By Vince Shifflett
It seems most of my life I have certainly been afflicted with the “Disease to Please.” My desire and/or need to please has too frequently led to my inability to say no. My dis-ease to please has really been prevalent in my relationships. Where did my disease to please come from?
As with most things in my life, my disease to please came from a place of fear. Fear of not being accepted if I didn’t please. Fear of being alone if I didn’t please. Fear of hurting someone if I said no even though I was hurting. My disease to please also came partly from my lack of feeling worthy. Worthy enough to please myself.
Being a Registered Nurse, I have always been a care-taker. Concerned more about the needs and desires of others than my own. The need to please and take care of others. Being a care-taker is perfectly fine and a great quality to have in my opinion as long as you take care of yourself first and foremost. That has been my challenge. I have been more focused on pleasing him to keep him.
My disease to please stems way back to my childhood. It not only comes from a place of fear but also from a place of insecurity. The feeling of not being good enough to please myself. I must please others. It seems I spent most of my childhood trying to please the man known as my father. I wanted his love and acceptance so bad. Unfortunately, I never got it.
Setting boundaries is part of the key to controlling the disease to please affliction. I am working on setting boundaries and am grateful to have come a long way. Not quite 100% there yet, but certainly more aware.
I have found it important to set boundaries with:
- Romantic Partners
Saying no and putting yourself first is not selfish at all. It is essential. It is perfectly okay to say no. It is perfectly okay to set boundaries with how people treat you and how you treat yourself. It is not okay for family, friends, jobs or romantic partners to disrespect you in any way. Say no and walk away.
Is it okay to want to please? Absolutely. Anytime we can make someone smile or add to their life in a positive way, that’s a good thing. It is when we are unable to say no and go against what our spirit is telling us that it becomes a problem.
I have suffered from this more in romantic relationships than anything. Fear of saying no. The overwhelming disease to please my partner for fear of losing him even when it meant not being true to myself. My biggest fear, particularly as I grow older, has been the fear of being alone. I have allowed this fear to keep me afflicted with this dis-ease to please. I am learning that we are never really all alone. We are one with universal energy and one with spirit. We are all connected. Yes, there will be times when you feel disconnected. Take that time to please yourself. Take that time to be good to yourself. Use the dis-ease to please in your favor.
A little compromise for the one you love is perfectly fine from time to time. Just don’t lose yourself in the process because you are eaten up with the disease to please. Please each other but most of all, please yourself.
The disease to please makes one a perfect target to be taken advantage of or simply taken for granted. Set boundaries. Say no. It is empowering and part of self-care.
Vince is a Critical Care Registered Nurse, Author, and Speaker. You can follow him on Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram as well as on his website at www.vinceshifflett.com