People-pleasing and way too sensitive for your own good

Don’t you dare pass, dear reader…

After all these years of becoming an individual, of celebrating individuality, of becoming my own person–there is still a part of this personality which wants to be a people-pleaser.  Who is oh-way-too-sensitive for her own good.

What, you ask is a people-pleaser?

A people-pleaser is someone who wants to please people.  All of them.  All of the time.

Of course, we know this is Impossible.

Of course, we know we must First Please Ourselves, and then others will be pleased as a result.

However, there are usually parts of ourselves which did not get the Memo.

Dog pleaser

I am trying to be a reformed-people-pleaser and less sensitive to implied criticism, but haven’t graduated yet.  (Teacher gave me a B+ and says, keep trying, someday you won’t care as much.)

Life can be very hard for us sensitive people pleasers. Blogging has been very hard at times.

I know I’ve told you this before, but please sit patiently for a second or third time while Kathy expresses herself.  (Her sensitive side insists.)

Here are examples of readers who offer well-meaning opinions on this blog via email, comments or in person.  (OK, OK, not all are daring enough to comment.  Some of these views are intuited because I know how some of the readership thinks, because I know who you are and, gosh, we sensitive folk just know what you’re thinking, because we’re oh-so-sensitive.)

Here are the mixed messages your blogger receives:

1.  You should post more photos.  I like your photos.  Please post more photos.

2.  You should write more blogs from a writing angle.  Please.  I like the writing.

This leaves your blogger scratching her head.

This waterfall pleases many without trying.

Then comes another opinion:

1.  You should write more introspective blogs.

2.  I like your action blogs best.  PLEASE write more action blogs!  Blogs which describe what is really happening.

Blogger moans.

1.  You shouldn’t write such wild headlines.

2.  Your headlines draw me in.  Thank you for them.  If it weren’t for your headlines, I wouldn’t visit, and I would miss the message in your posts.

Blogger sighs.

Hey you! Show us your “real” face!

1.  I like it when you write serious posts.

2.  Oh, the only reason I visit is the humorous blogs.  You’re funny.

Blogger is stymied.  How to satisfy these two?

1.  Why don’t you write more blogs about the Upper Peninsula?  I want to see nature photos.

2.  C’mon, Kathy, write sensitive spiritual blogs.  That’s what I want to hear.

Sensitive?  Upper Peninsula?  Oh no!  How can she possibly satisfy both?

1.  Do NOT write such long blogs.  I hate long blogs.  I don’t have the time, energy, or commitment to wade through 1,000 words.

2.  PLEASE write long blogs.  They make me think.  They are entertaining. They make my day.  Please.

Blogger whimpers, stomps feet, wonders.  This is impossible.


1.  Do not post every day.  I hate it when bloggers post every day.  I can’t keep up.  Yes, it’s my fault, but you shouldn’t post every day.

2.  Please post every day!  You make my day.  I love it when you post regularly.  Please.  

Blogger hits head, chastises herself, remembers not to blame self, soldiers on.

1.  I don’t like your emphasis on “I”.

2. Your personal blogs are the best!

Blogger wonders if she should quit blogging.

1.  I like educational or instructive posts.  


3.  No, No, please, why don’t you just write NATURE posts?

4.  I thought I knew who you were, why aren’t you CONSISTENT?

5.  What is the matter with you, are you trying to get hits, stats, numbers?

6.  I like vulnerable blogs.  Be vulnerable.  Be real. 

Blogger falls to the floor in frustration. No matter WHAT she does, she’s bound to fail, isn’t she?  (Wise inner self replies:  no, no, turn it around, sister.  Whatever you do, you’re bound to succeed.  Sensitive self scowls at wise advice.)

Keep walking down the path, my friends. Keep walking…and don’t let anyone try to mold you into someone you aren’t.

1.  Please post ordinary serious posts.  Don’t dramatize or exaggerate.  We like just calm ordinary blogs.  Don’t do any fancy writing.

2.  We only like literary posts.  We only like inspiring posts.  We like Annie Dillard writing.  Write more about eating peaches.  We like the spiritual posts.  No, no, I’m sorry, I don’t like those spiritual blogs.  We only like…  We only like…

Fill in the blank.


So these have been some of my challenges during the past four years.  I know many of you regular readers enjoy the variety of posts. That’s why you current readers are still here reading, right?  The people-pleasing self blows kisses in your direction.  You like that this blog is unpredictable.  

You like that I don’t let the people-pleaser rule. You like that the individual chooses to create, again and again, from how she feels in the moment.

I will not succumb to the people-pleasing part of self, no matter how it waggles its fingers and begs.  I keep writing, day in, month out, from what the heart insists.

Are YOU a people pleaser?  Do YOU write only for yourself, or for some combination of self and other?  Do you succumb to the pressure of others, or do you soldier on pleasing yourself, your ever-knowing heart?

P.S.  You don’t have to tell the people-pleasing blogger that you like her posts (or don’t like her posts.)  Tell us about your OWN experiences with people pleasing and sensitivity; thank you kindly for visiting and do come again.  It will please the sensitive blogger very much.

Trail Ends Here. Or does it begin?

About Kathy

I live in the middle of the woods in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Next to Lake Superior's cold shores. I love to blog.
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132 Responses to People-pleasing and way too sensitive for your own good

  1. Elisa's Spot says:

    There was this man last night Kathy…
    he bluntly said….sit in my lap
    my inner self spit and said who the f…do you think you are!
    The people pleaser said…what did I do to give him the idea such a suggestion was ok
    The people pleaser said…don’t upset him, he’s fixing the computer…

    I didn’t notice the people pleaser til just NOW! I’ll have to come back later to focus better, after my head is done wrangling with lap-dude.

