Today’s thought from Hazelden is:
Have you ever been around people pleasers? They tend to be displeasing. Being around someone who is turned inside out to please another is often irritating and anxiety producing.
People pleasing is a behavior we may have adapted to survive in our family. We may not have been able to get the love and attention we deserved. We may not have been given permission to please ourselves, to trust ourselves, and to choose a course of action that demonstrated self trust.
People pleasing can be overt or covert. We may run around fussing over others, chattering a mile a minute when what we are really saying is, “I hope I’m pleasing you.” Or, we may be more covert, quietly going through life making important decisions based on pleasing others.
Taking other people’s wants and needs into consideration is an important part of our relationships. We have responsibilities to friends and family and employers. We have a strong inner responsibility to be loving and caring. But, people pleasing backfires. Not only do others get annoyed with us, we often get annoyed when our efforts to please do not work as we planned. The most comfortable people to be around are those who are considerate of others but ultimately please themselves.
Help me, God, work through my fears and begin to please myself.
Read over these statements to see if they apply to you under some circumstances:
- I try to be who someone wants me to be.
- am afraid to rock the boat.
- It is hard for me to know what I want.
- I avoid speaking my mind.
- I find it easier to go along with what someone wants or with their opinion.
- I fantasize about a strong person taking over my life and making it work.
- It is hard for me to express my feelings when they are different from someone I’m close to.
- It is difficult for me to say No.
- I avoid getting angry.
- It is hard for me to take initiative.
- I try to be nice rather than expressing how I really feel.
- I want everyone to get along.
If any of these statements are true the consider reading more:
When a toxic person can no longer control you, they will try to control how others see you. The misinformation will feel unfair, but stay above it, trusting that other people will eventually see the truth, just like you did.
Some thoughts on theology and 12 Step Programs
It is common knowledge that AA (and therefore the entire Twelve Step movement) had its birth within and evangelical Christian movement known as the Oxford Group. AA separated itself from the Oxford Group prior to the publication of the Big Book. The Big Book contains some religious language, but only mentions Jesus once, and then only in passing. This has left historians and AA members divided over some important questions. Just how Christian was early AA? Who is the God of the Big Book? Is this the Christian God, or can we really take this to mean a God of our own understanding?
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“We have problems in Alano,
and many are praying and waiting for God to do something.
I just wonder if maybe our God isn’t waiting for us to do something.
And while no one is capable of doing everything;
Everyone is capable of doing something.”
Paraphrased from Ronald Reagan.
Once a brave when to his elder, to speak of his anger toward a friend who had done him an injustice. The Elder listened, then replied:
“At times I too have felt great fury at those who have taken so much with no sorrow for what they do. But hate destroys you and does not harm your enemy. I struggled with these feelings many times.”
The Elder continued, “It is as if there are two wolves inside me; one is good and does no harm. He lives in harmony with all around him, and does not take offense when no offense was intended. He will only fight when it is right to do so, and then he fights in the right way.
“But…the other wolf…Ah! The littlest thing will send him into a fit of temper. He is vengeful, angry, and violent.
“It is hard to live with these two wolves inside me, for both try to dominate my spirit. The same fight goes on inside you, and inside every other human as well.”
The Brave paused in deep reflection, then asked, “Grandfather, which wolf will win the fight?”
The Elder replied, “The wolf that you feed”.
1. All or nothing thinking—
a. Everything is black or white
b. The basis of perfectionism
c. Feelings of rejection, disappointment, depression
a. Arbitrarily conclude that a single negative event will occur again and again.
3. Selective negative focus—
a. Pick out a negative detail, dwell on it, exaggerate it, everything becomes negative.
4. Disqualifying the positive—
a. Disregarding compliments
b. Swallowing negative
5. Arbitrary interference—
a. Mind reading – drawing negative conclusion
b. Negative predictions
6. Magnification or minimization—
a. Tendency to exaggerate weak points about self and to minimize good points.
7. Emotional reasoning—
a. Take emotions as evidence for truth
i. Feel guilty so must have done something wrong
ii. Feel hopeless so the problem is impossible
8. Should Statements
a. Feel guilty about what we “should” be doing of have done.
9. Labeling and mislabeling—
a. Creating completely negative image based on focus on negative.
b. Exaggerated thoughts create exaggerated emotions then exaggerated actions, etc.
c. “One error does not a failure make”
a. The mother of guilt
i. “Where did I go wrong?”
ii. Feel rejecting of self.
Lessons From The Geese
This fall, when you see geese heading south for the winter flying along in a ‘V” formation, you might consider what science has discovered as to why they fly that way.
FACT: As each bird flaps its wings, it creates “uplift” for the bird immediately following. By flying in a “V” formation, the whole flock has at least 71% greater flying range than if each bird flew on its own.
LESSON: People who share a common direction and sense of community can get where they are going more quickly and easily because they are traveling on the thrust of one another.
FACT: When a goose flies out of formation, it suddenly feels drag and resistance of trying to go it alone. It quickly gets back into formation to take advantage of the lifting power of the bird in front of it.
LESSON: If we have as much commons sense as a goose, we stay in formation with those heading where we want to go. We are willing to accept their help and give our help to others. It is harder to do something alone than together.
FACT: When the lead goose gets tired, it rotates back into the formation, and another goose flies to the point position.
LESSON: It is sensible to take turns doing the hard and demanding tasks and sharing leadership. As with geese, people are interdependent of each other’s skills, capabilities, and unique arrangements of gifts, talents, or resources.
FACT: The geese flying in formation honk from behind to encourage those up front to keep up their speed.
LESSON: We need to make sure our honking is encouraging. In groups where there is encouragement, the production is much greater. The power of encouragement (to stand by one’s heart or core values and encourage the heart and care of others)is the quality of honking we seek. We need to make sure our honking is encouraging and not discouraging.
FACT: When a goose gets sick, wounded, or shot down, two other geese will drop out of formation with that goose and follow it down to lend help and protection. They stay with the fallen goose until it dies or is able to fly again. Then, they launch out on their own, or with another formation to catch up with their flock.
LESSON: If we have the sense of a goose, we will stand by our colleagues and each other in difficult times as well as in good.
The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than successes, than what other people think, say, or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness, or skill. It will make or break a company, a church, a home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past – we cannot change the fact people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude – I’m convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it.