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The Birth of a People Pleaser

Dear Reader,

Welcome to Lentz Letters! In the mail today I received an adorable card from a friend announcing the birth of their first child. As I gazed at this photo of the adorable bundle of joy, I was reminded of how my precious package from the stork changed how I did life. I related well to the following quotes from other parents:

“’So, I stepped away for like two seconds…’ the beginning of a parenting horror story.”

Both of us can’t look good at the same time; it’s me or the house.”

“You know your life has changed when going to the grocery store by yourself is a vacation.”

Every time I say “no” my kids hear “Ask Again! She didn’t understand the question!”

I guess there are many reasons why parents use humor to replace their initial euphoric state of wonderment about their little miracle. The bottom line with raising children is it is well worth all the sleepless hours, uncomfortable teachable moments, and unmentionable smells that children bring into our lives. When the caregiver is willing to invest in understanding how to respond to the child’s needs, then the child learns to replace their innocence with know- how, love and care for themselves as they grow. Unfortunately, over time the innocence of a child can be lost for a completely different reason. Parents or caregivers who are more invested on their own physical or mental illness, addiction or other stressors ignore their little one’s needs. Instead of the caregiver changing or adjusting with the new addition to the family the child is doing all the adjusting and is expected to take on more to meet the needs of the parent. So begins the birth of a people pleaser. People pleasers begin as parent pleasers. Parents of people pleasers are so consumed with their own problems that it is the child’s needs that go by the wayside. In these early relationships, children learn to neglect their own needs so they can connect in some way with their unstable parent. The child settles for an ounce of approval for a moment in time by bringing his/her caregiver the best moods, the least problems and the most help. Asserting oneself and saying no becomes taboo for fear of rejection. This young budding people pleaser becomes pre-occupied with a desire for more moments of positive attention by striving to understand what others think, feel, and want. This spills over into their adult lives with one-sided relationships that require more giving than receiving, forgetting their own needs and core identity. All the result of investing all their care, love, and attention in providing for others rather than themselves.

This cycle of unfulfilling and heartbreaking relationships with others doesn’t have to continue! Learn how to find yourself through the next Circle of Hope group about codependency. Call today to learn skills to stop attempting to please everyone by finding yourself.

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