name of love. When in reality only fear asks us to give what we don’t have. Love would never cross that line. While Love will challenge you to go deeper, Love would never ask you to lie and betray yourself and your truth to please anyone else, including parents, spouse or children. Love is respect. Pleasing masquerades as respect but is truly fear trying to control us via bashing our boundaries down, claiming them to be baseless and of no value when compared to the greater need or bigger picture. Pleasing is when you go around filling others from an empty cup.

      Take the story of the three wolves. Here we have three little pigs and each three piggies has their own house. I want you to think of their houses as each ones boundaries. Think of their homes as their inner world and the material each house is made of are their boundaries. Now, each pig is within their respective inner world and are considered safe, because their house was there to protect their inner world. When all of a sudden a wolf walks to their door. Little background is given on the wolf in this story but we know one thing, the wolf is no stranger just happening by. The wolf is someone who knows them and we know this because of what happens next. The wolf says, as he has approached the first house, “Little Pig, Little Pig, come let me in.” So based on this information we know he knows what to call them, he knows who they are, he knows where they live, and, he feels comfortable enough or entitled, to ask for entry. The wolf is not a stranger. The wolf knows them. As the story goes, the pig tries to assert her boundaries (the gender isn’t important but since this article is focused on women we’ll allow the pigs to be female). Now if you remember the first little pigs house is made of straw. As kids, when we heard this story we understood that this was not a strong house, we understood that this house offered no real protection for that little pig. So she responds to the wolf, “Not by they hair of my chinny, chin, chin!” She is pointing out at this point her boundaries. The wolf, who knows her, knows that her boundaries aren’t strong and that the moment he applies the slightest pressure those boundaries or house, will cave in. He warns her, “Ok well I’m going to huff and puff and blow your house down!” He is letting her know that he knows her boundaries aren’t secure and he is going to capitalize on her insecurities. And just as the wolf predicted, he huffed and he puffed and he blew her house down. Her walls came down and the wolf devoured her. But her limited resources were not enough for this hungry wolf so on to the next house he went, with her in the rear view mirror. She wasn’t enough. Her value was little and he needed more than what she could offer. When our boundaries are weak, nonexistent and not authentic they make us appear valueless and of limited worth. The wolf arrives at the next house, he knocks on the door, this house is only slightly stronger as it is made of sticks. “Little Pig, Little Pig, come let me in.” He knows her too. She asserts her boundaries by replying, “Not by the hair of my chinny, chin, chin!” He’s not fooled and just as he has seen before she simply needed some ‘persuading’. “Alright”, he warns, “then I will huff and I will puff and I will blow your house down!” Once again, confident, that these boundaries won’t get in the way of what he wants, he huffs and he puffs and indeed he does blow her little house down. He gobbles her up, licking his lips and he says, “That was nice, but not enough, I need more.” So, on he goes to the next. This time he’s really confident. He has, with little effort, the first time, and only slightly more effort, the last time, managed to blow over two houses (two boundaries). He knows with a little more work this third house is going down and he will get to consume what’s inside. As he approaches the third house, he smiles and says, “Little Pig, Little Pig, come let me in!” He is so confident, he knows this third pig and will gain access to her as he did with the others and just like the others, she responds, “Not by the hair of my chinny, chin chin!” The wolf warns her as he did with the others, “Then I will huff and I will puff and I will blow your little house down.” Then he huffed and he puffed and huffed and puffed but the house was not coming down, for this third house was made of bricks. Smile fading away, anger sets in, the wolf thought he knew her, he thought that he’d get right in just as before and he failed. All pretenses are gone at this point and he goes on full offense as he gets a ladder, climbs up and goes down through the chimney, counting on getting inside, he knows how to get in! What he doesn’t know is that she has a plan. See, she knew her predator. She knew that not granting entry wouldn’t be enough, she knew that her outer boundaries wouldn’t be enough to keep him out, she knew, that he knew, how to get in her house and he was on his way whether she wanted him or not. This time she was ready, she was prepared, she knew her enemy and understood what he was capable of. She knew he was on his way and nothing was going to keep him from trying to break her down. She also knew what she was capable of doing and she was willing to do whatever it takes to protect herself. As that wolf climbed down that chimney, expecting to take what he felt he was entitled to, he got the unexpected. A boiling hot Calderon was waiting for him in that fireplace, he fell in and was burned. He never bothered another pig again after that.

      There are several variations of that tale. In some, the story says the first pig ran to the second pigs house and once that house was overtaken they ran to the third pigs house and there, were given protection against the wolf.

      Coming back to the discussion about pleasing versus giving, we’re able to see that even though the wolf was pleased with those first two pigs, it didn’t last long before he needed more. Pleasing, is a quick fix. It’s appeasement is very short term and more often than not only creates more need because it uses resources without getting the job done, without giving anyone, anything of value. The first two pigs didn’t give anything, they were taken advantage of, used up and only fueled the wolf long enough to find another victim. The last pig gave. Yes, she had to get someone mad to do so, yes she had to defend herself but she didn’t please. She didn’t play ‘nice’. Instead she chose to create boundaries that would protect her and allow or enable her to protect those who needed protection from the wolf. She gave to herself protection, security, confidence, and no doubt a good laugh whenever she’d recollect the vision of the wolf howling in pain and sheer terror at the utter surprise of her preemptive strike. She gave the other pigs who lost their homes (be it by providing safety like in the version where the first two found amnesty in her house or by providing justice to the pigs who were already consumed as in the first version). She gave to future pigs by eliminating or neutralizing a threat. Last, but not least, she gave that wolf the lesson he so desperately needed and was subliminally looking for. The end of the wolf can go in so many different directions but the key element is she gave to that wolf in a true way, a way in which those other pigs who just pleased the wolf were unable to do.

      When we step out of our habits or conditioning of simply pleasing everyone whom we feel obligated or pressured to please and we instead courageously begin to listen to our intuition by creating boundaries that protect what is important to us, we allow ourselves the cherished opportunity to give in ways that are valuable for the long haul and that multiply or add to our own resources in ways that pleasing could never ever do. We allow ourselves to be the kind of givers that enrich the lives around us in ways that are deeply positive, meaningful and unlimited in their potential. The giving is a flow that keeps adding value all around. It is a growth of abundance and resources, not a diminishing drain. This kind of giving is the opposite of stagnant, stale ‘giving’ or pleasing, that remains in a small desecrating pool going no where. True giving creates abundance for everyone not just a select few. Remember, there is no such thing as ‘selfless giving’. Even the ultimate sacrifice gives us the ultimate honor. Also, in many cases, a gift cannot be given, unless it is first received, the reception is an immediate gift to us. Everything we give is intended to give to us, to replenish our supply. The gift of true giving can not be quantified as it truly is the gift that keeps giving, be it a lesson or advice or increase in confidence, protection, understanding, wisdom, self respect, you know, the things money can’t buy or take away. This is the power, we as women have, in our ability to give. I am not exaggerating when I say, that with more women truly giving, in time we will see an entirely different world and one that is no longer an utter burden and disappointment. A world of beauty beyond our wildest dreams. The fulfillment that we all desperately crave in the deepest parts of ourselves. The antidote to our loneliness, suffering, depression, bitterness and longing. Our heaven, or whatever you like to call it, is well within our grasp. The ability to save our loved ones from a lifetime of disappointment and emptiness is within our power and it all begins when we base our boundaries on what is authentic to us. Not what we have been told or sold but what is truly and genuinely of value to us.

      What makes you feel beautiful, whole, alive, real, sparkling, radiant, juicy, fulfilled, pleasured to your core…. awake? What can you create to protect your inner world, your inner child? There is a little girl sitting in a dark room sobbing, scared, angry, miserable all because she was forgotten by you, sold out for the promise of pleasing others and getting their momentary approval. The hardest part is the first step, acknowledging, that hurting little girl who is so angry, so enraged, so hurt so disappointed with you for betraying her. She may feel like endless sorrow, tormenting fear or vengeful judgment. That first glimpse of her is enough to shit your panties and send you running for the hills. Don’t. While encountering her it will be intense, there is no way around it, you will have to face her one way or another. You can’t always hide behind your academia or your religion or your parents or your friends or your husband or your job or your toys or your status or your numbness or your position or your politics or your children or your countless other distractions that keep you from entering that room, you can’t hide forever. She’s lonely, sit with her, listen to her rage, listen to her scream, hold her as she trembles, and gently listen and hold her as she sobs as she recounts her losses. Don’t run away, don’t abandon her, don’t silence her, don’t call her crazy, don’t tell her to stop crying, don’t tell her she ‘has to’ do or not do anything. Her suffering, her pain deserves to be seen and heard. She needs you to give to her before you please another person. If you can’t be at peace with her, your giving will always be taking from yourself and will never be ‘enough’. Not enough for you, your partner, your children or your world. The only way to ‘fix’ all of the pain and suffering around you is for you to tend to the one who has suffered the most. You.

      • Diane Kahl says:

        Beautifully written and a wonderful parable. Well done! Thank you from the bottom of this “people pleaser’s” heart! I almost died from people pleasing, literally. Two months in the hospital from becoming run down and people pleasing via volunteer work and “helping” too many organizations and individuals. Quite an epiphany while in the hospital, but pleasing is a lifetime habit and it creeps up easily!

