The Stress of People Pleasing

screen-shot-2013-04-03-at-2-44-23-pmThis post has nothing to do with Paganism. I’ve decided to kind of branch out, and write about other topics, in addition to those of witchcraft and Paganism. I think this will help with periods of no posts. And frankly, believe it or not, there are times I get sick of talking or writing about spirituality. One thing to keep in mind is that everything I do, think, or see in life is filtered through my Pagan mind. I see the world through Paganism. It’s simply become a part of me.

Anyway, Christmas is 18 days away. For most of the past 20+ years, I have carried the burden of making sure everyone gets together, and have carried the stress of making sure everyone is happy. Both of those tasks are stressful. With divorces, multiple in-laws, and small children, it can be a daunting task to keep everyone happy. And it takes its’ toll. For the past several years, I seem to get sick right around New Year, and it seems to keep its’ hold on me longer each year. I’m fairly certain that the stress is affecting my already fragile immune system, and making me more susceptible to illness.

I’ve made the decision to shrug off worrying about everyone’s happiness this holiday season. I’ll contribute with gifts, food, and throwing off my own good cheer, but I am not going to assume the role of concerning myself with everyone’s happiness.

I know many people assign themselves this burden. Generally, we are the empaths, putting everyone else’s happiness before ours. It’s an unthankful and impossible chore. I’ve often marveled at the people at any kind of party or gathering, who make no effort to hide their unhappiness, displeasure, boredom, anger, or arguing from others. One year, one family member had a full-on fit with their spouse, and everyone gathered there wanted to crawl under the furniture. I find that behavior selfish and rude. I’d simply like to find a middle ground, where I concern myself with, well, myself.

In the past, after these gatherings, I reflect upon them, and realize that I never really got to sit back and enjoy whatever fellowship and joy there was. I was too busy worrying about everyone else. To be fair, nobody assigned me this job. I’ve done this to myself. I’m sure it will be a bit difficult to keep from assuming that role this year, but once-in-awhile, I need to worry about myself.

If you have had this compulsion to make sure everyone else’s happiness comes before yours, and have been able to change that behavior, I’d sure like to hear how you’ve done it. Any tips or suggestions are welcome!

Thanks for reading, and

Happy Holidays!



  1. I confess to that compulsion. I try to deal with it by finding my happiness through acting to make others happy, more than putting theirs above mine. Not defining myself by them, but rather in finding myself in them. Usually, though, it’s more a matter of struggling to keep my unhappiness from wrecking their happiness.

    (And I think it has a heck of a lot to do with paganism. But what I think on that doesn’t mean that it does.)

    Liked by 1 person

    • “Usually, though, it’s more a matter of struggling to keep my unhappiness from wrecking their happiness.”

      I hear you there. I wear a mask quite often with family and friends. Don’t want to burden them, and frankly, I worry about continued relationships if they knew the depth of my depression at times…


  2. This is such a common problem. It is NOT imagined, as statistically, we know that suicide rates increase around the Holidays. I recommend meditation to keep perspective. Also, remember — this society basically wants us to be brainwashed. They would love us to feel guilty so we buy stuff. (It works.) They also would love us to get sick so we have to buy their medicine. (It works!) And that is just one fraction of the lies they tell us. It is all a big farce. We see through it when we come to know Truth!


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