In addiction, people pleasing is extremely important for a variety of reasons. If we keep those around us happy, they are less like to really look at us, look at what we are doing, or how we are doing it. The most important reason we people please in addiction is because it is a weapon; it is yet one more tool that we use to manipulate people and in turn, circumstances and outcomes.
Now, “normies” people please too. They do it for some of the same reasons addicted folks do, but mostly, to avoid conflict. For 99% of them, it is not a weapon that they rely on 24/7. Those of us blessed with addictions build our world, our survival on a few simple, but crucial principles:
Always control the situation so we are not found out, dismissed, fired, divorced, arrested, etc.
Hide our addiction(s) at all costs.
Hide the shitty things we do, physically, morally, financially, or otherwise to keep our addiction(s) under wraps. (The joke of that is that most everyone we deal with is aware of our affliction. Most often, even before we are.)
People pleasing keeps things calm, and easy. Less fuss, less muss. If we keep people happy, life is so much easier; so we believe. Now mind you, people pleasing does work up to a point. But in the end, whether clean, sober, or even as a “normie,” those we try the hardest to please so as to gain their favor, or alliance, will treat us as they would treat anyone else.
Another reason we sometimes people please in our addictions is to win friends, because we are lonely or we have a really poor self image and/or sense of self-worth.
In the end, by doing this we are dishonest with those we are trying to please, and most importantly, ourselves. Why? Because we re not being who really are. It’s the same reason we drink, dope, whatever; when we are under the influence, we can be someone, something else – anybody else but who we really are because we are not worthy.
That friends, is why addiction is such a stone cold motherfucker that takes so many lives. It’s the disease that always convinces us that we are shit, and there is no hope for us.
The beauty of being clean and sober is that we see things more clearly. In a good recovery program, we are more inclined to be ourselves, more often. We try to treat those around us as we want to be treated as opposed to currying favor being someone we are not.
People pleasing is not realistic and is not honest behavior. It has no place in a strong recovery.