        This page hereby bookmarked!

  • Laura says:

    I think the word keep in “keep him happy” is so dangerous because a person should be happy whether there’s someone special in their lives or not. If you have to “keep” a person happy then you will always be doing what you think is neccesary to keep them happy at the expense of not truly being happy yourself. That is a lose-lose situation for you both because what happens when you are not able to do the things required to “keep” someone happy? Then their true colors start to surface and you end up feeling unfulfilled, and needy because you end up not getting what you need/want in the relationship. This is why you don’t define your happiness in another person. You do what makes you happy. People may be mad at you but in the end, if this person is meant to be in your life they will respect you much more.

  • Alpha Woman says:

    Very much needed and well-received reminders! This made me think about my frustrations this past weekend. I couldn’t figure out why my mood changed drastically while entertaining. I now realize that it was because the occurrences were not in the plans for my Saturday. Events quickly went from hanging out by the pool with one relative, to “entertaining” a group. We are all very close relatives; but I tend to over-extend myself for guests to my home (even if they invited themselves). I ended up buying and preparing more food, and organizing all that goes along with it. I chalked it up to “just being nice”. After all, this is what I “should” be doing for “friends”, right? (Yes, I know “should” is a bad word that I must remove from my vocabulary.) But instead of “pleaser”, I tend to use phrases like the one above, or “keeping the peace”, or something to that. But in reality, pleasing is exhausting, and that is ultimately what frustrated me. My Saturday for relaxation turned into “work”, in my mind. Therefore, my mood shifted. It was not their fault, they didn’t ask to be catered to, and I didn’t turn them away when they said they were coming by.(And by the way we ended up having a nice time.)I just must be a bit more cognizant in this area so that when it comes time to “give”, I won’t be too exhausted from “pleasing” that I have no remaining strength to “give” the way I want and know that I can. I really appreciate this appropriate and timely article!

    • Linda says:

      Hey Alpha Woman, I want to thank you for being a gracious hostess. It’s not being nice, it’s good manners. I think it would have been better for you if someone had said thank you for your hospitality! Perhaps that was the problem?

  • madhu says:

    I understood what you want to say Reene…..its like if we always try to please men they will take us for granted and will not respect us because pleasers are always available and sometimes do things…by compromising on their values and self respect, and if pleasers cannot respect themselves….no one could,whether friends,cousins,neighbours or your men in your life.

  • Me says:

    I want to ask is keeping him happy always bad what if the reason you want to keep him happy is because it makes you happy or because it satisfies you? Not because you fear loosing him or upsetting him…

  • Kim says:

    Renee, Thanks so much for the article !

    I too am a pleaser, and Codependent Deep rooted, as a result of living with a sever Narcisistic family and especially Mother. Drama Queens all around me , and many years I was programmed to listen to THEM, please THEM, do this that for THEM, you get the idea

    All the while constantly burying me underground.

    It takes a lot of time and effort for me to heal and become a better person, and fiind my OWN Voice and Identity

    So yes, as a result but also as my nature, I am kind compassionate, I like giving and taking care of my MAN. I like doing things for my friends . In the pst it used to be worse, but I feel like I am working on myself and getting healthier.

    I believe what you say it`s the difference between doing things aut of Ego and things aut of genuine Care. True, I understand but very hard to change for me

    I also agree with Standing up for yourself, because afterall that.s what it means. Validating ourselves, giving ourselves the love we never had (because it is nobodys fault we did not receieve enough care or attention as children)

    Only WE can fix it , before entering another relationship.

    I found myself having these behaviours but I also tried to change them, I also spoke up more, stood up for myself more than in the past. Even if I was afraid, and I was.

    It`s difficult, and you can.t UNDO years of mistreatment, negativity and ugliness in one second. It takes TIME, and I will GIVE it to myself, as long as I have to ! 🙂

    Thanks,

    Kat

    p.s. Also you don`t know what it.s like to grow, it.s a bad word, to be kicked in the head by Narcisistic Psycho drama queens aka My mother. Then you ARE blamed for everyones emotions, everything that happens IS YOUR FAULT, and you become responsible and blamed for each of the crazy moods. I do not wish it for no one

    I am OUT and doing my own self work and healing.

    And may I add that it is not Patethic to do things out of Love. You just have to grow yourself first empower yourself, before going in another relationship. It was not YOUR fault, because you ended with these behaviours .

    The difference between genuine care and This care, is that the second is done out of a desire to control the situation, and avoid others dissapointment. Or in my case, the Narcisistic Rage ! Yes, big thing

    😀 Interesting article though, but don.t make Pleasing people look like Patethic people because you my dear, are not Empowering them that way. They are empatethic and this is great, but let.s face it sometimes people in this world ARE A**holes and tend to take advantage thats all. Especially of someone with a heart.

    • Karma says:

      She is not suggesting that we be superficially self indulgent, shallow or to forsake giving or caring. Telling us to ‘give up’ or abandon our instinct to give, would be solving nothing. A woman who goes around using others, devoid of purpose or ambition to create a healthy world, is part of the problem not the solution. Same goes for women who ‘check out’ emotionally and build walls to hide behind only to find themselves wasting away in a prison of their own design. She is not saying for us to do that. What she is doing is making a clear and honest distinction between pleasing and giving so we have the tools to be aware or conscious of the difference those make in our lives. She is furthermore saying that by being self aware and honoring our needs first, we are then and only then, qualified to give in a valuable way, a way that far transcends superficial pleasing.

      Pleasing, or people pleasing does not come from a space of love but of fear. Fear of breaking character, fear of breaking a rule (spoken or unspoken), fear of someone being angry/ upset/ or disappointed in us, fear of losing someone. When we give from a place of fear it is called pleasing. When we please others we are giving without care for ourselves or the other. Non-authentic giving is an act of appeasement or ‘pleasing’. Pleasing happens when we are too focused on the expectation, be it real or assumed, and not intuitively aware of what is really needed of us as opposed to what is being asked or demanded of us. We get caught up in pleasing when we lose touch with our own voice and instead are compelled by outside influence. When we are scared we want to control the outcome as to protect our image or someone else’s image of us. Any person is capable of making this mix up, however in reference to our target audience, women, they are more prone to extending themselves beyond logic because they have been taught to always put others first, namely, others opinion of who you are.

      See, pleasing can be very deceptive not only to others but mainly to our own selves because we justify our depleted resources by saying that we were being selfless and doing the right thing, putting someone else’s needs first, playing the martyr. When, in reality, what we were really putting first was our own perceived image, carefully or haphazardly, assessing reward versus risk. This behavior of pleasing is fear based and in the end serves no true value, which is wasteful when you begin to calculate all of the time, energy and emotion we pour out, in the name of love. When in reality, only fear asks us to give what we don’t have. Love would never cross that line. While Love will challenge you to go deeper, Love would never ask you to lie and betray yourself and your truth to please anyone else, including parents, spouse or children. Love is respect. Pleasing masquerades as respect but is truly fear trying to control us via bashing our boundaries down, claiming them to be baseless and of no value when compared to the greater need or bigger picture. Pleasing is when you go around filling others from an empty cup.

      Take the story of the three wolves. Here we have three little pigs and each three piggies has their own house. I want you to think of their houses as each ones boundaries. Think of their homes as their inner world and the material each house is made of are their boundaries. Now, each pig is within their respective inner world and are considered safe, because their house was there to protect their inner world. When all of a sudden a wolf walks to their door. Little background is given on the wolf in this story but we know one thing, the wolf is no stranger just happening by. The wolf is someone who knows them and we know this because of what happens next. The wolf says, as he has approached the first house, “Little Pig, Little Pig, come let me in.” So based on this information we know he knows what to call them, he knows who they are, he knows where they live, and, he feels comfortable enough or entitled, to ask for entry. The wolf is not a stranger. The wolf knows them. As the story goes, the pig tries to assert her boundaries (the gender isn’t important but since this article is focused on women we’ll allow the pigs to be female). Now if you remember, the first little pigs house is made of straw. As kids, when we heard this story, we understood that this was not a strong house, we understood that this house offered no real protection for that little pig. So, she responds to the wolf, “Not by they hair of my chinny, chin, chin!” She is pointing out at this point her boundaries. The wolf, who knows her, knows that her boundaries aren’t strong and that the moment he applies the slightest pressure those boundaries or house, will cave in. He warns her, “Ok well I’m going to huff and puff and blow your house down!” He is letting her know that he knows her boundaries aren’t secure and he is going to capitalize on her insecurities. And just as the wolf predicted, he huffed and he puffed and he blew her little house down. Her walls came down and the wolf devoured her. But, her limited resources were not enough for this hungry wolf so on to the next house he went, with her in the rear view mirror. She wasn’t enough. Her value was little and he needed more than what she could offer. When our boundaries are weak, nonexistent and not authentic they make us appear valueless and of limited worth. The wolf arrives at the next house, he knocks on the door, this house is only slightly stronger as it is made of sticks. “Little Pig, Little Pig, come let me in.” He knows her too. She asserts her boundaries by replying, “Not by the hair of my chinny, chin, chin!” He’s not fooled and just as he has seen before she simply needed some ‘persuading’. “Alright”, he warns, “then I will huff and I will puff and I will blow your house down!” Once again, confident, that these boundaries won’t get in the way of what he wants, he huffs and he puffs and indeed he does blow her little house down. He gobbles her up, licking his lips and he says, “That was nice, but not enough, I need more.” So, on he goes to the next. This time he’s really confident. He has, with little effort, the first time, and only slightly more effort, the last time, managed to blow over two houses (two boundaries). He knows with a little more work this third house is going down and he will get to consume what’s inside. As he approaches the third house, he smiles and says, “Little Pig, Little Pig, come let me in!” He is so confident, he knows this third pig and will gain access to her as he did with the others. Just like the others, she responds, “Not by the hair of my chinny, chin chin!” The wolf warns her as he has done before, “Then I will huff and I will puff and I will blow your little house down.” Then he huffed and he puffed and huffed and puffed but the house was not coming down, for this third house was made of bricks. Smile fading away, anger sets in, the wolf thought he knew her, he thought that he’d get right in just as before and he failed. All pretenses are gone at this point and he goes on full offense as he gets a ladder, climbs up and goes down through the chimney, counting on getting inside, he knows how to get in! What he doesn’t know is that she has a plan. See, she knew her predator. She knew that not granting entry wouldn’t be enough, she knew that her outer boundaries wouldn’t be enough to keep him out, she knew, that he knew, how to get in her house and he was on his way whether she wanted him or not. This time she was ready, she was prepared, she knew her enemy and understood what he was capable of. She knew he was on his way and nothing was going to keep him from trying to break her down. She also knew what she was capable of doing and she was willing to do whatever it takes to protect herself. As that wolf climbed down that chimney, expecting to take what he felt he was entitled to, he got the unexpected. A boiling hot Calderon was waiting for him in that fireplace, he fell in and was burned. He never bothered another pig again after that.

