Addiction Recovery

8: Why Pleasing People Doesn't Work

November 28, 2023 Steven T. Ginsburg Season 1 Episode 8
Addiction Recovery
8: Why Pleasing People Doesn't Work
Show Notes Transcript

Ever thought about the intricate relationship between people-pleasing and envy? Our returning guest, Steven T Ginsburg, founder of Restore Detox Centers, shares his insightful commentary on this fascinating subject. We dissect the theory that pleasing others over pursuing our own personal growth or spiritual connection can lead to unintentional envying. This episode unearths the pitfalls of people-pleasing, particularly when dealing with loved ones grappling with addiction recovery.

Steven stresses that envy and people-pleasing are notable joy thieves, particularly critical for those helping loved ones through their journey to recovery. The conversation pivots into an exploration of the impossibility of pleasing everyone and the potential ramifications of prioritizing this over other crucial aspects of our lives. Join us for an enlightening discussion filled with wisdom about navigating the complexities of human relationships in the pursuit of personal growth and aiding others on their path to recovery.

Helpful Links:
Learn more about Restore Detox Centers
Filling the Void book by Steven T. Ginsburg
Overcoming the Fear and Lies of Addiction e-book
How to Love and Set Boundaries Without Enabling Addiction e-book
Call Us for Addiction Recovery:  1-800-982-5530

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Steve Coughran:

This is the Addiction Recovery Podcast with Steven T Ginsburg, founder of Restore Detox Centers in sunny California. Enjoy your experience. Hey everybody, it's great to be back for another episode of Addiction Recovery. I'm here with Steven and today we're going to be talking about pleasing people, so welcome to the show.

Steven Ginsburg:

Steven, thank you so much. I'm so appreciative that we are getting time together and, most importantly, I'm so pleased, as always, that we are focusing on the solution and not perpetuating addiction and alcoholism.

Steve Coughran:

Yeah, absolutely. And today we have a very important topic which builds on our last episode where we were talking about entitlement. It kind of relates here. But I want to share something that I read recently and get your thoughts on this, steven, the other day I was reading in this book and it was talking about envy. And I think for us as human beings, sometimes we fall into the envy trap and for me it's not necessarily like looking at somebody else and saying, oh, I wish I had your car, I wish I had your house or your cat or whatever it is. For me it's more like why not me? I've been working hard, I've been busting my butt. Why can't I have this or that or this success or whatever it may be? And it's often rooted in my lack of patience. I'm not a very patient person. So I was reading this thing about envy and then the next chapter was talking about pleasing people, which is kind of interesting like envy and pleasing people. And in the book it said pleasing people is the opposite of envy and I was like huh, that's kind of interesting. So I read more and basically it was saying that when we try to please people and we care more about pleasing people than pleasing God, for example, or a higher power, whatever you believe in, then we fall into this trap of putting that other person above God, like we make them our God or we care more about them, and instead of focusing on ourselves and becoming the best version of ourselves. So I'll pause there. What are your thoughts on that so far?

Steven Ginsburg:

Steven, Two thoughts really stand out. First of all, I think envy is one of the dirtiest four letter words out there in our language for starters, and secondarily, people pleasing and comparison are absolutely the robbers of joy and I think it's very apropos that the topic is addressed especially. This especially falls into the camp of people who are dealing with someone they care about or someone they love and their journey with addiction and alcoholism. If we are trying to actually placate them, if we are trying to go along and coddle them into behavior patterns that are different, we are heading into a 100% guaranteed failed endeavor from the get go. We've got to be bold and we've got to make strides to help them understand and assess lovingly that things are way off and that no amount of attempted placation is going to get them to put down the bottle or put down their drug of choice. It's going to be through a very demanding ultimatum based solution where help is offered and where they're not shamed and they're not belittled, but they're made to know there's only one path to and through this, which is a path of sobriety.

Steve Coughran:

Yeah, absolutely. And I think it's interesting with people pleasing, because there's always opposition in all things, right, and there's always a pro and a con, a positive and a negative. There's always two sides of everything. And so if we think about an election, there's never been an election out there where 100% of the people voted for one person, right. So there's always you're Republican, you're Democrat, you're this, you're that, whatever it may be, in whatever context we're talking about, but there's always this opposition. So when we try to please people, you're always going to have people that you can't please. Like it's impossible to please everybody. I mean, think about God Like. God is perfect in all regards and still he can't please everybody. So if God can't do it, like, how can we, as broken and perfect human beings, try to please people? And I think you know I've fallen in this trap before and it's hard, you know, because you want to please people, you want people to like you, you want to fit in, but when you care about that more than other things, it could be a real problem.

