The Downside to People Pleasing in Sobriety

In our current day of age, everybody wants to be accepted and be one of the “cool kids”- to a certain extent. For some, cool is a word that is completely unfamiliar. Really it’s validation of others that we crave. To be liked and even just be acknowledged is really what most of us desire at the end of the day. For most, I believe we can agree that it usually feels good to be praised and to be held in some form or high regard. To have somebody be proud of us and know we are looked upon with purpose is a very comforting feeling. We all strive for comfort in some way or another.

However, there’s a fine line to be set between people pleasing and being Mr. Nice Guy. There needs to be the separation of doing something on our own accord or doing something out of the societal pressures we face regularly. A common fear for most is disappointing or receiving the disapproval of somebody whose opinion matters to us most. Setting boundaries can be a tough thing for anybody, especially setting your own people pleasing terms and having to actually say “no” to somebody in recovery. It takes practice, but it’s better than becoming a doormat.

Drawing Your Line in the Sand

A large portion of addicts and alcoholics enter recovery and have poor self-esteem. So naturally, we enter the rooms of Alcoholics or Narcotics Anonymous and we leech onto somebody who will guide us and show us that we are not alone. For most of us, when in this position, the last thing we would ever dream of doing is upsetting those that we’re trying to fit in with still. Seeking their approval feels like a necessity to continue staying sober for some. For me, this meant people pleasing and doing things that my heart wasn’t in. This was allowing myself to be put in many situations that were bumpy, to say the least. Situations that tested my sobriety and that about pushed me back in the direction of the devilish chemicals calling my name.

When push comes to shove, staying authentic is a much more admirable characteristic. Being able to say “no” and standing your ground in early sobriety is a muscle that must be practiced. This strength will save us from ourselves and the alcoholic thinking that condones the shady places we wind up in. We forget that we got clean and entered this recovery thing for ourselves- not the selfish benefit of others.

take care of yourself

Staying True to You

In recovery and early sobriety, establishing a new foundation of sorts is crucial. Saying no in sobriety to somebody can be nerve racking because nobody really likes to be told no. We build this up in our head as something that can make or break us. Fortunately for us, recovery is not like high school and shouldn’t ever be looked at as “what I have to do to fit in.” We fabricate people pleasing as our number one go-to in avoidance of ourselves. To put it bluntly, we love the feeling we get from kissing a little bit of ass and often times end up chasing it.  

As human beings, especially as addicts and alcoholics, we always want more. We tend to want to push life to its limits and then question why it decided to bite back. At some point down the road, we stop listening to reason and any logical gumption. Our alcoholic thinking takes us and wraps us up in fear while simultaneously preventing us from realizing the other problems the people pleasing is stirring up for us. 99% of the time we are professionals at rationalizing our actions and the alcoholic thought processes that project on the walls of our best thinking. Making excuses becomes more than just a habit and before you know it, we start justifying relapses. The whole point of this recovery thing is to stay clean and avoid the miserable existence we once lived- right? Well, there are a number of things that we end up doing as we start to open the kiss ass doors- and for some reason, we never realize it until were already in it. Some things include but are not limited to

  •         Always being pressed for time or late
  •         Avoiding conflict and confrontation
  •         Often feeling taken advantage of
  •         Fear that people may stop liking you
  •         Afraid of being viewed at as selfish or any negative manner

These are just a few of the insecurities we project onto other dues to our obsessive human satisfying ways.

Watch Your Motives

Another downside to people pleasing is how it can be abused. Time and time again you will see addicts doing this brown-nosing dance of sorts to persuade somebody into a direction that benefits them. Class A manipulation if you will. That’s the thing though- just because all the substances are gone doesn’t mean that a life of integrity is necessarily there. When it comes to our alcoholism, these are the things that we must work on to improve in our process. Learning to be self-reliant and seeing others as actual human lives- not just as people that are objects or toys for your pleasing, is a step in the right direction. It’s really as simple as putting your foot down and not budging for others because of false promises and snake-like smiles.

In the end, it’s about standing up to others and yourself to create a better life. If we allow people to walk all over us and take advantage, then we might as well have not gotten clean. The drugs and booze walked all over us for years and we were just people pleasing the chemicals as they walked in and out of this abusive relationship, we couldn’t say no to. Learning to be assertive and speak your mind is a quality asset to have. It’s better to have been completely honest and embarrass yourself than to create a web of people pleasing fibs that ultimately draw to your demise. Some situations are just not that simple to walk away from, and once you get stuck- it’s just going to get uglier. Remember- “there are no dues or fees for A.A. membership.” Take care of self first and the rest will follow.