      There are several variations of that tale. In some, the story says the first pig ran to the second pigs house and once that house was overtaken they ran to the third pigs house and there, were given protection against the wolf.

      Coming back to the discussion about pleasing versus giving, we’re able to see that even though the wolf was pleased with those first two pigs, it didn’t last long before he needed more. Pleasing, is a quick fix. It’s appeasement is very short term and more often than not only creates more need or dependency because it uses resources without getting the job done, without giving anyone, anything of value. The first two pigs didn’t give anything, they were taken advantage of, used up and only fueled the wolf long enough to find another victim. The last pig gave. Yes, she had to get someone mad to do so, yes she had to defend herself but she didn’t please, she didn’t pander to his whims. She didn’t play ‘nice’. Instead she chose to create boundaries that would protect her and allow or enable her to protect those who needed protection from the wolf. She gave to herself protection, security, confidence, and no doubt a good laugh whenever she’d recollect the vision of the wolf howling in pain and sheer terror at the utter surprise of her preemptive strike. She gave the other pigs who lost their homes (be it by providing safety like in the version where the first two found amnesty in her house or by providing justice to the pigs who were already consumed as in the first version). She gave to future pigs by eliminating or neutralizing a threat. Last, but not least, she gave that wolf the lesson he so desperately needed and was subliminally looking for. The end of the wolf can go in so many different directions but the key element is she gave to that wolf in a true way, a way in which those other pigs who just pleased the wolf were unable to do. She, out of all three pigs, was able to give, because she took such excellent care of herself.

      When we step out of our habits or conditioning of simply pleasing everyone whom we feel obligated or pressured to please and we instead courageously begin to listen to our intuition by creating boundaries that protect what is important to us, we allow ourselves the cherished opportunity to give in ways that are valuable for the long haul and that multiply or add to our own resources in ways that pleasing could never ever do. We allow ourselves to be the kind of givers that enrich the lives around us in ways that are deeply positive, meaningful and unlimited in their potential. The giving is a flow that keeps adding value all around. It is a growth of abundance and resources, not a diminishing drain. This kind of giving is the opposite of stagnant, stale ‘giving’ or pleasing, that remains in a small desecrating pool going no where. True giving creates abundance for everyone not just a select few. Remember, there is no such thing as ‘selfless giving’. Even the ultimate sacrifice gives us the ultimate honor. Also, in many cases, a gift cannot be given, unless it is first received, the reception is an immediate gift to us. Everything we give is intended to give to us, to replenish our supply. The gift of true giving can not be quantified, as it truly is the gift that keeps giving, be it a lesson or advice or increase in confidence, protection, understanding, wisdom, self respect, you know, the things money can’t buy or take away. This is the power, we as women have, in our ability to give. I am not exaggerating when I say, that with more women truly giving, in time we will see an entirely different world and one that is no longer an utter burden and disappointment. A world of beauty beyond our wildest dreams. The fulfillment that we all desperately crave in the deepest parts of ourselves. The antidote to our loneliness, suffering, depression, bitterness and longing. Our heaven, or whatever you like to call it, is well within our grasp. The ability to save our loved ones from a lifetime of disappointment and emptiness is within our power and it all begins when we base our boundaries on what is authentic to us. Not what we have been told or sold but what is truly and genuinely of value to us.

      What makes you feel beautiful, whole, alive, real, sparkling, radiant, juicy, fulfilled, pleasured to your core…. awake? What can you create to protect your inner world, your inner child? There is a little girl sitting in a dark room sobbing, scared, angry, miserable all because she was forgotten by you, sold out for the promise of pleasing others and getting their momentary approval. The hardest part is the first step, acknowledging, that hurting little girl who is so angry, so enraged, so hurt, so disappointed with you for betraying her. She may feel like endless sorrow, tormenting fear or vengeful judgment. That first glimpse of her is enough to shit your panties and send you running for the hills. Don’t. While encountering her, it will be intense, there is no way around it, you will have to face her one way or another. You can’t always hide behind your academia or your religion or your parents or your friends or your husband or your job or your toys or your status or your numbness or your position or your politics or your children or your countless other distractions that keep you from entering that room, you can’t hide forever. She’s lonely, sit with her, listen to her rage, listen to her scream, hold her as she trembles, and gently listen and hold her as she sobs as she recounts her losses. Don’t run away, don’t abandon her, don’t silence her, don’t call her crazy, don’t tell her to stop crying, don’t tell her she ‘has to’ do or not do anything. Her suffering, her pain deserves to be seen and heard. She needs you to give to her before you please another person. If you can’t be at peace with her, your giving will always be taking from yourself and will never be ‘enough’. Not enough for you, your partner, your children or your world. The only way to ‘fix’ all of the pain and suffering around you is for you to tend to the one who has suffered the most. You.

    • Linda says:

      Get the book: How to not make yourself miserable about anything. Yes! Anything! Dr. Albert Ellis.

  • Kc says:

    Renee, Thanks so much for the article !

    I too am a pleaser, and Codependent Deep rooted, as a result of living with a sever Narcisistic family and especially Mother. Drama Queens all around me , and many years I was programmed to listen to THEM, please THEM, do this that for THEM, you get the idea

    All the while constantly burying me underground.

    It takes a lot of time and effort for me to heal and become a better person, and fiind my OWN Voice and Identity

    So yes, as a result but also as my nature, I am kind compassionate, I like giving and taking care of my MAN. I like doing things for my friends . In the pst it used to be worse, but I feel like I am working on myself and getting healthier.

    I believe what you say it`s the difference between doing things aut of Ego and things aut of genuine Care. True, I understand but very hard to change for me

    I also agree with Standing up for yourself, because afterall that.s what it means. Validating ourselves, giving ourselves the love we never had (because it is nobodys fault we did not receieve enough care or attention as children)

    Only WE can fix it , before entering another relationship.

    I found myself having these behaviours but I also tried to change them, I also spoke up more, stood up for myself more than in the past. Even if I was afraid, and I was.

    It`s difficult, and you can.t UNDO years of mistreatment, negativity and ugliness in one second. It takes TIME, and I will GIVE it to myself, as long as I have to ! 🙂

    Thanks,

    Kat

  • Joan says:

    “Keep him happy” is dangerous because the man will start to mistreat the woman for sure. I was visiting this lady once who’s husband was grabbing her boobs right in front of me! He was laughing, she was not. He knew he could get away with anything with her because she never spoke up to him. She was all about pleasing him.

    Sad part of that is that even though she did so much for him, he never saw any value in any of it!

    • James says:

      She mentions in the article that there is a difference between “pleasing” and “giving”

      The woman you know is a pleaser, not a giver. My woman gives to me all the time, and I never mistreat or take advantage of her.