  2. Well, I know you know that I know how you feel…

    I’ve decided to just not care anymore…just post what I want, and the few readers/commenters who DO stick around through it all, are that much more appreciated as a result of it. It’s MY blog after all, and I should post what *I* like….right??

    As for your blog…. you offer enough variety to please just about anyone. Personally, I like your blog as is, no matter what you post or what changes you decide to make. I always look forward to reading what you have to say 🙂

    • Reggie says:

      Oh, I totally echo what TheDailyClick said – “I like your blog as is, no matter what you post or what changes you decide to make. I always look forward to reading what you have to say.” 🙂 So write, dear Kathy, write, share your photos, tell us about your world, share your ideas, your dreams, your frustrations, it doesn’t matter what. It’s all you.

      Love and hugs!

      • Brenda Hardie says:

        And I second that! (or should it be third that!?) TheDailyClick said it perfectly “like your blog as is, no matter what you post or what changes you decide to make. I always look forward to reading what you have to say.” 🙂 Don’t change a thing Kathy! ♥ Or…..change it all…whatever your sweet heart desires! ♥

        • Kathy says:

          Ms. Reggie and Brenda, yes, that’s what I do, over and over again. Reggie, wondering if you have a people-pleasing part of self that you’ve identified. Brenda, I do try to follow the deepest heart all the time. The rest is just surface-talk, isn’t it?

    • Kathy says:

      Exactly write–I mean “right”, Michaela. That is the lesson that life seems to teach us–to do what WE want no matter what others say or do. I am glad that you are enjoying your blogging again. I enjoy looking at your pics.

  3. CMSmith says:

    I can relate to the people pleaser part and trying to reform. But I don’t apply it to my blog do much, or writing in general. I write what pleases me.

    I follow people on their blogs because for whatever reason, the person has appealed to me. I’m interested in seeing what they have to say, or pictures of something beautiful or interesting.

    If a post does not keep my attention I scan it quickly. If someone publishes more posts than I can keep up with, I choose which ones to read. We all are free to make choices.

    I am most satisfied when I write from my heart.

    • Kathy says:

      Christine, isn’t it interesting that some people relate more to the people pleasing in physical life and others with blogging/writing? I quite agree with your assessment about when and why and how you read other posts. Loving that we can make choices. Loving that you are most satisfied when you write from your heart.

  4. Dawn says:

    Thanks for the laugh – goes well with morning tea. That’s why I post photos only. Pleasing everyone (or attempting) is a spiritual wheel I refuse to get wrapped around anymore.


    • Kathy says:

      Dawn, it’s a lesson that takes some of us a long time to learn. I am glad you laughed. I try to ignore the inner parts that grumble and judge and discern and fuss, but it’s also fun giving them a creative platform to express themselves!

  5. raven's witch says:

    i say the same as CMSmith did. also i LOVE the pictures in your blog!! 🙂

  6. Susan Derozier says:

    Kathy – You really hit it on the nail here. It reminded me so much of when I used to do journaling retreats. I’d begin by asking (first mistake) what folks wanted to concentrate on…sharing experiences or writing solitude. You can guess what happened. Like you, I followed my heart for the group and the ones who wanted solitude became the most active sharers, and those who wanted to share would often go off on their own to write. It all sorts itself out, doesn’t it? But, as a people pleaser, I remember the conflict I felt. I read only your blog because it offers me the variety missing in my own environment right now and you put me back on track with each entry. Please just keep on being you…beautiful photos and beautiful writings and all!

    • Kathy says:

      Susan, thank you for sharing your own story! And, yes, my friend, it all sorts itself out. Sometimes all that is necessary is to witness our inner conflict from a wider angle. Glad you enjoy this blog. (I only pay 11.6% attention to the inner voices which occasionally fuss. OK, sometimes 12.8%…) Wasn’t even going to write this post but the Holy Blogging Spirit whispered, “I think others need to hear this..”

  7. Val says:

    First off – you. I like you. I like your blog. No conditions attached there. Just be yourself whoever and whatever and however you are at any time. That’s the whole of you with all its big and little parts.

    Second off (or on, or whatever) – my blog is mostly to please other people. Yes, there’s a bit of people-pleaser in me, and I like to feed it. But I try to avoid it getting irate on other people’s expectations. My attitude to people who aren’t satisfied with what I blog is that they always have the option to read someone else whose blog content does satisfy them. If they can actually find one.

    I had a blog years ago on LiveJournal. I said something in my profile there (the equivalent to an ‘about’ page) to the effect that I’d be writing about my art process. Well, I did – once or twice. And then I lost the will to write more about it. Nothing to do with others expectations, just that I didn’t have as much to say as I’d though I would have. Also, I didn’t really have much to say about anything else at the time, so I posted memes and silly polls for my own amusement. Then one day I had an email from a reader who told me she’d unsubscribed because she’d felt let down. She’d subscribed because she’d wanted to read about my process and I’d not posted about it after the first or second time.

    I emailed back and said, “sorry for being human.”

    • Kathy says:

      Val, I know that you know it’s fun to let the different sides of ourselves come to the forefront and share their humanity. The larger self does share its multiplicity, over and over again, and attempts to gently allow the people-pleasing parts to express their concern or dismay. Thanks for sharing about your own experiences, especially the one with LiveJournal. Thanks for recognizing our inner diversity.

