More threads by Dizzy


Well, this is the first time I have really opened up and presented this too anyone. But here goes.

I have a problem with worrying about what others are going to think. I always seem to think about what someone else might say before I go and do it. I've been like this for as long as I have known, but it seems to be affecting the way I live.

Other examples is, I always want everyone to like me. I don't want to have a conflict with anyone because then that person may not like me or like me less then before. Something else is lets say, at work if I want to make a descision on something, I will second guess and think about what my boss might say, what if he gets mad. What if co-workers get upset with my idea?

I can remember times where, i have paid for something and the person may have short changed me or charged me too much. I ususally would let it go because I feel its not worth making a big deal out of it. I know I do that all the time. Sometimes I will speak up but for the most part I would let it go.

Anytime I have an issue or conflict with anyone I try to stay clear of that person, not wanting to come in contact with them bringing the issue back up and having to discuss it. I sometimes feel like "things will just go away or work out on their own"

Its a strange feeling sometimes.

What could be causing this type of behaviour? What can be done to correct this?

Can anyone help me?


Mrs. King

I know this feeling Dizzy! I avoid conflict at all costs, and physically shake if I have to face confrontation. I used to think I was pleasant to everyone because I am a nice person, but actually I wonder if I am not a coward. That is the worst of actions. They always have more than one translation, and we usually choose to see the one which best fits our own world view. Look at your experience of confrontations. As a child, did you usually win, or were there dire consequences for 'sticking up for yourself'? I think I am frightened of confrontation because my dad was a bully. I also cannot bear for people to dislike me, or think the worst of me. I could not say why this is though :eek:) Perhaps because this might bring confrontation?


Mrs King,

Your last message sounds just like me. I wonder if I am a coward? I dont know? I wonder if my father caused this issue too. He was a "bully", always yelling, verbally abusive to my mom, brother and myself.

Its strange how silimar our situations are.

Have you done anything to correct this?

Mrs. King

Superficially, I am a very sociable and happy person. Underneath, I just wonder what life and relationships are all about? I wouldn't want to be a bully. They are not admirable, or any happier than their victims, as far as I can see. Neither do I fancy spending the rest of my life door-matting for others because I canot stand up for myself. Half the problem is that I can never tell when I am justified in being assertive. People can always tell me I am in the wrong, and I will consider all angles of the argument, until I agree with them. I am laughing, but it's not funny. I suppose it is one method of survival, but not a very satisfactory one! Assertiveness classes, perhaps?


Mrs. King, I totally agree with your statement. I am sociable, out going and everything. But if it comes down to an agrument or conflict I will just let it go and try to walk away even if I am right. I also try to laugh things off, basically so I dont have to show any emotion towards anything. I refuse to cry, I refuse to tell my true feelings. I feel like people will "talk about me" if I do anything.

I second guess everything I do. Always wondering, I am I doing this wrong? What do I do if its done wrong? Who's going to be mad?

I shift blame or pass the buck I guess. If a problem arrises I have a hard time admitting my mistakes. I will always try to clean me hands of the situation right away and make my name clean.

I have no idea what my problem is, wish I had some help.

I appreciate your replys Mrs. King, its nice to see someone with similar symptoms.


I think this is very common. I'm quite like that. I especially identify with the sentence of "never knowing whetherI'm justified in being assertive or not". That fits me.

This 'mental disorder' (!) is called not-valuing-yourself-for-yourself-therefore-constantly-checking-that-you're-"valuable"-from-other-people. Or "people-pleasing" in short. And I know many others who are like this too. Basically I think that deep down we aren't sure that we're nice people, so we need to constantly be reassured from others that we are nice. Or we feel under pressure that because deep down we feel that we are bad people, we need to cover ourselves up the whole time and second-guess e/1 to make sure to maintain our pretence of being nice. We can't just relax and be ourselves.