  • EpiphanyRose says:

    Hello Renee, Thank you so much for your blog and for taking the time to share your insights with us.:-)

    Sadly, I am finding it hard to totally digest this Pleaser v. Giver…I’m a little frustrated because I don’t feel that I’m a “pleaser” according to your definition, but I have had mostly unsuccessful relationships (usually last between 8 months to several years)and have had men pull away from me. My last boyfriend told me AFTER A YEAR OF DATING that I had “treated him like a King.” but we still broke up. My issue is that I genuinely LIKE giving. And I give because I enjoy making others happy… In addition to my regular job, I am a certified massage therapist and few things give me more pleasure than seeing a customer happy and healthier after a session. I actually LIKE massaging my boyfiends (or my friends/family)feet/back/neck, etc. I LIKE cooking and dressing pretty and putting together gift baskets and giving nice gifts (people pay me to put together gifts baskets for them). I LIKE putting together/facilitating nice events/outings and decorating things (people ask and sometimes pay me to do this). But it seems to me like doing these things for a man (buying gifts, dressing up, being creative, suggesting things or generally do anyting to beautify the relationship) is frowned upon and seen as doing things out of fear, or worse out of desperateness or weakness…..So it seems my only option is to NOT be myself in order to not come across as needy or a “pleaser.” ..Which seems to me to be exactly what you tell us that we as women shouldn’t be doing (pretending to be something we’re not)

    So as I said, I’m a little frustrated. My question Renee IS THERE NO MAN who is going to appreciate a woman who genuinely likes to make other people happy (and not out of a place of fear)?

    • JoJo84 says:

      EpiphanyRose – I completely understand what you’re saying! Although I did have a time when I would “please” my exboyfriend out of fear of losing him, I stopped being that way. It took a LONG time for me to stop bending over backwards out of need to “Keep him around”. However, it is in my nature to do things for people I love simply because I LOVE THEM and LOVE seeing them happy! I am now a more confident woman and do things for my NEW boyfriend out of pure love and happiness, not because I am afraid to lose the man. But sadly, just like you, I still lose relationships over this. Whether it be that they take advantage of my kindness or whether they THOUGHT I was being insecure. Why is it so hard to find a man who sees acts of kindness for what they truly are…pure kindness and love! I too have had an ex say “You treated me like a King” after two years of dating, only to still breakup regardless. Perhaps it is because a GOOD person/man will understand a true act of kindness when he/she sees it? Perhaps “bad boys” and a**holes have such inflated egos that they can do none other than believe every woman is desperate to keep them?? Sometimes I feel as though “our kind” is a rare, dying breed!

      Wish you all the best! Be yourself and stay strong!

      • Pinkhearts says:

        JoJo84- I like what you have to say. I also like to give and almost always do it out of kindness and I don’t expect anything in return. But there’s times that I feel I give a little too much especially to my man and I expect the same treatment in return and I feel resentment and I feel used cause my expectations are too high. And I also feel frustrated when I need something from someone and I don’t get what I need or want in return.
        Like I said I love to give and for what I experienced, I feel that people don’t think my intentions are true and that they think I have something in mind or that I must be up to no good. I like some people believe I am giving to get something out of them. Yes, I do give to please cause I want them to like me and to know that I am a good person but I eventually be looked as weak and people tend to take advantage or at least the people I have dealt in the past. My problem is that I am shy and giving / pleasing is a way to let people know I am trustworthy which I am but of course they tend to walk all over me. Sometimes my shyness is looked at as being stuck up. I have learned through the course of the years that I can only give to those who are in need and not to let friends and lovers use me as much and not give in to their wants but then I feel sorry when they get mad or my last boyfriend used the silent treatment and it gets me every time. Well, it is a o win situation for me. The best way I can handle is if I am gonna give, do it and don’t expect others to give as freely as I would and accept that there’s people who are not givers or pleasers in nature and either accept them the way they are or not have them in my life.

        • Jacques says:

          I would like all of you to remember that it’s OK to do good things for those you love, however if you are being mistreated, it’s OK also to pull back on all the good deeds. If the person you are giving to, has low self esteem, then consider they don’t have resources to give back or even show appreciation for your efforts, what raises their self esteem is encouragement to do things you want done or need done then use your given talents of giving, to show your appreciation for their efforts. This is called operant conditioning, much like what Pavlov did with his dogs. If you can teach an individual to do things that benefit themselves such as achievements, it goes a long way in them seeing you as their biggest source of encouragement, there then lies a fulfilled need. Men will often leave a giving women or one that appears too good for them or treats them too well, because they feel that they don’t deserve such good treatment, maybe due to feeling less of a man, such as not having a good job, or social status or that a woman works as the head of household and the man, well doesn’t or can’t due to lack of job skills or education, in which case leads to his low self esteem and lack of self worth and soon he’ll cheat, or just leave making the woman think something is wrong with her when in reality the guy put a woman on a pedestal and was comparing himself to her achievements or to other men. So keep in mind that self esteem is related to the quality of our relationships, a quality relationship to a man is one that he has earned, not one that was handed to him on a silver platter. No one values what they don’t have to work for, that includes relationships, sex, money, material goods, or services. Relationships do require balance of give and take.

  • Holly says:

    Aww, thanks for adding the tips on making a list of all the times I’ve pleased in the last month.

    This is really helpful and I’ll add it as part of my self improvement work.

    People pleasing a terrible habit of mine all my life, and it’s just awful to feel paraylized to a certain behavior pattern, when you’d do anything in the world to break free.

    Within the last 2-3 years I have tried to break this habit but it’s something deeply ingrained.

    It’s going to take ALOT to get through this, but I have enough faith and determination to get through this storm.

    I swear there are strange things are happening in my brain because I wake up every morning and I can sense on a deep level of some sort that I’ve go to bed, wake up and then I’m a different person from the day before.

    I think it’s because I’m working my brain to it’s filmiest potential and then as if by magic major transformations are taking place in my neuro connections, or something like that.

    It’s like the Phoneix Rising EVERYDAY. But then I go back to different parts of myself and things change all over again.

    It kind of reminds me of doing maths, were you learn calculations and it’s difficult to learn, but then you learn and its like getting a new brain by the week, and at random.

    But yeah, I’ve come up with a new policy very recently

    Refuse to take no for an answer and call people up on their bullshit! Do it with humor…

    I think it’s the difference between being passive and assertive.

    If people haven’t respected me in the past then they sure will do now by time I’ve finished with my self improvement course of action, because I know deep inside their is a dynamite waiting to blow people’s minds!

    Theirs a whole lot of awsumeness waiting to come out in due course in this thing called it’s my life story.

    And I don’t doubt that for a single moment 😀

    I’m considering weather to purchase the attraction triggers some time soon as I’m close to having proper internet connection.

    The big question in my mind is…

    Should I wait and work on self improvement, fix my broken mind and have real self worth.

    Or

    Should I wait until I’m a healthy person and not buying into something with a low value mind set.

    hmmm, because on one hand I’m thinking it could be used for additional help with self improvement, such as buying into something that can amplify to the effects

    or

    Is it just needy to buy a program that is made for attracting members of the opposite sex…

    It’s kind of a paradox and is both suitable and unsuitable at this point in my life, because if someone is low and buys something to be more attractive then there is always that tempting factor to use it at a place of low value.

    Its kind of reminds me of the person who buys a book on how to make a man fall in love when they don’t love themselves.

    I will just have to wait and see because I’m confident in the fact that attracting a man isn’t a completely unreasonable request in comparison to winning the Euro millions or getting hit by lightening.

    I’m sure that when all factors are in place I will be able to attract a man.

    I think that I will just have to wait and see because the 100% receptors aren’t going off at the moment so things will happen when they are meant to I guess. Just like everything in life really 🙂

  • HELGA says:

    KEEP HIM HAPPY BUT NOT MAKE ME HAPPY, THIS IS MAKE ME WANNA END THE RELATIONSHIP, CAUSE HE ALWAYS HAPPY BUT DOESNT CARE IM HAPPY OR NOT

    • Joan says:

      This is something you need to be open with him about. There may be fear or insecurity with you. Renee talks about that throughout this site.

  • Cami says:

    I think the “keep” word is dangerous because by “keeping” someone happy…we don’t really trust that the other person can manage herself and in fact we prevent her from growing to find her ways to be happy…and it addicts people…

  • Tiff says:

    Hi Renee! I’ve just discovered your blog and I really love it.
    I have one question, and I apologize for being slightly off topic, but it also ties into the issue of being a “pleaser”.

    I’m very curious about your opinion on a man using pornography in a committed LTR? (in moderation; obviously it’s a red flag if he turns you down in favor of porn). This is something that is always a struggle for me to deal with.

    Is voicing your objection to it too “controlling” and not letting the man be “free”?

    OR

    Is NOT objecting being too much a “pleaser”, and not giving voice to your authentic self/values? (being a pushover).

    • tower says:

      Tiff,

      May be my advice will sound counterintuitive, but why don’t you watch porn TOGETHER? I highly recommend it, if you are going to live with a man for years on. 😉 You should not compete with porn, but instead use it to connect with your man. It must look like you&him + porn. Not like he&porn + you.))

      • Tiff says:

        We have. And it’s not so bad then. But neither of us are very into watching it when we are together. It’s just a distraction.

        My issue is the idea of him using it without me. When I’m not around or otherwise unavailable. And the secrecy around it. I have nothing against masturbation, but porn really shouldn’t be necessary? I feel like it’s directing sexual desires towards someone other than the person you are with.

        I understand and accept the fact that men are attracted to women, but to SEEK it out, and then ACT on it (by orgasming to it), feels like an act of betrayal to me.

        I feel like unless my partner would be OK with the idea of other men masturbating to porn of me, then I should not have to be ok with him doing the same to other women.
        Is that crazy?