  8. Oh, yessss, most of us women are brought up to be people pleasers, aren’t we? It’s part of our nurturning aspect, and it’s very hard to shut down. But as writers/bloggers, we must be strong and only worry about pleasing ourselves. If we aren’t true to ourselves, THEN we will fail in our blogging/writing. Fortunately for me, I haven’t had any followers tell me how/when/why to write. Unfortunately, that’s probably because I don’t have the passionate number of followers that you do! I do notice that in ‘blogging advice’ columns, some try to tell us bloggers what we should write to gain the best numbers. Pshhhhaw. (Did I just make that word up?). We don’t care about numbers. We care about writing quality blogs that mean something… to us, individually. And then we share it in our post, hoping others will come for the ride.
    Thanks for a thoughtful and thought-provoking blog post!

    • Kathy says:

      It’s interesting, roughwighting, that so many of us ARE brought up to be people pleasers. It’s interesting that there are sides of us who love that role and other sides that feel constricted. Yes, there are upsides and downsides to have numbers of passionate followers (although some of these voices come from my family and close friends.) I love how you so passionately described the joy of writing. And was just thinking about you and trying to remember where your blog was. So glad you commented today.

  9. Oh my gosh this is so true–and the one other problem I have is that when I am being tongue in cheek it is not recognized and readers are so concerned or give me a lot of advice when all I was trying to do is be funny. (and I understand that when my so called sense of humour is not recognized, it is my fault)
    My husband says I have “delicate sensibilities” which is just a nice way of saying I am a pain in the neck–but I am sensitve too–and sometimes do not know quite how to respond to comments–but I must say that 98% of the comments I get are of the wonderful variety, so I try not to concentrate on the others.
    I think you have a wonderful voice, you are a versatile writer with a wonderful way with words, and I enjoy looking forward to your blog because of all your talents–not just one.

    • Kathy says:

      LouAnn, so glad you understand about this! I sometimes think I might have that humor problem, too, at times. Sometimes every sentence strikes me as funny–or every response–but you can’t keep putting lol, lol, lol after every sentence, can you? Good thing we have the capability of toning down our sensitivities and looking at the larger perspective, at least some times. 🙂 (lol)

  10. Susan D. says:

    Supporting your NOT succumbing … always.

    • Kathy says:

      Susan D, you understand me so well! (And maybe I understand you as well, sometimes?) I love that we can express ALL parts of ourselves. I love that we don’t try to get rid of or ignore the parts of ourselves which can be challenging, fussy, or inconvenient. (OK, OK, I admit to trying to get rid of them sometimes. But I DID give them a voice in today’s post, right? Will they be satisfied now?)

  11. Brenda Hardie says:

    Yep…I am people pleaser. Thankfully I have gotten much better at doing things for me and not worrying about other people as much as I did before. But it’s hard to let it all go. Discovered it was a control thing for me…didn’t realize that till therapy several years back. I was trying to control how people felt and of course that’s impossible. No wonder I was so unhappy for so long! Now that I can allow people to do their own thing (most of the time) I am much more content. It’s that radical acceptance thing again.
    Kathy….I like you…and your blog…please remain true to yourself because that is where you shine! ♥

    • Kathy says:

      Brenda, that’s an interesting assessment about the control issue. Never thought of it like that. Glad to hear that you are so much more content now. Like you, I am always working on that radical acceptance thing. (But also radically trying to accept the parts of self that are fussy, negative, inconvenient or just plain annoying.) I HAVE always remained true to myself in blogging. But that’s not to say that human reactions don’t arise.

  12. Sara says:

    Kathy, you’ve inspired me. To take a quote from Bridget Jones’ Diary: “I like you, just as you are.” I’m going to present you with a special award ~ check out my blog tomorrow for the official presentation.

    • Kathy says:

      Ms. Sara, thank you so much. Hugs! Oh I hope I can remember until tomorrow! I don’t usually accept blogging awards but will gallop over–if remembered to check out your honor. Glad you were inspired and that your people-pleaser is honored as well.

  13. To thine own self be true, and it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man. William Shakespeare

    • Kathy says:

      Shakespeare was a wise fellow, Linda. It behooves us to be true to our own self–including the little parts of our selves who are perceived as negative or needy or challenged. I like to completely FEEL the different parts of self, which have so many different perspectives, and then to proceed from something which encompasses the largest truth. Thank you.

  14. Lori DiNardi says:

    I don’t know where to begin with my comment. Hmm, okay, first, I’m shocked at all the opinions you shared. That has not happened to me on my blog as of yet. I guess the good news is that you have enough readers who care. Even better news that you aren’t following the people-pleaser inside of you and expressing your individuality instead.

    Secondly, what I express on my blog is authentic and not an attempt to please everyone. However, I do find myself holding back. I have very strong convictions and I understand that not everyone may agree with them. My blog does not have a “convictions” (on morality, religion, etc) theme anyway, but sometimes I tip-toe around them. I keep those opinions to myself … at least regarding my blog. 😉

    • Kathy says:

      Lori, a lot of these comments were not shared in a negative way. Instead they came across rather neutral, “I like your photo blogs best.” The person did not perceive they were necessarily “cutting down” the writing blogs. A beloved family says he loves the actual action physical-happening blogs and doesn’t necessarily read the spiritual blogs. Etc, etc. I don’t take offense. But it’s funny that within a couple of days someone says, “Oh I LOVE the spiritual blogs!”

      I think many of we bloggers feel like we hold back at times. Do we want to reveal every single part of ourselves? It was challenging to write this post, because it felt so vulnerable. I didn’t want people to think that these inner viewpoints were the whole of me. I wanted people to see that it was most important to stay true to the heart.

