Article updated 2018

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.

(There Are Exactly 7 Signs That A Woman is Perceived as Low Value to Men. Do You Know What They Are? (& How to Avoid Them Like the Plague)? Click here to find out right now…)

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.

(Do You Know What the 2 Most Critical Elements of Any Intimate Relationship Are and How They Will Make or Break Your Love Life? Click here to find out right now…)

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.

(What Is The One Specific Emotional Trigger Within Every Single Man in this World That Inspires Him to WANT to Commit to One Woman, Want to Take Care of Her, Worship Her and Only Her? Click here to find out right now…)

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.

(By the way, I’ve just published my brand new DVD titled “Becoming His One & Only!”… and right now it’s FREE for you to get a copy. Click HERE to find out more details and how you can get your man to fall deeper in love with you and beg you to be his one and only)

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Jonna Jasmina
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Jonna Jasmina

Oh dear….

I might replace the phrase “keep him/her happy” with “make him/her happy”… at least it sounds better.

Yes, I do like the idea that we’re here on Earth to serve (humankind), so I see why “keeping” someone happy could be the thing. I’ve wondered this in my life… what is the place where it’s coming from… So there’s definitely two places – the pleaser and the giver.

The pleaser lacking dark energy? And the giver having enough that dark energy to give it some spank? 😉

REBORN SOUL
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REBORN SOUL

I love this article. I spent most of my life confusing Giving and Pleasing. Now at 36 years old, although I probably make far less people happy and have lost some people who I thought were friends, I finally learned that Giving instead of Pleasing has made me a stronger individual and more self assured.

Linda
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Linda

THANK YOU !

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

The Dude
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The Dude

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… Read more »

Cari
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Cari

Thank you for being so open and sharing your views…they are very valuable to everyone on here

Amy Kammerer
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Amy Kammerer

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

Cari
Guest
Cari

In your opinion only…you have just judged the gentleman above for being open about how he feels.

Elise
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Elise

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
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Caryn Parker

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
Guest
candygirl7

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
Guest
Ana

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… Read more »

LiveWire
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LiveWire

“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… Read more »

Wendy
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Wendy

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
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Karma

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… Read more »

Diane Kahl
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Diane Kahl

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
Guest

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… Read more »

Alpha Woman
Guest

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… Read more »

Linda
Guest
Linda

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
Guest
madhu

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
Guest
Me

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
Guest
Kim

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… Read more »

Karma
Guest
Karma

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… Read more »

Linda
Guest
Linda

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

Kc
Guest
Kc

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… Read more »

Joan
Guest
Joan

“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
Guest
James

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
Guest
EpiphanyRose

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… Read more »

JoJo84
Guest
JoJo84

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… Read more »

Pinkhearts
Guest
Pinkhearts

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,… Read more »

Jacques
Guest
Jacques

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… Read more »

Holly
Guest
Holly

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… Read more »

Joan
Guest
Joan

Here’s a big hug cause I don’t know how to make a hug emoticon. And I’ll be sending positive thoughts 🙂

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