People Pleasing and Love Addiction
Hartwell M.Sc. of www.HealMyLife.com
People Pleasing is a powerful web of childhood experiences, beliefs,
and painful feelings that result in this meta-strategy to gain love,
secure belonging, a safe home base. With such a firm foundation in
the experiences of childhood this choice, this compulsion, this
mind-set of earning love becomes solid as rock and impossible to stop.
Based on this decision, belief, experience and perception of life
that one's caretakers are not going to provide unconditional love, a
child devises people pleasing strategies to earn love. These
earning love strategies might include: perfectionism, doing what is
right, always being good, never giving offense, not expressing anger,
working hard, and seeking measurable achievement including Type A
behaviour pattern associated with heart attack.
Taken to extremes the child, and later the adult, becomes competative
for love and begins to put down rivals for love which can solidify
into the ugly habit of religious or non-religious self-righteousness.
Do you know anyone who counters any good report about yourself or you
children with an example from his or her life or family?
Annoying, isn't it? That is competative People Pleasing.
Love Addiction and People Pleasing
Addictions and addictive behaviours are maintained, sustained and
rewarded by escape from pain. The pain in People Pleasing is
the sinking feelings that I did something wrong and will not be loved
as a result. In fact there is a whole set of beliefs and
associtated negative feelings called "The Pit" (my term)
that anyone would want to escape.
Are you a People Pleaser? Do you find that when you experience
criticism, failure, or confrontation you over-react. All of a
sudden you are angry or depressed. Your response seems way out
proportion to the event.
Here is what has happened. Your worse fears and most painful
negative beliefs have just been triggered. You just dropped
into "The Pit."
Down in the pits, you experience extremely negative beliefs and very
painful feelings. See The Program
and the Pit. (These feelings are stored in the memory bank
of the Limbic System or Emotional Brain. For more about the brain
read "Heal Your brain, Heal your life." )
The Pit is a painful, adverse, frightening, depressing experience
that anyone would want to escape. Your dysfunctional way to
escape (to assure safety, security and love) is people pleasing.
This program is by now second nature. You used it in childhood
to gain mother or father's approval and, by now, it is a longstanding
way of life - a personality pattern. But now it fuels love addiction.
Gaining the prize - avoiding the pit and feeling in control by
following the program - is enough to reward love addiction. The
Pit is a painful; the people pleasing program provides relief.
Following the program is rewarded by avoiding rejection and gaining
praise and affection. This creates the Love Addiction cycle.
Get with the People Pleasing program. >
Earning love is rewarded by conditional love. >
Experience of criticism, failure or rejection. (down)
Leads one back to the program ^
Leads down into
This painful experience motivates one to escape the Pit.
Painful beliefs create painful feelings.
Triggers one to reexperience painful beliefs in the Pit.
Whatever the behaviour it has the characteristics of an addictive
substance in that:
A full understanding of love addiction should also consider the
powerful chemicals (dopamine) that a released in the brain when one
is 'in love." Cocaine and "falling in love" both
create the brain to be flooded by dopamine. The 'dopamine
effect' may be another factor in love addiction.
To understand why the relief of People Pleasing - our love addiction
- does not provide permanent relief see: "People
pleasing - a sacrfice for love."
For my testimony of growing up as a People Pleasers and what it cost
me, see "being
a people pleaser and losing out on love."