  15. I am a people pleaser! I fight it constantly in my artwork and my writing. I do my best work when the relationship is between me and the work, not me and the viewer.Still, I want the audience. We write, or make art, as a way of putting ourselves out there, communicating to the world. It is a wonderful feeling when others can relate to what we’ve shown them. Most times though, it’s still a monologue, not a dialogue. I have to fight letting the voices and opinions alter my work. It gets more complicated as I come to know my readers ( or patrons, when it comes to my art)as friends. I say (to myself), “You are more amazing than you know; you are more amazing than THEY know. Do not be held back by your own or any other expectations. Let your light shine, and you can then all together enjoy the brightness.”, which sounds a bit over the top, but it keeps me from getting in my own way. Sometimes. Thanks, Kathy, for a thoughtful and thought-provoking post!

    • Kathy says:

      Cindy, thank you for your wise and thoughtful comment about your own process as an artist in this regard. It is so easy to get sucked in my our interior dialogue. It is so easy to get sucked in by exterior dialogue. To remain true to our art, even as pressures express themselves, perhaps shapes the art into something more real, more true, more valuable. Glad this was thought-provoking for you.

  16. Robin says:

    I think it begins. (The trail.) 🙂 And I do enjoy your posts, all of them. Images, words, thoughts, whatever appears between the lines. But you asked that we tell about our OWN experiences so…

    I’ve been blogging for almost 11 years in some form, and it took me a LONG time to learn to blog for myself. I started out blogging for myself, when almost nobody read my posts. In the past two years, though, it is sometimes difficult to distinguish between blogging for myself and blogging for others now that I have visitors and people commenting. Being a highly sensitive soul, I sometimes take a comment the wrong way and have to spend time turning it around, letting go of the hurt or the anger and reminding myself that I could be misinterpreting the words. There are no body language cues to help with interpretation.

    I have to admit that I am not entirely open in my blogging as there are aspects I don’t blog about. My husband, for instance, prefers his privacy so I don’t mention him as much as I’d like to. I give the rest of my family the same privacy treatment unless they request a spot on the blog (I think that’s happened a grand total of once…lol!). I also avoid religion (the specifics of it, anyhow) and politics although I’m sure my leanings sneak through. I tried the occasional political blog in my early years and that brings out the trolls (“troll” in the internet slang sense of the word).

    • Kathy says:

      Thank you for writing about your own experiences, Robin. (I truly didn’t need validation about my own blogging, no matter what any people-pleasing part of the personality might try to ascertain!) We highly sensitive souls need more help sometimes in reading comments, don’t we? Sometimes I put way too many parenthesis, ellipses and exclamation marks, but am attempting to alert the reader about the “mood” of the sentence.

      Interesting about what we avoid in our blogs. I like that you have let in more vulnerability in the past year or so. That can be so challenging. I feel a little vulnerable about THIS blog. I wanted people to see that I do not heed these inner complaints, yet do not ignore them, either. It felt so tentative trying to express this in a way people could understand.

  17. karlapr says:

    Gotta say, obviously, blogging is not writing “only for yourself” or you (one) could just keep a journal! The need/ desire for expression of inner thoughts in a public forum is intriguing — something I’ve thought about and written a bit about, myself, but don’t fully understand. The fact of being a blogger already speaks of a certain personality type, let’s face it! There is some kind of emotional satisfaction/ catharsis in doing this that inherently includes/ seeks an audience. But I would also say, from a skills perspective, we try to formulate an essay, musing, argument that is well-crafted, clear, interesting, thoughtful. Our desire to “please” by creating a good piece of writing for our readers, is what challenges and motivates us and also hones our skills as writers. Of course, we can’t please everyone! But we do want to please at least some people — or else why would we do this? : )

    • Kathy says:

      Dear karlapr, I found two of your nearly identical comments hiding in my spam filter, and released them to the world before they composted there. I like many of the points you’ve made here. Yes. It isn’t always about just writing for ourselves. Yes, it includes an audience. “Pleasing others” isn’t inherently negative. May I give you a hug from my genuine self for the good points you made here?

      • karlapr says:

        Eek! I just messed up my reply again! Karma? I’m a bit ambivalent about blogging. It’s not something I ever thought I’d do, but I really like it. And part (a big part?) of why I like it is because other people are interested and read what I write and sometimes even tell me it’s good (mostly on Facebook). It seems sort of egotistical and self-indulgent, which embarrasses me. So… I think that was coming through in my comment — my own ambivalence about being that person! Anyway, I would definitely be glad that people are interested and devoted enough to your blog to comment, kvetch,compliment… what have you…! It’s a good thing. P.S. The proportion of prose and photography on your blog is perfect. : )

        • Kathy says:

          Thank you, friend. I am glad you like the proportions of prose and photography. I write a lot sometimes, so the photos break up the words. Or would the words be breaking up the photos? lol.

  18. Oh, I’ve had a wonderful time this morning enjoying reading your post in-between clients. Kathy, I love everything you write. In fact, you are da bomb!

  19. john says:

    Kathy is Kathy and Kathy is pretty cool. The diversified spirit!

    • Kathy says:

      But JOHN, do YOU have any people-pleasing parts? We don’t care about Kathy being cool and diversified, whatta about you? OK, you don’t have to answer. I thought about stopping by your house today and saying hello, but didn’t want to unexpectedly disturb any sleeping patients.

  20. This is “the looper” again. Your post today has reminded me to listen only to my own “writing voice” when I am blogging.

    I enjoy both your writing and your photos.

    • Kathy says:

      Looper, I have not seen you FOREVER. So glad to have reminded you about the importance of our own “writing voice”. (I wasn’t going to post this post but the Holy Blogging Spirit said, there are others who need to hear this. Perhaps you were one?)

      • I feel as if you were reading my mind when you wrote this post.

        I sure did need to hear this! Other people have been trying to give me “advice” about my blog but I need to block them out and only allow my writing voice to come through.
        This will make writing for my blog more simple and more enjoyable.

        I will also share my first name with you: it is Nancy. So I will answer to that name as well as “the looper”.