        • Tower says:

          Tiff,

          I think your guy has some sexual issues, that have nothing to do with you and your relationship. I understand that you may feel insecure about it, but try to understand what is his problem that keeps him doing that things. Unless you don’t feel betrayed he will not open up and will keep it a secret.

          • Tiff says:

            My questions were not really framed in the light of my own personal relationship, they are hypothetical. I’m just asking for the opinion on porn in general, within a LTR.

            The point is that most guys do not see it as any problem in the first place, porn is completely “normal” and “every guy does it” is the general accepted view in society..

          • louise says:

            tiff porn is never ok no matter what others opinions are. porn is so devastating I find it hard to believe people still think its ok. It makes the man look at women as objects. The more porn they look at the more they object women. Its an addiction. Away goes ‘I like that girl’ (for who she is) its….’she’s hot’. They separate the body from the person and use the body only, such as in sex, which can devastate a marriage. It rewires a mans brain so that when they’re trying to find a mate they say they like a girl based on if they’re physically and physically only attracted to her. Forget about chemistry. Girls pick up on it too. Of course attraction, is important, but its healthy attraction – seeing the body and soul (who they are) together. Porn separates these two.

        • James says:

          Don’t listen to these other people. A man watching porn and masturbating while you are away is completely normal. In his mind he’s not directing sexual desires and he’s not cheating on you. He just needs to look at some tits while he’s jacking it. What, you really think a man would stand there pumping away with his eyes closed trying to imagine you naked? That is ridiculous.

          If you feel betrayed by him watching porn, then I suggest you leave him some nude photos or videos of yourself. If your man prefers other naked images to your own, then you have a problem. My wife felt the same way as you, and now she leaves me with enough pictures of her that I don’t need porn. Ever.

          • Linda says:

            I’m sorry. It’s not normal after a certain age. Plenty of men do fine with shower and soap. I think you’re being ridiculous. My partner thinks of me. Its fun when he tells me the fantasies he has! I dump men like you.

    • Karma says:

      Tiff, being a feminine wife does not mean you silence your intuition or feelings. It means it’s essential you express them in a way that gives you relief and honors your inner voice. You never, ever have to ‘put up’ with anything that makes you feel less than beautiful and appreciated! Being feminine means being in touch with feelings and emotions, not suppressing them or ignoring them.

    • Linda says:

      If he’s over 22ish he needs to grow up. I have two sons, 23 and 26. They are over the porno thing. My partner has been embarrassed by it since that age as well. If the guy is single I can see it. But most of the men in my life, partners, brother, friends, uncles, usually have given it up or if young, would gladly toss out the mags or porno for a real woman. They find it creepy if a guy is doing it after that age. The one’s that haven’t usually get steered clear of by decent men. Sorry. That’s just my experience. I was single for 16 years before I found my partner. I dumped men who looked at that stuff.

  • Anais says:

    These days, it actually annoys me when people say I’m “nice” or “too nice” I don’t see it as compliment. I have had people pleasing behavior since college that I’m working on breaking. I became that person because growing up I had a hard time making friends and socializing. I was teased and hurt a lot. The behavior carried over into dating. I thought being “nice and accommodating” to everyone as often as I could, even if it may hurt me was the answer. It’s not. I worry too much about what others may think, afraid of being insulted for speaking up (even though in most cases people don’t even insult you) and still need to work on this. I don’t like to think of myself as “nice” anymore but “kind”. I’m well intentioned and polite in the sense I don’t feel I have to be aggressive, “ballbusting bitch” to get my point across.

    At the same time, it’s good to find a middle ground. I feel some people around me want to turn everything into an argument (the people who still say I’m “too nice”). My opinion is you can often just ignore negative people instead of always making it a battle. For example, I decided there was a guy I didn’t wish to meet from online because of his wishy washy behavior. When I expressed how I felt, he told me I had to be more spontaneous. I disagreed with his terms and in my gut felt he was just trying to manipulate the situation. So instead of getting into an argument with some online guy I’ll never meet, I simply deleted the messages and moved on.

    I mentioned this to 2 of my girlfriends and they said I should have “cursed him out” and said “go f*** yourself”. Overreaction much? If that person isn’t going to stay around in my life or saying anything that is really threatening, why waste time saying anything or cussing them out? Sometimes no attention is more powerful than providing attention and people take you more seriously when you don’t carry on like an angry ballbuster over every little thing. Choose your battles.

    • Anais says:

      A lot of us, men and women were fed this tale that we just have to be “nice and pleasant and giving” to whom we are attracted, no matter what, and they will love us back. If it were that easy, there would be more deep passionate relationships out there. I certainly value a man kind and being pleasant but that isn’t what really helps get anywhere in dating. I mean these days, respectful and pleasant is a basic requirement for me, not the icing on the cake.

  • Tower says:

    Dear Renee,

    I am trough almost all your articles but this one messed all up. Could you give more examples of pleasing? Also it would be interesting to have your opinion on things like loving vs being needy, , showing affection vs pursuing, being open vs being doormat, admiring vs pleasing, caring vs chasing. At the stage of dating. What does it look like from men perspective? Beginning of relationship can be very difficult especially when there are strong feelings and infatuation , it’s very hard to keep in mind all those rules, follow them and be yourself at the same time. I would be very happy to have a response from you.

  • Maggie Atkinson says:

    Have to say its no good being a pleaser – you either look desperate, insecure or you get walked all over and then dumped for being so pathetic. Been there done it myself. Keep him happy – why should I keep a man happy? Happiness is a person’s own responsibility not someone else’s – you can never make anyone happy as they decide if that’s what they want to be – you smile because thats what you want to do, or cry if thats what you feel. Its your emotion your state of being. Keep means entrapment or trying to control. And thats the last thing that a truly genuine relationship is about – you should feel that you can come and go as you please and not feel stifled by someone pleasing you or taking advantage – but to value each other and share the good times and the bad ones.

  • keith a. thomas says:

    A pleaser? Where may I find one? All women seem to be taker’s. Oh, this crap was written by a typical bitch!

  • Flavia says:

    I,ve been a pleaser lots of times but ended up getting hurt in most cases. I thank you Rennee for your articles because they are going to solve alot of our puzzles. God bless you for that.

  • samar says:

    thx renee 🙂

    you won’t have to sacrifice your dignity for your destiny ,, that’s all

  • jlee says:

    renee, thank you. i walked in the door after my boyfriend broke up with me and your email really made me feel better. in the conversation, he mentioned the he, himself, is a pleaser and just wants to “keep me happy”, but because of his current circumstances (pending divorce and children) he does not have the inner resources to do so. he used those words. one of our issues has been that i want him to, in fact, stop trying to please me because it almost always culminates with him having kept me in the dark about where we stand, going into a dark place and shutting me out completely. i want a giving relationship, one in which he is not afraid to take space because i do understand that he needs it. when he withdraws, i will not hear from him for days. although i have learned to give him space and pull back a little myself while staying loving and kind, i will also do things like not commit to plans with friends so that i can say yes to him the moment he calls for fear of losing his love. i’m afraid to say no because i’m afraid he will not come back around again, which is ridiculous but i do it to myself anyway. i’m working on my pleaser side as well.

  • Neferyuya says:

    When I got to this part “Giving could be not having sex with your man at all this time, rather than laying there like a dead horse while he does his thing, like he’s having sex with a blow-up doll or a rigid post.”

    Amen – you know I have always said no to sex when I don’t feel the love because of exhaustion or whatever – I tell the man, “this is going to ruin my feelings and burn a negative image in my mind that I don’t want and it will be a shadow of what you want.” Normally, I hear “K” and they roll over and go to sleep depending if they live with me or not….well, oh course they are OK with it because that is the last thing they want to damage – the whole image in MY mind. They want to be looked at only as good in bed, if they know they start off with an unhappy woman they know that can only get worse. A fluffy pillow and well positioned covers are more fun for us both.

    Did I get some thing right just because I draw the line heavily on what a man can do to or with my own sense of sexuality?

    They can not control me there at all. That’s mine since all my feelings come from me.

    What a nice thing to think on this morning

    I am coming back later to re-read. I wanted to start my day by touching base here though.

    Thank you – I love your work.

  • pamy says:

    water is the softest element on earth yet it can
    move rocks.Think about it ladies that tryn to please
    a man or trying to be a man is like changing the water that you are
    to being poridge n blieve me poridge doesnt move rocks or
    being a rock will robb against your man whose a rock
    d atraction wl be lost cos men wants you to be the water
    they want to be d one to protect you,they want to feel
    like d man that they are “MAN of d house”So b water B a
    woman n watch ur feminine energy move men”rocks”
    B ur selves ladies n u’l b fine.ITS A LAW OF NATURE.
    I LOVE U RENE…we r greateful

  • pamy says:

    I think the keep hin happy phrase realy mean that you the lady in question goes beyond
    you power and even your confort and hapiness to rather
    do the things that HE enjoys.That is definately telling your self that
    you are incapable,not the best,I think i get your point Rene.

  • Emma says:

    Hello,
    I am just coming out of a relationship that I felt from the beginning was not going to be good. Since I had been out of a failed relationship for a year, I wanted to see where this one would. You know the rest of the story. I ended up pleasing, based on what I know now from your article. He wanted to just be friends, but I cut it all out because I didn’t want to be put in a position to be used by this man.