Having someone upset with us is the worst thing because when my opinion of myself is based on someone else, and that someone isn't very happy with me, that means I am a terrible person, because that person isn't happy with me now.
If I knew deep down that I was a nice person, and someone was upset with me or I had a run-in of some sort with someone, I'd be able to shrug it off like a lot of other people do because I know deep down that I'm a good person, and the fact that I've had a conflict with someone doesn't change the fact that I know I'm a decent person.

I know all this rationally but sadly it doesn't help change the way I feel all that much. I can't bear having conflict, with people upset with me. Really can't bear it.

I also lived for a long time being scared to show any emotion. I wasn't entitled to be upset by anyone or anything. Now I've improved, and am slowly trying to come to terms with the fact that I'm an emotional person, and that I'm entitled to have feelings. I can even act on those feelings occasionally if I'm feeling adventurous enough.
(normally though I act on rational and logic, and checking a thousand times that what I say or do will be neutral enough to please everyone.)



That makes a lot of sense, and that's how I see life at the moment too. I beat myself down all the time and never end up doing anything. I think its an age where ppl are more open and matter-of-fact these days so its harder for 'nice' ppl to cope. I always find it hard to confront ppl, and physically avoid them even if it means taking the long route, or something along those lines.

Lost, you're right, second guessing someone else's thoughts is just horrible, and I hate doing it although I always do. Often I find after I've done or said something that this is not what the person would've thought anyway.

I think you set out to please someone you really respect, and in this case it's my dad, so when I can't seem to please him I can't seem to please anyone else because I identify myself with him. It's a bit like saying if your dad is an alcoholic, you think you have it in you to be one too.

Self assertiveness is very important as said by Mrs. King, and don't be afraid of making mistakes coz its a part of life. You can't please everyone, or you'll end up losing yourself in the bargain. Please keep that in mind, and hopefully you'll feel more confident soon :)


Some of those things Mrs. King said I know I've felt. The physical shaking after standing up to someone is really rough. You finally get the nerve up to confront someone and you just start shaking and the heart starts going a mile a minute, And it can stay with you for hours or anytime you think about it.

Not knowing when to be assertive is another one, I honestly don't know when it's normal to stand up for myself. It's really 2 battles in one because first you have to figure out if it's appropriate then you have to actually go and do it.

I know often when I'm about to disagree with someone I think ahead to any possible way they could be right or anyway I could be wrong. It's so frustrating to have to try to construct the perfect arguement everytime you talk to people.

If it's seriously effecting your life you may want to get some help before it gets worse, even just getting a diagnosis so you know what you're up against.

I think living in the moment is a good thing to do, but you have to be able to let peoples insults and such roll off your back to do that effectively and I haven't been able to figure out how to do that yet.


I haven't been able to figure that out yet either...

The only thing that very rarely helps is when I'm really busy or preoccupied with something and I don't have the time to get upset about... whatever it was. But that is probably just escaping from the insult, not dealing with it.


after reading this thread, I found the following websites from google... hopefully some of them will come in handy to all of you and anyone else who may wish to take a look at them- myself included!

I think learning more about being assertive, and not so much a people pleaser will in the end pay off big time- for yourself emotionally, mentally, probably even physically, career wise. It's a given to think "if I'll be nice, or do this favour for person X etc. then they will like me, or I will be worthy, or they will remeber the next time" etc. but the reality of the matter is that that's a perfect situation and things don't work like that- people take favours w/out much thought, why would they, they think you're doing it voluntarly and it's not at their expense... so in the end they come to expect this "nice" behaviour of you but it's at your own expense and over the long run this can become quite unhealthy and you end up losing yourself in trying to be reassured all the time, trying to be nice, trying to be perfect and forgetting that it's okay not to be all those things all the time.

Assertiveness Quiz (just write down the answers on a piece of paper, no need to print for the cost)
Assertiveness Skills | The Art of Saying No | Impact Factory London

Define: Assertiveness (google)
Assertiveness - Wikipedia

Talks about being a people pleaser and a variety of other topics oct2002.pdf

Assertiveness Quiz, Tools, Techniques[/i]
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