with Dr. Carol Francis
People Pleasing, Co-Dependence, Self-Sacrifice, Acts of Kindness, Generosity–what do these personality qualities have in come and how are they different? Dr. Carol Francis is a Psychologist, Marriage, Family & Child Psychotherapist, Certified Life Coach, Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist and has been working with women and men who are ensnared in abusive, exploitive or drowning relationships with TAKERS, ABUSERS, NARCISSISTIC individuals. Giving can sometimes lead to these awful, painful relationships. Let me explain.
Wonderful to be a giver or a person who enjoys pleasing others or taking care or reaching out to the needs and wants of others. In fact, doing so often creates a wonderful bond, a mutual exchange of care and love, connection, or feelings of neighborly compassion. In addition, giving people tend to be less depressed, less anxious and more optimistic and empowered to create more in life and be more successful in tasks. After all, “What the world needs is love sweet love… not just for one but for everyone.”
However, on the other time, if a giver or a person who likes to please others is directed toward individuals who are manipulative, untrustworthy, unable to create a mutual exchange, unable to be thankful or grateful or are abusive, narcissistic, demanding, self-centered, condescending, exploitive—then you have a big problem.
Solution: interdependence not co-dependence and not one-sided giving. Yep, if you are a giver, make sure that there is a two-way street where there is a clear exchanged of kindness, compassion, appreciation, and respect. If you give within that paradigm and guidelines, the exchange of positive giving will grow and enhance everyone.
If you give to someone who is not able to create an exchange, you must be very careful with your self-respect, boundaries, and emotional entanglement. This is especially true if the person to whom you give becomes manipulatively expecting, perhaps openly or subtly demanding that you continue to give.
Parents, give to your children but teach them and help them give back to you with a heart of kindness and excitement, Parents, don’t over do the giving with your child and always teach them the polite responses and the deeper more sincere feelings of gratitude and eagerness to give back in return.
Wives and husbands: give to each other as liberally as you can and always receive as well to inspire the mutuality and the pleasure of giving and receiving that needs to fluidly take place in a healthy marriage. Temporarily one might be giving more than the other in some way or another. However, even the sincere gratitude and efforts to give back in many other ways can occur in ALL situations. Be careful, boyfriends, girlfriends, husbands and wives when you give and give and the other demands, manipulates, tries to “guilt-you,” has no gratitude, or finds your gifts worthless or you worthless. Devaluation is not the equation of an authentic, mutual and loving connection under any circumstance.
Be aware too that if you are giving out of fear, guilt, avoidance of anger, or desperate wish to be liked or admired, then you will become entangled in an emotional and relational dynamic that will harm you in the long run.
Giving to others and pleasing others are beautiful tools and abilities. However, as with most traits, there is sometimes a dark side to the efforts, intents and receivers of your kindness. Savvy–is a good word.
Remember the example of Jesus Christ for those who follow those insightful teachings. He clearly stated, “Don’t cast your pearls before the swine.” Sound advice, (no offense pig-animals)–it’s only a metaphor explaining that one must be discern when giving. Yes, sometimes giving hurts and is self-sacrificing but that is different than being hurt or sacrificed by your intended recipient.