  • Grace says:

    Indeed I have learnt a lesson. Each time I’ll try to be pleasing my boyfriend, instead of him to be happy he will not. Pls Renee I want to get that commitment and understanding men but I don’t how to get it. Pls can you tell how I’ll get it. Thanks for what you are doing and God will reward u. Cheers!

  • Myrtrice says:

    Keep means being responsible for and constantly working to ensure the other person’s happiness. Since happiness is relative there is no way to “keep” a person “happy”. The effort to do something so unattainable is just exhausting. I think it would be better to be the best person you can be so people will want to be around you.

  • karen says:

    Another thought: There’s a woman in our church who just wears herself out being a pleaser, doing things that not only are not expected or asked of her, but also doing things that cause problems for others. She makes herself a rediculous pest, trying so hard to please, and so many times the results of her efforts are sloppy, ineffective, or just plain wrong, and no one appreciates them, ever. But she plays on peoples sympathy – after all, she does SO much, and we feel forced into showing gratitude we don’t really feel, and hiding our annoyance at her bad results. I realized the other day, vis a vis my boyfriend problems, that good lord! I didn’t want to be Barb! That was a wake-up call for me. Stop DOING!! Stop being such a put-upon whiner, trying to manipulate people into loving you….. just like Barb. Stop calling, texting, emailing…..setting up expectations that only lead to further problems.
    My boyfriend has alot of health issues as a cancer survivor and what I want to GIVE him is a chance at a happy life, with me, but my trying so hard to please him was not the way.

  • karen says:

    This was so important for me to read tonight! Thank you, Renee! I’d been going through a period of uncertainy in my relationship, and building up alot of resentment about the things I’d done to “please” the man… finally, something snapped, and I backed off from doing anything for him, and started thinking about my own needs, and how I was neglecting them out of desparation to please. My feelings for him hadn’t changed, but I stopped being fearful of his dark moods, etc., and I found myself in a whole new place, thinking, well, he either loves me or he doesn’t, and if he doesn’t, well, I will walk away a stronger, wiser woman. I just didn’t react to his bad moods, didn’t let it get to me. Boy! Did he react! Suddenly, HE wants to talk about an issue between us, HE wants to spend time together, He needed reassurance. I let him see that a good thing was about to walk out of his life unless he did something to stop it, and he did! I thought alot about how he had taken my love for him as a low-value thing, always constant, always so eager to please, but when I backed off to take care of myself, I felt stronger and more confident, more able to give him what he really needs – a reality check. There’s other fish in the sea….

    • Anna C says:

      You mentioned your boyfriend’s “dark moods”… I think this is a commonality with a lot of men. They seem to go through dark moods, and it can be scary for us women. Mine does the same, and I recently just started walking out of the room when he does it, or going somewhere… when I come back, he is very loving and considerate, and needing of reassurance… just like you said. It’s amazing how men are sometimes.

      I think I read in John Gray’s Men are From Mars, Women are from Venus book that when a man is in a bad mood, treat it like a tornado and LIE LOW. This is exactly what we are doing, and it really works. Hope your relationship is going well.

  • samira says:

    DEar Renee
    this text was fantastic. actually we women often act from a.P…….. way to make our men happy conciously or unconciousely and that’s a real shame and not just women do this some men do the same and it defenitely won’t have the desired consequence.
    To me doing every thing to keep somebody does’nt work .this word is dangerouse because it closes his eyes to your true feelings about him and your needs and make him think every thing’s fine with you or even might help him think every thing he asks , you can give him and If and if you won’t be able to please him God knows what hapens. anyway that way does’nt work in any cases.
    Thanks Renee for send me such emails
    Hope you have greatest time.
    xxxx
    sam

  • Naureen says:

    Thought to share this cuz it goes so well with what renee is saying.

    Except for one or two instances, i was generally never much of a pleaser, especially with men. And before i was married i would always have people interested in me.

    What did i do? Nothing really. But i wasnt running after them at all. A bit quite and definitely NOT a pleaser.

    In my culture, we dont date, rather we get acquainted to get married so after my divorce(i was married for a few short months and boy was that a big mistake) i literally would have like two proposals for marriage every month.

    U just gota know what u want out of life, be upright and confident and yu’ll be alright, even WITHOUT a man.

  • Naureen says:

    Example: when i raise my children, if i raise them from the point of view of doing my duty towards them, given what God has enjoined upon me as a parent, thats it. Thats all i gota do. I dont have to operate from a place of fear.

    Same in marriage. If i make sure im a great wife, and ive done my homework to make sure ive married a decent guy, focusing on my job of being a great wife over and above always worrying about my rights, puts me in a position of power.

    In that position, giving doesnt stop cuz someone had a bad day. U can forgive and move on. Because u want to please yur spouse cuz u love them but yur also able to keep the big picture in mind which gives u confidence: that being good to your spouse pleases God.

    But guess what. When u do this like renee mentions in the article, AUTOMATICALLY u will be coming from a place of solid confidence, because yur pro-active, not reactive.

  • Naureen says:

    This article really made a lot of sense to me as a Muslim. As a person who submits to God, the All-Merciful, the All-Knowing, the Most Appreciative and Perfect i everyway, my religion teaches me that good character and good relationships are really important especially the parent-child relationship, spouses, relatives, neighbors, teacher-student relationshp, and friends etc.

    Now here is the perfect example of giving and not pleasing: The deeds which are done to be good to people for the ultimate purpose of pleasing God will ALWAYS bring pleasure.

    Why? Because u arent doing the good to a person just for their sake. Rather you are doing it for God the Most Merciful and Most Appreciative.

    So because u come from a place of confidence, of not needing a person but rather wanting to do good for them because u care, and ultimately u care to please God which includes being good to people, yur always a winner.

    You will ALWAYS walk away with a clear conscious, not being slave to people’s reaction who are by definiton imperfect. Humans=always imperfect.

    And if yur dealing with a bad charactered person who is ignorant and foul mouthed, walk away saying : Peace 🙂

    Yur always the bigger person who walks away with HUMBLENESS not arrogance, with the clear conscious

  • McKay says:

    Come to think of it, I’m a student living in a commune. Because of that I happen to have come across different characters. I once lived with a people pleaser, and my fellow housemates didn’t like her, I really felt pity for her, because it couldn’t have been nice being her. My housemates were quite pleased when she moved out, it was saddening. I vowed to myself to never put myself in that sad position.

    Thank you for the insight, Renee. I must say I enjoy reading your emails, I’m always waiting for them in anticipation. They have worked for me in my time of transformation.

  • teri says:

    The word ‘keep’ in keep him happy implies that his happiness is in your (the pleaser’s) hands plain and simple.
    For ‘him’ this must surely feel manipulative and humiliating even. I say this because on some perhaps unconscious level he may feel that you don’t trust in his strength to deal with the truth, to deal with things being less than perfect. He will sense that you are seeking your own short-term benefit and not what is really best for you both. That makes it actually selfish on the pleaser’s part.
    My only observation with pleasers vs givers is that there are far more pleasers than givers out there I am afraid. Often, they develop mutually satisfying (albeit limited) systems of behavior and if you should interfere with such a narrow mind-set, it is often perceived as a threat. Wish it weren’t so but I am a skeptic.

  • Kira Occido says:

    “Keep” sounds desperate. Like you’re clutching it tight against your breast. Like you can’t live or breathe without it. As if your happiness is dependent upon someone else. It takes the power away from you and places it in that other person’s hands. Now that they know you’re desperate, they can use that against you if they wanted to.

    And someone trying to “keep” you happy feels awful! You look at them and what they’re doing to themselves and it makes you sad. You see this fragile person and you don’t want to be around them anymore because it feels as if the slightest nudge from you will blow them away.

    • Rose says:

      That is true. I used to do this myself with my husband, and it only drove him further away. We separated for almost 2 years, and that was when I learned how to truly give to myself first, and then to others.

      Now, we are back together, and he knows what’s different about me. I know he can sense it, that I don’t operate from a place of fear anymore, that I do not live to KEEP him. You can never keep someone. We all have the freedom to live our lives any way we want, with any one we choose. And if you’re mature, you must be aware of the consequences you have to live with when you make choices. But you can never keep anyone like they were pets or objects.

  • Tabitha says:

    Keeping for me is about giving what you think someone wants rather than what they really need and is about ignoring yourself and what you need in the process.

  • Chisom says:

    Der wz a time in my r/ship wit my boyfriend wen he stoppd calling me for no reason.I askd him y,if ders any prob or anytin wrong n he said nofing dat everytin wz fine.meanwhile I kept calling him all des while n he had no reason 2 call me back.I just tout I wz pleasing him n letting him play on my emotions,so I decided 2 stop.he didn’t call back for almost a week n wen he eventually did,he wz all over me wit hw sorry he wz n dat it will never happen again

    • Cindy says:

      Maybe you should try speaking in English to him, and presenting yourself as an articulate and intelligent woman

      • Dana says:

        That is a very mean thing to say to somebody. Has it ever occured to you that this person may be foreign, or have a speech difficulty? Why would you talk to somebody just as you have? You are not any better by putting this person down for their English.