        • Kathy says:

          Nancy, you will have to remind me of your name again, probably. i have to hear a name six times to remember it. So glad this inspired you, truly.

  21. whatevertheyaint says:

    I am a people-pleaser, but when it comes to my writing, that’s mainly for me. That’s MINE. I know that I have a variety of friends and readers–artist, poets, musicians–and sometimes I’ll cater a post to one subject or the other, but it’s still based on authenticity and what I want to express at that moment. If I tried to center around someone else’s voice or style I’d go crazy–and I know this because in the beginning, say a decade ago, I tried and it just didn’t work out. BTW, you said not to dote on you but I love the spontaneity here on your blog:-)

    • Kathy says:

      I love that you’re aiming for authenticity and pleasing your inner artist. Way to go! (If I listened seriously to these inner voices, I would go stir crazy too. We CAN’T heed them. Yet we can use them in our art, can’t we?) Hugs & love for enjoying the spontaneity today.

  22. Heather says:

    It must be frustrating indeed to get so many conflicting requests. I’ll stick around and enjoy whatever you decide to share in whatever timetable you decide to share it.
    I’m sure not everyone loves my food + nature thing going on in my blog, but those are the things about which I am passionate, so those are the things I share. My people-pleasing self tries to avoid foul language or pictures of gross things (I can’t help myself – beetles on something dead and giant salmon skeletons are cool…but I won’t subject YOU to that ;). I don’t get so much feedback as you, so it’s easier said than done to say: Ignore those comments and do what makes YOU happy.
    Thanks for sharing your sensitive self. But share whatever makes you happy next time you decide to share 🙂 🙂 and even *hugs*

    • Kathy says:

      Ms. Heather, I know you will stick around. You are a reliable sort who shares what makes you happy. YOU make me happy. I get lots of feedback, although sometimes I think the sensitive part embellishes things. My mom says I exaggerate. I think I create stories. I do always share what makes me happy. Today I decided this would make me happy. (I am not sure it made me happy, but it did spark a LOT of conversation!)

      • Heather says:

        In any case, sharing those things that make us unhappy is brave. And your braveness, and story-telling-ness (yep, it’s a word – I checked!) make me happy 🙂 Oh, oh…also that you respond to comments. I especially like that part 😉

  23. Carol says:

    I think one of the benefits to getting older is that I am more concerned now with how I feel than how others feel. That is not to say I am insensitive to others’ feelings, but when it comes to those things I do for my pleasure, it’s my pleasure that matters. I’ve said this before: it’s your blog. We are here because we like you, we like your words – whatever direction they go – we like your pictures – whatever direction they go. CMSmith said it – we can choose what to read and how much to read.

    That being said, I must confess I do love it when my posts make people happy!

    • Kathy says:

      Dear Carol, your posts so often make me happy. I do not care which subject about which you blog. (Now THAT was a convoluted sentence, but not one I care to edit.) You are steadfast about your reassurance that this is “my blog”. Yes, dear friend, it is. Which is why I let these other parts of self come forth and share their vulnerabilities, their confusion, their humanity. I see that many pause here and read. Many seem to like it. Yet, I will not silence the parts of self who wish to express insecurity and not-knowing. It seems that so many others appreciate these posts which express vulnerability, even though I do not necessarily like writing them.

  24. Some of this sounds familiar to me, I do tend to be a people-pleaser, and I am WAY too sensitive for my own good – someone could blink their eyes one too many times, and I might think it’s because they’re irritated with me. I think your blog is wonderful, and I always have! I think people should write from the heart. On my blog – if I write – it’s very true to the way my mind works. If you were to sit down and have a conversation with me, it might sound like something from one of my posts. I’m typically not a “chatty” person, I do love quiet times, but I am a very real, down-to-Earth person. I am not, nor will I ever be “phony”, and I can’t STAND it when I meet someone who is (I can usually tell if someone is putting up a false front). I think you should write whatever you feel like writing – no more, no less. Don’t write for others, write for yourself. The way I feel about writing some of my posts, is that my page is sort of like a big metal tub, and as I write the words, they get dumped into the tub – kind of a way of getting them out of my head (especially if I’m ranting about something). Cheapest therapy known to humankind!! But hey, look at me, I’m rambling again…..

    Bottom line is, you write what YOU want to write about. I don’t always have specific comments to share, but I have always loved reading your posts.

    Stay true to yourself. That is all. ♥

    • Kathy says:

      Yes, Yes, YES Ms. Holly! I love your description of the “metal tub” and just getting out some of your feelings. That’s one reason I wrote this today. Instead of letting inner feelings and voices fester inside, it’s so much better to be creative with them and let them come out and share their story. I sometimes don’t like it when I share and people think that these sub-parts of self are who I am. But, alas, that is the price of being vulnerable.

      I DO write about what I want to write about. But wanted people to know that it’s not always easy; there are inner parts which urge silence, do not support creativity, and like to fuss.

      We must all stay true to ourselves. Your photography shows that…

  25. lisaspiral says:

    I like your blog because no matter what or how you write it’s coming from you, it’s genuine. Being a people pleaser that’s the hardest thing, staying true to yourself, with all of your angles and points of view. I’d give you better than a B-, but then I don’t have to listen to your inner dialog. 🙂

    • Kathy says:

      What about YOU, LIsa? Have you recognized people-pleasin’ parts of yourself? Do you stay true to yourself? I think, if we’re true to admitting our inner dialogue, most of us will admit to a people-pleaser and a part of self that doesn’t care about people. (Oh no!) I think I might have just found a subject for the next blog. The part of self that doesn’t care. We shall see…

  26. susan says:

    Hi Kathy,
    In my very humble opinion, I think it is rather sad that so many people are suffering from the need to express their discontent, like just how are they so wanting something from you? You just do whatever you want to do and know that those of us that love you, love you just the way you are – period.