Steven Ginsburg:

It's such a great point and it's also a real area of opportunity, as we are being trusted with raising young people. We have to help young people understand, especially in this day and age, especially with the pressures that are provided for and promoted through social media, that to be a part of is not always the best or the most conducive thing for a healthy life and lifestyle. To stand apart and where we're called to be different can truly make a difference in other people's lives through our actions and modeled behavior, whereas going along with the crowd or being a part of the problem rather than a part of the solution, which is people pleasing, all dressed up in another widely spoken about outfit, can truly perpetuate more of the darkness that's out there. So, both from a standpoint of not placating nor enabling others and from a standpoint of understanding that we are called to be different, you thwart back on that, that people pleasing element that exists in our society. You start to perpetuate and provide solution based behaviors that people can model from this watching world.

Steve Coughran:

Yeah, absolutely. And I mean, I have kids, you have kids. We want our kids to like us, we want to please our kids. We want to give our kids things that maybe we didn't have growing up. We want to do things differently compared to our parents at least that's me. But I think it could really be a problem and I want to hear your experience is when parents are sitting there and they're like okay, you know, johnny or Sarah or Beth or whatever my kid you know, they're in high school, they're about to graduate, or they want to have some friends over and celebrate homecoming or this or that. So maybe I'll just go and get some beer and some alcohol and just let them drink at home and it's fine, like I'll take everybody's keys. My kid will be popular at school, they have the cool parents right and I'm able to please them and it'll make my kid really happy and they'll love me for that. And that's just one example and that's an extreme. I think it can come about in so many different ways. But what are your thoughts on that type of behavior and thinking?

Steven Ginsburg:

You're hitting a topic on passion, about the last thing you want to do and the last place you want to be is do and be those parents or that house or that type of conduct is promoted and provided. If we permit it, we absolutely promote it. We want to be anti all of that. A child who's underage. There is no safe environment for them to be drinking. They don't have enough brain development to make good choices where alcohol is concerned. We certainly don't want to encourage that type of conduct or behavior. By collecting keys and saying at least they're under my roof and I know they're safe, You're signing a hall pass for behavior that could be detrimental at the least and fatal at the worst, and very quickly, while it's under your control, supposedly in your household, and you're promoting this type of behavior very quickly. They'll want to move it out of your household and experiment with it and try to manage it on their own. And alcohol use and abuse and drug use and abuse is unmanageable even for adults. What's someone who's young and they're formative you're supposed to do with artillery like that? What they're going to do is blow themselves and someone else up.

Steve Coughran:

Yeah, and that's an excellent point. I love that perspective. Let me ask you one more thing here, steven, and share a thought that I had for myself bringing this to me. Going back to the pleasing people idea, I've realized that you can't please everybody, like I said before, and there's people that are just miserable. They're just miserable people and it doesn't matter what you do, they're always going to be miserable and they want to make you miserable, just like them, right? Miserable people love bad company or whatever, and hurt people, hurt people, Right. So when it comes to this, it's like I need to focus on myself, my relationship with God, because that's important to me. That's the only person I care about pleasing, and if I don't fit in with anybody else, if people don't like me, so what? As long as I'm doing good and I'm being the best version of myself. That's really what I'm focused on, and I think you know this is really important for people, because if you struggle with pleasing people, then you may fall into the trap of encouraging bad behavior, right in fostering an environment where drugs and alcohol can really destroy lives and destroy your family. What are your thoughts on this?

Steven Ginsburg:

even thousand percent on point, all the way around, and you want to perpetuate and model behavior that is solution based. You want to have people participating alongside you in behaviors that support the best possible outcome. If there's an underage person that is making life choices, drugs and alcohol are concerned, you don't want to do anything except provide transparent information about how detrimental those choices can be. And then, if you're an adult in the adult world, whatever that all means to everyone and anyone, you again so much of it streams back to enablement. You don't want to enable behavior where conduct, where there is unmanageability or powerlessness, overdrive drugs or alcohol, is supported and provided. You want to continue to steer people who are having those issues and challenges towards a solution, towards the solution and towards Recognition of the fact that they have powerlessness over alcohol and drugs and that it's causing a manageability in their lives. Want to be solution based, you want to be courageous in your approach and you want to be authentic and transparent. It's not always the greatest things for other people to hear, but it's some of the greatest things that we can say is people who love others who are suffering.

Steve Coughran:

Well said, and let's go ahead and wrap on that point. If any of you who are listening to this episode have any comments, questions or you just want to give us feedback, we would love to hear from you. You can email us at hello at restored detox centers dot com. Also, we have a lot of resources for you and a lot of information at restored detox centers dot com, so go ahead and visit our website there If you want to learn more and access these great tools. And thanks for joining us, and, steven, it's been a pleasure being on this episode with you again.

Steven Ginsburg:

Even thank you so much and please, if you are out there and this is relevant in any way, shape or form there's anything we can do a provide for you and your loved ones. Please know we are here with you and for you know things. Have a safe and sober day.