  • happy jackie says:

    Does receiving equals giving then? Do I receive if I truly give instead of pleasing? I am honestly not receiving as much as I want to and I want to know how or why I am not receiving… Giving=receiving? Is it the right equation?

  • LadyLuck says:

    Beautiful things can happen if you stop being a ‘nice girl’ and start standing up for yourself. Have a freak out moment and tell everyone how it is. The funny thing is that now people actually see who you are inside, what you care about and why. They have respect for you now. If you put yourself number 1 and value your own opinions and have true confidence, you can do anything. Most of us want to avoid conflict or are afraid of looking stupid or unattractive. But, if you show a guy you essentially don’t care how he views you and that he can’t manipulate you, he will all of a sudden want you more cause you are an extreme challenge. I just told a guy I basically hated him and have lost his respect and he is working so hard now to make that better. How to keep a man happy? Don’t. Keep yourself happy, your *ss and your man will follow. He will value it so much more when he knows he has earned back your respect or attention. It’s not about playing games at all. Just be real and don’t be afraid to act PMS-y. Just be reasonable and have strong values. Don’t allow anyone to treat you badly, to manipulate you, to take you for granted or to walk all over you. Guys like a girl with some spunk who dare to yell at a guy when he obviously has done something disrespectful. Don’t just give all of you like that.

  • Lilia Rivera says:

    Wow! That was a great piece is insight. Love yourself first and foremost – just because you are you !

  • Denise says:

    I don’t believe you can MAKE another person happy, so KEEPING them happy is just another illusion. I am happy with another person because I CHOOSE to be happy with that person, or because the other person makes it EASY for me to CHOOSE to be happy with me. So when I was in a (recent) relationship with someone, I kept my focus on making it EASY for him to CHOOSE to be happy while he was with me. I do (now) think that I sometimes stepped over the line into “pleasing” too often….and that may be part of the problem as to why we’re no longer together. Great article! Live and learn……though sometimes too late….or is it?

  • Kira says:

    I want to keep him- I want to trap/cage/bind him to me.

    I want to keep him happy- I don’t want him to be upset
    with me, I don’t want to lose him.

  • Kira says:

    It’s dangerous because it’s impossible to truely keep anyone happy all the time and pleasing sucks. It feels awful and it hurts. It’s like trying to give up energy that you don’t have and washing away anything that is left. It’s better to deny someone than to be a pleaser. If you cannot truely give then the answer is not to. Because sometimes people need to recharge and help themselves before they can really help another. I don’t want to feel awful so I’m only giving when I want to give as opposed to giving when I feel like I have to or else. It really does feel scary when you stand up and say no and risk the chance of losing something or somebody but you do feel much stronger and more in control of yourself and situation afterwards.

    A pleaser feels that their happiness is dependant on something or somebody else, a giver knows that they have something to give because they have made themselves happy.

  • Caroline says:

    I was actually thinking about that question before you posed it. Yeah, ‘keeping’ someone happy is not a good reason to do things.. it comes from a place of insecurity (if i dont keep him happy i will lose him), insincerity (if you weren’t worried about losing him, would you still do these things because of some innate desire? if no, you’re not being sincere to yourself) and also, a need to control how others feel about you, which wont work out, because you really can’t. I might as well have used I instead of you, because I am guilty of such behavior big time.

  • JP says:

    I needed this… I can be a pleaser. I have gotten better about it over the years… but I still have a little ways to go. I want people to like me… and I don’t want to upset or offend anyone for the most part. I do have limits, but maybe I should readjust them.

  • Stephenie says:

    I enjoyed that. I to made that mistake years ago. In the end he dumped me because I was too ‘needy’. Always trying to please him. Like I had no life of my own. And scary as it was, it was true.Sheesh.
    Thankfully it did not last long and also I thank him now for dumping me. Was the ebst thing he could have done because it made me wake up to what I was doing.

    Nice article. 🙂

    Stephenie 🙂

  • Beryl says:

    The word “keep” sounds insecure in the way it is used. “Keep” denotes caging something as if it will fly or run away. It is being used from a scarcity mindset. “Keep a man” sounds like “if you don’t keep him he will leave you and then you’ll be worthless as a woman without a man!”

    I really like the opposite sex but it is difficult for me to leave behind the idea that their sexual attention validates me as a woman. This is one of the ways in which I am a pleaser. Sometimes I rush the physical aspect of a new relationship because I am afraid that he will dump me. I feel really insecure about my ability to attract guys for dating. In a vicious cycle, I never feel attractive or worthy enough for a guy. It really eats at me.

    • Jackie says:

      I used to feel this way, that sex was the best I had to offer so it’s what I focused on — being sexy and having sex as often as possible to validate my worth. And this was in a 5-year relationship, so I wasn’t sleeping around. Just wanted to please and keep my man happy and satisfied. I felt insecure in terms of my worth in other areas. What’s interesting is that we even waited 2 1/2 months before having sex, but it still ended up this way. I would be afraid to tell him what bothered or upset me because I thought it would “pressure” him and push him away. That was a while ago now and I’m with someone else. My current guy and I waited 1 1/2 months, and it’s a much healthier relationship. Just last night he was telling me a story from his childhood about having a crush on the neighbor girl and tossed in the words “her tits and ass”. After he told his story, I let him know that he didn’t have to be so descriptive. I wasn’t afraid to tell him that I do have a slight jealous streak and I hope he would be sensitive to it. We had a good conversation about having refined and polished speech, and he ended up saying that I was a lady and that I make him want to be better. I think that’s what guys want. To be challenged to become better men. If they don’t want to be challenged and don’t want to respecting you by at least TRYING to change (like in this small way), I don’t think they’re worth it.

  • deanna says:

    This is such an important article, and an important reminder. I so often find myself pleasing rather than giving- seeking approval, even from people that I don’t like or approve of myself! It’s a knee jerk reaction and I often find that I do it without even realising- in fact, a lot of the time I don’ t even know my genuine reactions to a situation for hours or days later, or don’t know how to articulate it. It’s something to work on, for sure, because it’s also a matter of being sincer and honest and true to yourself.

  • rose says:

    Pleasing is doin somethin out of fear of loosing once love,out of desparation and the need of something in return while Givin is doing something when u truly care about somebody and their future. Thanks Renee u help me so much 2 understand things that disturb me so much and at times i wonder who would answer me , thanks again.

  • Reem says:

    That is so true we dont have to please anyone if they are true friends or lovers.

  • Kate says:

    Completely relate to this, thankyou Renee. I gave in to please a friend recently and I have been depressed about it, I wasn’t true to myself. There was a way we could have done it where I did my thing and she did hers, I think that would have challenged her desire for us to both do things together “on her timetable”. Her inability to do things herself may be a problem for her, and maybe in the long term I wasn’t helping her at all. Certainly she didn’t value or thank me for giving in. Thankyou again for the insight.

  • Kate says:

    Just spent a couple of days with a good friend camping. I gave into her on something quite important on the morning, and am still feeling the after effects. At the time, I told myself I had to be flexible( maybe we’re both as stobborn as each otherr?) and what is more important, me getting my way or not holding her up with the plans she made? Afterwards, I realzied I could have told her to go on ahead, that we could both devote the time we wanted to. But you know, I think it is her problem about wanting to do everything together? I could have taught her something if I’d held my ground> I wasn;t being true to myself, and I actually felt depressed about it the next day, somethings seeminly so small!! And stil now!

  • Becki says:

    WOW…what an amazing post. Renee, thank you for so clearly SPELLING this out. Until I read your post I didn’t realize consciously how much I was coming at life from this mindset. I think it’s going to take some time for me to get myself redirected, but, now at least I can get those first steps in. Thank you so much!

  • sarah says:

    Renee you are so accurate, i am going through a divorce i initiated it and i am trying to analyze what went wrong, it was because my husband took advantage of my pleaser habits and so he lost his respect for me and so treated me unkindly and i lost my love for him because the more i did the more he expected from me and he burdened me a lot even now he says you were doing what a wife is supposed to do.

  • Megan :) says:

    Renee you have such incredible insight and wisdom, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this piece! You are one of a kind!

    • Renee says:

      Hey Megan! 🙂 Thank You! I’m so glad you have enjoyed it, and thanks for your kind words, you are so lovely.
      Renee.
      -XxX-

  • Roses says:

    one of the other comments above:
    “They take advantage of us”
    If we offer, and they receive it, have they done anything but receive?
    in a certain way we have taken advantage of ourselves if we were giving from the place of fear-
    we have not appreciated our time and energy, our value, and given it out of fear.
    I cannot blame them, if I was the one who made the choice.
    and I am the one who is choosing. I can give, or not give. a little or a lot.
    Its up to me. which one will feel better now, AND later.

  • Ki'yah says:

    Thanks for this article, Renee! And good timing too! I looked back on my relationships and the common pattern I saw in each of them was that I wanted to please the guy. I loved them and acted out of that place in my heart, but I also acted from a place of fear and uncertainty that they’ll leave me and it comes out true lol!

    I think women tend to please not just because of society, but of an innate need to have emotional security in a relationship and/or friendship. We want to know that we’ll be loved and appreciated no matter what. We want to keep someone happy because it is certain. We feel we have control. In reality, nothing is for certain. I think a good way to start giving is by realizing that we don’t have control or responsibility over how someone else feels or thinks. It is what it is. From now on, I’m going to practive ‘giving love’ instead of trying ‘keeping him’.