    It is really difficult for most women to get over the people pleaser thing. I called it joy mongering and had it for many years myself. I’m so glad I gave up on that whole thing, be it “suggestions” or “criticism” or whatever. It was never worth the effort because no matter what I did or said, there was always, always someone who didn’t like exactly like it. You just cannot please everyone all the time no matter what. Wish people could get over their discontent, be it Divine Discontent or just over-opinionated.


    • Kathy says:

      SuZen, I think I wasn’t quite fair in explaining that many of my commenters weren’t really expressing discontent. (Only the people pleaser part of self thought so.) They were expressing their genuine likes, desires, preferences. One family member insists that they love actual action happening blogs, but skims over spiritual blogs. Another won’t read long posts, but will devour short ones. Another adores the nature posts, but glazes over during, say, blogs of this nature. They weren’t being unkind. They were expressing their preferences.

      I have not 100% given up the people-pleasing thing. Rather, am aware of the inner parts that still want to be loved, still are needy. I guess I’ve never fully understand that there would be people who wouldn’t like, no matter who or what one said. I will get this fully by Christmas. I promise.

      • susan says:

        In stating “their preferences” they are still encouraging you to change to suit them, give them what they want. It’s sort of a double edged sword to receive preferences or opinions when you never asked for them. People give opinions about stuff thinking it really matters or why do it. Usually those opinions (or preferences) only matter to the person expressing them. I read blogs that I sometimes gloss over, others I prefer, but I would not tell the blogger that unless there was some poll or query. Otherwise it’s just whiny self expression. Sorry, but at 65 I can be a bit of curmudgeon, weary of people telling me what they want all the time. Mama said “If you can’t say anything nice, say nothing at all.” Took me a lot of years to really get that!

        From today’s blog it sounds like you bounced back! Good for you!

        • Kathy says:

          Now I am smiling, SuZen, thinking about our curmudgeon sides! (I truly wasn’t that unhappy yesterday~~just letting a part of self have its say, because it felt like many of us would relate.)

  27. Goodness, I too am a people pleaser from way back, I’m afraid. It’s hard to unlearn, especially when we feel it’s hard-wired to our capacity for compassion.

    I love whoever you, whatever you write or don’t write, on any particular day.


    • Kathy says:

      I feel the same way about your posts! I am glad you acknowledged your people-pleasing ways. And how you related it to compassion. Hugs back, Kathy 2

  28. pearlz says:

    I enjoy the way you see the world, in all its diversity, whether its photos, personal, or a general discussion topic that could apply to anyone of us. I am sure you must read so many blogs because you actually return visits to my blog. As for me I gave up trying to define what my blog did and just let it evolve to do lots of things, from poetry, photography to an issue that was bugging me. You inspire me Kathy to keep on being myself.

    • Kathy says:

      Pearlz, I would love to visit more of your blogs more often. It may be very wise that you’ve given upon defining your blog, and just let it be itself. Some day I will also refuse to define this blog any more (except the part that likes to define things keeps enjoying it). I also appreciate that you look at the world as an amazing diverse place.

  29. sonali says:

    Oh really. It must be so difficult for you. You have such varied numerous readers and definitely, everyone has different opinions and choices. Its really difficult to please everybody. Its important for us readers to know. And its important for a blogger like you to post on various topics – might interest some but not all. Sometimes, the same person enjoys humor and sometimes seriousness. We are all such human beings.

    Well, have a nice day! 🙂

    • Kathy says:

      What differing human beings we all are, Ms. Sonali! (It really isn’t too hard on me, though. Only a small part of me gets annoyed sometimes because it would be SO nice to please everyone. Although another part doesn’t worry about pleasing others at all.) Such COMPLICATED human beings we can be!

  30. bearyweather says:

    When it comes to blogging, the only person I am pleasing is myself. My blogging job is to present my thoughts as well as I can. Present pictures and ideas and hopefully start a conversation.
    My readers found me without advertising. Readers stay with me because there is something I create that they are also interested in or enjoy learning about. And, sometimes, I hit a topic that draws new people in to visit.

    I think about it this way … Magazines are not people pleasers … they have a focus and method of their own and they do their best work to create that .. and if people are interested in those things that is the magazine readers choose. They can only please the people that relate to their focus.

    I don’t get comments asking me for more of something or to change things or to not do certain things … I am not sure if that is because I am still somewhat “anonymous” (I don’t share my name or details of my life) or because I don’t ask for suggestions, or because I don’t explain my blogging philosophy … or maybe my readers just don’t care. Even if they did make such comments, I would probably think about it .. but, unless it was part of who I am and what I am thinking about I am not going to change things. There are times I would like to be more popular and had more readers … but, I find the comments from readers that have been with me a long time and relate to my thoughts are much more rewarding then the casual visitor. If I concentrate on what I do best and what moves me, I will attract readers who enjoy those things as well

    Your blog has to be yours .. your thoughts, feelings and inspirations … you can only do your best to present those things in a way that is pleasing to you. Your readers are free to pick the parts that they enjoy … continue to be your blogging self

    • Kathy says:

      I like your blogging philosophy, bearyweather. Sounds like you are satisfied with the way things are. I especially like your sentence: If I concentrate on what I do best and what moves me, I will attract readers who enjoy those things as well.

      I suspect I’ll continue blogging the way I have for the last four years–always following this here multi-faceted heart and not letting any of the many inner parts of self change that. I am glad that many recognized that the people-pleaser does not have the last say. 🙂

  31. Christine says:

    Maybe you need to put a paypal button up here so then you can get paid for tryin’ to make everyone happy! 🙂 You keep on doing what you do – I know you will.

