People Pleasing Equals Failure

Aug 9, 2021 | codependence, codependency, featured, gaslighting, Getting Past Your Breakup, people pleasing

by Susan J. Elliott, J.D., M.Ed.

Author, Attorney, Podcaster, Media Commentator, Motivational Speaker, and Creator of the World's Most Successful Breakup Program. 

  • Getting Past Your Breakup: How To Turn A Devastating Loss Into The Best Thing That Ever Happened To You (Hachette Book Group 2009)
  • Getting Back Out There: Secrets to Successful Dating and Finding Real Love After the Big Breakup (Hachette Book Group 2015)
  • Getting Past Your Past Workbook: The Definitive Workbook to Emotional Healing, Health and Happiness (La Bella Vita Publishing 2012)
  • GPYP Power! Affirmations (La Bella Vita Publishing 2019) 

I cannot give you the formula for success, but I can give you the formula for failure–which is: Try to please everybody. ~Herbert Bayard Swope

There are essential insanities and inessential insanities. Essential insanities get us in trouble with others. Inessential insanities get us in trouble with ourselves. It is always preferable to be in trouble with others, in fact it may be essential. ~ Tom Robbins “Still Life With Woodpecker”

I believe that my life became incredibly happy once I said to hell with what the dysfunctional people in my life wanted from me. I realized, at some point, that I wouldn’t please them in a million years and I was sick of the fact that I had turned myself inside out by trying to do just that. I was tired and frustrated. I was incredibly depressed and sad about my inability to get credit for anything I did.

I’ve posted on this blog that when I was married to my first husband, I would clean the house on Saturday and my husband would berate me for not taking the kids to the park. If I took the kids to the park he would berate me for not cleaning the house. If I did both he would find something wrong in the house and tell me that I purposelly screwed it up so he wouldn’t ask me to do it again.

I spent YEARS in defense of myself and years in defense of things he said I was thinking that I was not. And the next week I tried harder only to fail again.

My life was not about what I wanted or what would be good for me but what I could do to stay out of trouble. The problem was, I was always in trouble.

When I started to get better, I had to stop inviting the opinion of others. Especially others who would never have a good opinion. I had to learn to say things like, “What you think of me is none of my business.” and “If you have a problem with the way I’ve done it, do it yourself.”

I got out from under the thumb of critical and controlling people by letting them know I didn’t really care what they thought anymore. I was no longer the puppet they could make dance by pulling on the strings. I cut the strings.

When my ex husband would criticize the house and say “You like to live like a slob.” I knew it wasn’t true and I knew that a few things out of place here and there (esp with 3 kids in residence!) was not “living like a slob” but I was done with those arguments. He would never hear them because that was not the point. The point was to berate and criticize me. So after a time I simply said, “Yes I do like living like a slob…so sue me.”

I‘ve said over and over again, the only way to win is not to play the game. THIS is not playing the game. THIS is stepping out of the dance. When you step out of the dance, they don’t know what to do. They start tripping over their feet…and it’s fun to watch. The GPYB Program is ALL ABOUT not playing the game. Eventually you don’t want to play because life is so much nicer, quieter, neater and “real”-er without the games.

Never again will you march like a marionette to some disordered shithead’s idea of what you should or should not be doing.

Never again will some dysfunctional bananahead succeed when they try to inflict and insert his or her idiotic viewpoint about you on you.

Never again will you feel less than or perturbed or troubled when you don’t measure up to someone who isn’t qualified to guess your shoe size yet alone pronounce what’s wrong with you.

By doing the GPYB program, especially the affirmations and especially the Personal Bill of Rights Affirmations, you learn that the way to succeed is to not fall victim to boundary crashers, personality disordered troglydytes and trolls of the lowest order. 

The GPYB Program teaches you that NC is not rude or mean or impolite…it’s taking care of YOU.  The GPYB Program teaches that you cannot set a boundary and take care of someone else’s feelings at the same time.  The GPYB Program teaches you can’t please everyone so you might as well please yourself FIRST AND FOREMOST.  The GPYB Program teaches that you cannot accept crumbs when you deserve the whole damn loaf of bread.  The GPYB program teaches that what others think of you is none of your business.  The GPYB program teaches you to not live in accordance with what others think you should be doing, but what you come to find (through the program) you WANT to be doing. 

To thine own self be true OR Bullshit Thy Self NOT. 

You can find all the help you need in the tenets of the program. It’s all there waiting for you to grab onto it, clear the wreckage of the past, clap your hands over your ears when the dysfunctional Greek chorus begins, find your true and authentic self and have your best life EVER. It’s time to be in trouble with others and out of trouble with yourself.

When I started to shrug my shoulders at my ex husband and his ridiculous taunts, I started to find immeasurable pleasure in his inability to come back at me.  He had been so used to seeing me defend myself, “No I don’t like living like a slob!  Here, let me prove it to you!  I will show you through blood, sweat and tears!” Only to be chastized for leaving entrails of blood, sweat and tears all over the place. (This is not an exaggeration…the night I was in labor with my 3rd child, he came home after being summoned back from his girlfriend’s house (see My Story on YouTube) and silly me, in late stage labor, alone with 2 little kids and bleeding all over the place, forgot to clean up the mess.  What was I thinking? 

I’ve said over and over again, the only way to win is not to play the game. THIS (Why YES, I do like living like  slob!) is not playing the game. THIS is stepping out of the dance. When you step out of the dance, they don’t know what to do. They start tripping over their feet…and it’s fun to watch.

Sometimes being in trouble with others is ESSENTIAL to not being in trouble with yourself.

Unhook the claws of critical and controlling people.

Do things the way you want to do them.

Get in touch with what that is and you will get in touch with who you are.  And unlike the dysfunctional lunatics of the world who have NO VESTED INTEREST in giving you their approval, YOU give YOU your approval all the livelong day.  Never ever ever stop. 




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