    • Renee says:

      Ki’yah, thanks for adding this. You are on to it: nothing really is for certain. Hey, the nature of life is that it’s not certain!
      xoxoxo

  • Yas says:

    Thanks Renee. Pleasing is such a damaging cycle. Ugh, time to turn this around. Step 1 completed: turning down the offer of catching up with friends who never truly valued me (and that I didn’t really want to see anyway). It was hard, but I’m not afraid anymore. I value myself and my time.

  • Jasmine says:

    It isn’t your responsibility to “keep” him happy. Is happiness is dependent on himself. We are all responsible for our own happiness.

  • Jay. says:

    Thanks for this post. I sure have been pleasing more in my relationship. Gotta change that.
    Renee did you get my message on the ad.

  • Sara says:

    “Keep” is the favorite word among clingy people.

  • Telly says:

    Wow! The answer to my past problems….. Well a pleaser no more! Giving is the way.

  • Rita says:

    Big thanks Renee,i’ ve been a pleaser for the longest time!! I’ ve done this with my friends and with most men,and i actually ended up being the loser.I got to work on this big time.I am never contented with myself because of the feeling i’ve not done enough.Is she happy that i did that? was that really enough?how can i do more? are they mad at me because i said no? these are just a few questions that keep running through my head.And for sure thats not a life!! and actually i end up losing the people i’m trying to please.At the end of it all i become the loser and hurting more.I gotta stop this,Thanks Renee.

    • Renee says:

      Hey Rita 🙂 thanks for your contribution. I do believe it starts with you knowing that pleasing isn’t actually going to get you anywhere, in fact, by doing that, you’re actually back-tracking. Like you say, “and for sure that’s not a life!” 🙂
      Love to you.
      xoxo

  • Meike says:

    Oh dear, i’m a pleaser… what a wake-up call! Thanks Renee. Seriously this is exactly what went wrong all the time. I really don’t want to get out that piece of paper or else this will just get depressing lol. I’ve never ‘kept’ a friend for long i think and i always thought i just told myself it was because i got bored with them. Oh well. Very honest of you to say that this has been your experience too sometimes, and very encouraging to make a start!

  • Ettisen says:

    Thanks. This was an eye opening article, and yup, I am a pleaser. I play myself and others false every time. I say yes to something I want to say no to. I want to come off as something I am really not. I am not as nice as people say I am, nope, that’s just cowardice and dependancy. 🙁
    I no longer want to live my life this way. I am tired of fear. Fear of what others will think of me or how they will see me. Fear to stand up on my own two feet. I want to be genuine to myself and others.

    • Renee says:

      Ettisen, Thank You for your honesty! Yeah, saying yes to something you want to say no to is definitely something pleasers do often. But hey, you’re not ‘wrong’, and it’s not your fault. I trust you will make new and better decisions, to serve yourself and the people you love most.

  • zigmz pluto says:

    yup, guilty. I have always been a big pleaser, and now I have reached point in my life where I definately want to change that. Don’t know where to start…..

    • Renee says:

      Start with the piece of paper, dear Zigma!! (Zigmz? I do believe the name is incorrect)

      • zigma pluto says:

        Lol , yes, you are right, its zigma. I am actually feeling really depressed right now, don’t want to write anything down yet! But I am happy too, in a way, that I saw the root of my misery (perhaps knew it all along, but didnot want to accept)and I can change that and grow , become a better human being. Its quite a challange to stop living the way we have been living for 30 years, but I am up for it. Better late than never. Moreover, its simply impossible now to keep on living that way any more.

        • Renee says:

          Zigma, when you are depressed is the exact time when you need to do it most.
          Counter-intuitive? Yes. But will it work? Much more likely than continuing to feel depressed will.

  • Rhea says:

    When i read this article i realized , and i am glad to understand that I’ve never (almost never 🙂 ) been a pleaser but a giver. I have always tried to be myself no matter what ,without being egoistic. Never changed my plans or taken my friends for granted because my boyfriend said he would like to see me or something like that. I have always tried to give the right value to my friends and to my boyfriend as well :), and you know sometimes my girlfriends say me that maybe i am a bit inconsiderate towards him, but really i have to say that i identified myself in this article 🙂 thanks alot Renee!!!

    • Renee says:

      Hey Rhea 🙂 You’re welcome, lovely, and good for you! Well, we have all pleased before, to varying degrees. Just that some people tend to do it for their entire lifetime. We all pleased to get love, as children, and we all have a stage we go through when we have done it. 🙂

  • shamune says:

    I have seen many “keep him happy” kind of women in my culture and I have hated it from childhood. It feels false, slave like and the dangerous thing in it is that it leads to hater eventually. Men feel it anyway and the inner pressure grows.
    Givers can give when they like and despite of clever advices and game playing. Giving always has its answer in the Universe.

  • Amelia says:

    I think another thing that people don’t realize is that we are not responsible for another’s emotions. We have the fear of saying or doing something that will upset our friends or significant others and we don’t understand that they are in control of their reactions and it is not our fault ESPECIALLY if we say or do out of love.

  • Sha Williams says:

    A fine line separates, but what a difference between the 2. I often tell my honey that a giving attitude towards something makes it a gift we give each other. Pleasing is a response that takes the gift part away, and makes it expected. Say , for instance that he expects I will do the dishes after dinner, and I will please him by doing them-YUK. But if the dish doing is a gift from me to him, then I feel good about doing them and he as not taken away my gift, and he is thankful I’ve done them, not checking it off as an expected chore. I think that in any relationship, if you treat everything as if it is not owed to you, then it allows everything to be a gift, and one remains in a grateful state of mind. Once you cross over into “pleaser territory” they EXPECT it and take away your gift, and start saying things like, “I thought you were going to…” Would you please…
    How come…isn’t done yet. Whenever that comes out of thier mouth, it is like having a birthday and saying to a gift giver, “I thought you were going to get me a …instead of this. Sounds like a child huh. Don’t please, give, cuz you want to. Interesting as well, this is a great bellwether. If you find yourself resenting giving the gift, things are out of whack, and you need to stop giving, and make him see that his expectations are making him selfish. I say this from a womens point of view simply because even just 30 years ago, most of what women “give” today was “expected”
    yesterday,and men liked having a personal slave. Sometimes they revert or think they can get away with it for awhile. when that happens I like to go 50’s women on him and tell him that me working full time really isn’t in the interests of the family, and that he will need to increase his salary by 50%, so I can stay home, make sure the toaster is polished to a high shine, and all other chores are done by the time his second drink is finished, and the roast is pulled from the oven. Oh, and by the way, back then, missionary position was the only acceptable sexual position, proper women did not suck cock, nor did they have sex during the day. That usually clears things up, and as I pull back from oral-pleasuring him, I usually get a great big” thank you”!

  • Colleen says:

    Keeping to me denotes holding and holding seems fearful. lLove at its best is given openly and I dont feel we can hold it, it just is. I was a people pleaser during a stage. I listened to all of my voice mail requests week after week. Everyone was taking, with little concern for me. I literaly needed a poster boad to retain the to do list for others. Ironically, the few I knew were sincere in their appreciation for me, had few, if any request of me. Some of the takers were very close to me and it was difficult to accept that some may have been preying on my insecurities. One accused me of trying to buy love and that was a wake up call as that was so against my character. My giving spirit had moved to an obsessively, pleasing people spirit during grief. I was trying hold, to keep due to loss. I decided to heal from the disease to please. I took time off from them to gain clarity and much needed rest. I returned restored, no longer a pleaser, but empowered as a giver with heightened discernment. The users had fallen by the wayside, which was freeing. Those who truly loved me for me remained loving & loyal and I am grateful.

  • Jennifer Fulks says:

    Happiness is an individual choice. There is no way one individual can KEEP someone else happy. That would be exhausting trying.

  • mfon says:

    This is really nice. I have not heard it like dis b4. Atleast I have learnt. Looks like I hAve bin playing d pleaser role for so long.

  • Denise says:

    To me, the word “keeping” is synonymous with maintaining, effort, work, responsibility. And while relationships do require effort on one’s part, another’s happiness should not require work. Happiness is an individual experience, even a mindset. One can never fully control or create another’s happiness. In addition, trying to create and maintain happiness for another person can cause a woman to lose focus on herself, depleting herself so she is not the best SHE can be for the other person.

  • somrita says:

    I am slightly overweight. Nothing elephantine, but still, it could be better. The first situation you described under ‘Giving’ is something I have never heard from any of my girl friends, even the good ones. The meaning of ‘keep’ changes drastically with the shift in viewpoint- they may think they are (or may actually be) trying to ‘keep me happy’, but I (or any other person in this situation) might think they’re trying to ‘keep me overweight’!

    • jasmin says:

      In this politically correct age, we’ve been trained to adopt an “everyone is beautiful in their own way” mindset. There is even a very vocal “big is beautiful” movement. It’s no wonder that people gloss over the subject.

      Your friends probably think that they are just being accepting.

  • Uschi says:

    Keep him happy – means being afraid to be yourself so to hold on to him – keeping him – changing your ways to keep him – not being yourself etc

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