    • Kathy says:

      Pssst, Christine…I really DON’t try to make everyone happy. That would be too impossible. But, like many of us, I have to listen to inner thoughts which try to convince me. Will let the people-pleasin’ self know about paypal. That may work!

  32. Marianne says:

    Great question, Kathy. At first, I wanted to say that I don’t think I people-please. Then, I remembered that in my men relationships I always did what they wanted to do and not what I wanted to do. So, I think I have my answer. I did/do people-please. Though, when it comes to my blog, I usually write about what inspires me and I feel grateful if others want to read it.Lol!

    • Kathy says:

      It’s funny, Marianne, when our people-pleasing side comes out, and when it stays hidden. If we look hard enough, we can usually find a people-pleasing side and a side that really doesn’t care. It feels positive to recognize both. And I think we don’t judge others as much we see that we carry both attributes.

  33. sybil says:

    I assume multiple fake identities and leave lovely, glowing, supportive comments on my Blog, then I write back to myself, flattering me for being such a marvellous follower.

    Not really.

    Ummmm. By the time I got to this post it had 92 comments. 92 freakin’ comments ! Assuming that just over half are from you, that still means that 40 people left comments. I think my all time high was 11.

    I AM a people-pleaser. You like me don’t you Kathy ? Please say you like me Kathy. Pulleeeeze.

    I don’t really get any suggestions.

    Just the usual feedback about what a stunningly attractive person I am.

    • Kathy says:

      Sybil, You want to know why there are 92 comments–no, 97 comments, dear Sybil? It’s because everyone wanted to talk about their people pleasing self, or to console me about having a people pleasing self, or to urge me to keep blogging, or to remind themselves that it’s impossible to people-please.

      I didn’t want to write this blog, but the Universe said, “Kathy, there are people out here who need to hear this today.”

      I said, Universe, please let me delete it! I don’t want them to talk about ME. I want them to think about THEM.

      Universe laughed, as did several parts of self.

      I pushed the “publish” button.

      • Kathy says:

        P.S. Yes, dear, ALL of you are very attractive! Perhaps the reason so many people comment on my blogs is that each represents a part of self. Since I’ve identified so many parts of self, at least 40-50 will sometimes stop by to materialize with a commenting presence. 🙂

  34. Stacy Lyn says:

    I think you do fine on your own, Kathy. I like ALL of your posts. So, would you mind posting something on….just kidding! ❤

    • Kathy says:

      Stacy Lyn, do you have a people-pleasing part? Does it come out while blogging or at other times? I am fascinated about this subject.

      • Stacy Lyn says:

        I think we all do, in some way, have a people-pleasing part. Mine is mostly about pleasing my loved ones. When I write (novels or blogs), of course I hope my audience likes what I write, but I write mostly for myself, really – novels to teach Louisiana history and blog to get stuff out of my head so that I can concentrate on other things! ❤

        • Kathy says:

          Stacy, lately all I can think about is the ways I am not people-pleasing at all. In fact one good friend can’t even believe that I even have a people-pleasing side at all. So interesting about the different sides of ourselves–and how yours comes out with your loved ones and not necessarily your writing.

  35. There is so much conflicting information out there in cyberspace about blogging – be consistent, add in personal touches, be professional, do this, do that… It’s really confusing, but I think people will keep coming back to a site because the blogger is real, genuine, talking about their passions and just being themselves. That’s what I can always count on when reading your blogs. 🙂

    As for my own blogging experience, I have tried many different things in order to please a particular demographic, so I guess I’m a people pleaser, too. I have decided that certain things will remain as constant as I can and throw in the unexpected in between them. I don’t know if it’s working or not, but I will force my people pleasing self to keep quiet about it, 92.3% of the time. 🙂

    • Kathy says:

      Awwww, withershins, I so like you. I do think the genuine nature shines through. (As it does on your blogs!) Thank goodness you understand about the 92.3% of the time. That’s about my percentage, too. The people-pleasing parts try to maintain dominance, but they can only sneak through 7.7%, if that. High five!

  36. lucindalines says:

    Oh how true this all is including the comments. I soooooo agree with the opening statement of thehomefrontandbeyond. I too get most of my push back when I am trying to be funny or trying to poke fun of myself. I guess I really enjoy the blogging because writting in a local newspaper really caused those who just don’t get it to come out of the wood work. One night when someone was ranting about me at the local pub, the owner told the man that no one was forcing him to read what I wrote. I guess I should have been flattered that I had evoked an emotion of any kind. Ha! Great post!!!

    • Kathy says:

      My goodness, Lucinda, you did certainly have some reactions when you wrote at the newspaper! My husband has had to grow a thick skin over the years. He is much less affected by what people think of him. Blogging is a good platform for the more sensitive types. And it’s a good place to learn to let water flow over the bridge more easily. Perhaps?

  37. Ralph says:

    Hi Kathy. Wow, you touched a nerve……so many comments. That’s right.!! It’s YOUR blog so write what YOU want to write. If the readers want different styles they should hit their keyboards and give us what THEY want to read. Good post 🙂

    • Kathy says:

      I sure did touch a nerve, didn’t I, Ralph? I wasn’t going to post this, but the Universe insisted. It said that lots of people would relate to this. And the Universe was right! I will extend your thanks. lol.

      • Ralph says:

        Can you please ask the Universe for a 25 hour day or more as blogging takes up so much TIME, Kathy. 😉

        • Elisa's Spot says:

          I just had to come and mention, that what you said evoked an immediate reaction and in a VERY LOUD VOICE! If you ask for such a thing I shall immediately staple you right on the belly button! (i have not yet ascertained the why of it.)

