November 18, 2019 Stacey Mendelson 0 Comments

I have noticed over the last year that an inordinate number of my clients that are in high-conflict divorces have a lifelong addiction to people pleasing. 

I am a recovering people pleaser.

This addiction is really not our fault. The behaviour is indoctrinated in us as children. “Behave in a way that pleases your parents.” 

Then it gets perpetuated by a general human desire to be liked by others. 

People pleasing means agreeing to things we don’t really agree with and involves saying yes to things that we actually don’t want to do. People pleasing means going along with the opinions or preferences of others at the expense of our own.

When we are practising people pleasing – which is a natural state for most of us divorcing empaths –  we are doing things that are not aligned with our core beliefs or desires. 

Resentment is the hallmark of being a people pleaser.

The truth about people pleasing:

  • the need to do this arises from fear (of upsetting others, of disappointing others, of being disliked or excluded)
  • it is a futile attempt to manipulate others to have a positive opinion of us
  • it reinforces a belief that other people’s opinions are more important than our own
  • it teaches our inner self that we have someone else back more than our own


When we don’t call the police on our ex who has been threatening us, it is because we did not want to upset him.

More truths about people pleasing:

  • we cannot control other peoples opinion of us
  • other people get to think whatever they want about us
  • people pleasers are LIARS because they are not telling their truth

Bravely state your truth

Stop living from a place of pleasing. We can learn to be honest to both ourselves and others. We can agree to do things from a place of love instead of fear. We can challenge ourselves bravely show up as the real me. We can learn to be okay if someone is disappointed by our choices as long as we have our own back.