Please Yourself

Being trapped in active addiction is a life consisting of bad choices and finding yourself in repeated situations of personal sacrifice. It gets old while being uncomfortable almost becomes the norm. We all deserve to be free from the alcoholic bind that causes us to step so blindly. If you or a loved one has been struggling with getting a firm grasp on sobriety and need detoxification, please call 877-978-3125 or visit www.coastaldetox.com. Our teams of specialists are waiting by to help figure out what options are best for sending your life is a comfortable direction that you can proudly stand behind.

 

Real Client Testimonials

  • Before coming to coastal I was hopeless, helpless, and my family wanted nothing to do with me. It wasn’t the first detox I’d ever been to, but it was the only one who showed me so much love and compassion. They gave me hope. It’s hard to put into words the amount of gratitude I have for this facility. The employees were my family when I had none. The staff went out of their way to make sure not only were my physical needs taken care of, but my emotional needs as well. From the first phone call prior to admission, to helping me set up continuing care, they never missed a beat. Even going as far as to help me with my legal issues via Zoom court. This isn’t just a detox, they are the family I never had. All of the techs, especially Karen, are phenomenal. They will take the time to listen to you, laugh, and cry(if needed) with you. If you are reading this and you or your loved one is suffering like I was, go to Coastal Detox. The level of care is more than I could ever put into a review. It wasn’t the first detox I’d been to, but it has been my last; I owe them everything I have today, including my life.

    Travis B. Avatar
    Travis B.
    12/07/2020
  • Had a really good experience at Coastal. The staff really went above and beyond in helping me get in and gave me the respect l, space and care I needed after I first got there. As I started to fell better they encouraged me to take part in groups which helped get me out of my head and bring positivity and health to my thinking. They had a great massage therapist, who came daily and it was evident the nursing staff genuinely cared. Got to know some of the staff as well and I’m grateful for the cooks Joe and Chris. Those guys literally made us sirloins and pork chops for dinner. Also I gotta thank Chris and Chris for helping me get in and setting me up with a transition plan. Real grateful for that help, I’m not sure if it’s management intention to hire guys named Chris but they got a good thing going there. Overall, I’m clean and sober today and walking it out. Coastal gave me a base that set me up for the success that I’m walking in today

    Brandon B. Avatar
    Brandon B.
    1/16/2020
  • My family is very thankful for Coastal Detox. They have went above and beyond for my son a few times. Unfortunately he has needed their help more than once and they have ever turned their back on him, even when he was at his worst. Jeannie and Chris have been amazing and kept me informed through the entire process. They truly care about the addict and want to help them especially when it would be easy to give up on them. I had many detox facilities be rude and uncaring to me when I was searching for help for my son, but Coastal never did that to us. I don't know the names of all the team members that have helped my son but I know their are many and y'all are angels!! One day we will be able to pay it forward and help someone as you have helped us. Thank you for all you do!!

    Brenda A. Avatar
    Brenda A.
    1/01/2020
  • Can not say enough nice things about Coastal Detox & staff. Family member was there, told me five stars for the facility & all whom she interacted with. Said the facilities, ambience..., cleanliness, grounds, food, (think their chef is five stars), were all top shelf. All I interacted with personally & on the phone were patient, professional, responsive & caring. Kudos to so many: Jeannie Jones, Clinical Director whom I spent the most face to face time with: great oversight, patience & follow thru. Raquel Barker, Therapist was so understanding & on spot with her assessments/care. Kris Garrigus Admissions Director, another Coastal professional whom I cannot say enough nice things about, always so patient & responsive to my probably too frequent inquires. Not to be forgotten is Judy Tucker, Director of Operations she too so patiently "put up with me"
    I highly recommend Coastal Detox

    Susan C. Avatar
    Susan C.
    11/13/2019
  • Can not say enough nice things about Coastal Detox & staff. Family member was there, told me five stars for the facility & all whom she interacted with. Said the facilities, ambience..., cleanliness, grounds, food, (think their chef is five stars), were all top shelf. All I interacted with personally & on the phone were patient, professional, responsive & caring. Kudos to so many: Jeannie Jones, Clinical Director whom I spent the most face to face time with: great oversight, patience & follow thru. Raquel Barker, Therapist was so understanding & on spot with her assessments/care. Kris Garrigus Admissions Director, another Coastal professional whom I cannot say enough nice things about, always so patient & responsive to my probably too frequent inquires. Not to be forgotten is Judy Tucker, Director of Operations she too so patiently "put up with me"
    I highly recommend Coastal Detox

    Susan C. Avatar
    Susan C.
    11/06/2019

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