          • Ralph says:

            I know. It’s documentation again. Can’t change any thing without the right form, signature and stamp with 2 copies stapled. 😉

            • Ralph says:

              Elisa? (in a very quiet dignified voice) Please ask your very loud voice to tell you who I am. You may be pleasantly surprised 🙂 Take care.

              • Ralph says:

                Elisa? May I have a word with your very loud voice.?
                “You know who I am. You know why I am talking to you. Zero hour has arrived for you. You are out of time and space. I am here. Go.”
                Take care Elisa and Kathy I thank you for the use of your comments area.

  38. Colleen says:

    Yes, I am (answering your question). Except when I’m not …..

  39. flandrumhill says:

    At the preschool, I hear many teachers (myself included) telling some children to not be so sensitive when other children say possibly negative things to them. Being resilient is harder for some than others.

    Don’t be afraid to be yourself. The more you’re you, the more you inspire me to be me too 🙂

    • Kathy says:

      Amy-Lynn, this resiliency was so very hard for me as a child. Even though I say I am a people-pleaser here, in actuality there is an even stronger fiercer side that insists upon being true to authenticity. And I partly do this, painful as it is at times, to share this with others. So that we can all embrace our beautiful authenticity, time and time again. Love…

  40. Pingback: In which I almost run over a black cat « Lake Superior Spirit

  41. Dana says:

    Oh, Kathy. I am a sensitive people pleaser as well and suffer hardcore from what Jane Fonda calls “the dis-ease to please”. I usually blame it on being a Cancerian, and guess what I find? I even want to please my people-pleasing tendencies, rather than confront or ignore them! Sometimes, I just want to let those tendencies carry on in their merry ways rather than cause myself any conflict. 😉

    • Kathy says:

      Dana, I’ve been thinking about you in the middle of my sleepless nights lately! Wondered how you were doing. Hey, I’m a Cancerian, too. Do you think it’s the fact that we’re Cancerians that we don’t want to rock the people-pleasing boat at times? Heaven forbid there be any conflict! So delighted to see you!

  42. Barb says:

    This is so funny. And I found it by googling people pleasing and blogging! I’ve been finding out all kinds of thing about people pleasing today – namely that I AM ONE!!!! And some ideas on how to change. I think it will help my blogging tremendously to stop worrying about what everyone thinks. Yours was definitely the funniest post I read today! Thanks for a good chuckle with a lesson buried underneath. You brightened my day.

    • Elisa's Spot says:

      Hi! I have seen your response, and I was thinking that Kathy is off getting married(no she’s not, it’s her son! 😛 ) One of the things shining through your words to me and blazing across the mirror is that by looking for solutions, you have again found a ‘person’ to please. I always question motivations and a ‘need’ to change. I like looking at aspects too! Happy Learning Energy sent your way! I hope you come back to visit Kathy when she returns from the festivities. She has been very interesting for me to walk alongside!

      • Barb says:

        Thanks, Elisa – I thought your comment was intriguing. I agree that it’s always good to question motives. I wasn’t sure what you meant, though, that by looking for solutions I’ve found another person to please. Who would that person be? Would love to hear your further thoughts!

        • Elisa's Spot says:

          Well, I think that a thing is often of better use for self, if self works out meaning. If I told you what I meant, I’d be no better than a book or an article ‘suggesting’ that change is needed. And then, wouldn’t you be attempting to please me if you attempted to follow or do as I suggested?

          • Barb says:

            Ahh, I think I might understand. I know learn things at a much deeper level if I work them out (for me it’s with God) rather than if someone just tells me the answer – although it also helps to discuss things with other as their ideas spur my thinking along and give me knew things to think about.

            It wouldn’t necessarily follow that I would be attempting to please the person who suggested I do something. Often their suggestion is the just the right suggestion so I do it out of conviction not people pleasing.

            At least for me the impulse to people please doesn’t usually kick in unless someone is criticizing or condemning me. And even then it doesn’t always leave the impulse stage. With accepting people I don’t even get the impulse.

            • Elisa's Spot says:

              I was laughing at my writing at the same time that I was writing and noticed that there are a LOT of other reasons people do as they do, and that in a short span of writing, the entirety of who and what a person is, doesn’t always shine through. Talking with others and having sound-boards does help me to notice new tools, that I might wish to try using at another time. I have to remember that sometimes my best thinking got me where I was. 😀

              Thank you for conversation! Happy Energy!

              • Barb says:

                I laughed when i read your comment because I could relate. So often I start out thinking everyone is thinking one way (usually the same way I think) and then I realize – wait a minute, they approach life differently than I do – and then I think – wait a minute, I approach life that way sometimes too. It’s always fun to see how everyone approaches life. Thanks for the great conversation.

                • Kathy says:

                  Hi, Barb! Nice to meet you. I just typed it “meetchya” but thought you might think that it looked like a foreign word. Well, it’s a good thing you and Elisa had a nice conversation about people pleasing and you were welcomed here at this Lake Superior hearth while I was out gallivanting at my son’s wedding. I kept seeing your commenting back & forth when checking email in San Diego but was too busy trying to please people…no, just kidding! Only 72.3% of the time! Welcome here. I will jump on over to say hello so that you feel welcomed. Elisa, is that people pleasing?

                • Barb says:

                  Haha, I’m from a small town in Montana – “meetchya” isn’t a foreign word! Hope you had fun at your son’s wedding. Elisa made me feel welcome while you were gone. I look forward to future posts – love your photography and writing style!

                • Elisa's Spot says:

                  Response 1: Outlook is uncertain, try again later! It’s a wonder no one ever came up with barfing magic 8 balls.

                  Response 2: I left it in my other pants.

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