Posts Tagged ‘Friendship’

This week, Dr. Barry Lubetkin gives us some insight on our need to please!

Do you have the “Disease to Please”????

Approval cravers are terrified that if they garner disapproval from certain friends and family, these people will disappear. Many of my patients have told me that they genuinely fear that if they anger a significant person in their life, that person would drop away forever. The mental distortion operating here is that all of the wonderful years of friendship and warm shared experiences will be negated by a single incident of disagreement.

Margaret Adam

Margaret Adam (Photo credit: Joi)

While that may occasionally occur,most good friends are able to overlook single incidents and talk things over.

In a 1971 article Margaret Adams wrote about the “compassion trap “where females in particular believe that their very existence is defined by service and compassion for others. Overcome this self defeating philosophy whenever you are annoyed or upset with another’s behavior by the following steps:

1. Express your upset directly without candy coating it.

2. Clarify your expectations of the other person and the goals you desire

3. Challenge your internal irrational fears of retribution

4. Prepare for resistance or refusal from the person to go along with your desire or goals by having in your mind an alternative or compromise plan .

Barry Lubetkin is co-director of the Institute for Behavior Therapy in Manhattan.  If you have a question or concern that you would like his opinion on, please leave a comment here.

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