People Pleasers and Doormats Care What People Think About Them

Are you a people pleaser? Do you care what people think about you? Should you care what other people think about you or not? Do you have the “disease to please” people in your life to the point where you feel like you have become someone’s personal doormat to wipe their dirty feet on? Do you have difficulty saying no to requests and then feel angry or resentful because you said yes, again? Who is pulling your strings?

By definition, people pleasers are people who have a disproportionate and unhealthy need in their personality to give in to the wants, whims and desires of others around them, to the point of sacrificing their own wants or needs. People pleasers, pushovers and doormats lack assertiveness skills and hold back from speaking up and saying what they really think or feel, and they hold back from asking for what they need or want because they’re worried someone will get upset about it.

Having a people pleasing personality is great…..until. Being considerate, thoughtful, gracious and willing to help others are admirable traits and characteristics, but suffering from doormat syndrome or being a people pleaser to your own detriment are not so admirable. People pleasers put other people’s needs before their own, rarely doing things for themselves and then feel guilty about it.
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What Parents Owe Their Children

What do parents owe their children? Do parents “owe” their children anything? Do parents owe their kids a college education, or an inheritance? Are the challenges of parenting causing concern and doubt on how to be a good parent while raising your children and teens? What does “parental responsibility” include in raising children?

The only things parents “owe” their kids in a material way is to provide for their basic needs of water, food, clothing and shelter until the children reach adulthood, where “kids” then take on the responsibilities of caring for their own needs as adults.

Children, adolescents and adults have 6 basic human needs including: physical, emotional, social, intellectual, spiritual and creative needs in order to be happy, healthy and well-adjusted individuals. Things such as personal ambition, self-control, respect, obedience, happiness, self-esteem, morality, courage, loyalty, integrity, honesty and independence are all things that cannot be bought or given, but must be learned.

Parents have the responsibility to teach and train their children about the basics of life such as how to speak, eat, walk, tie their shoes, use good manners etc, and it is the parents’ obligation and responsibility to love and care for their children with firm guidance and consistent discipline, support and educate them until they reach the age when they can and should provide for themselves and take care of their own needs.

Things Parent’s Do Not Owe Their Children

Parent’s do not owe their children every second or minute of their day, nor every ounce of their energy. Parent’s do not owe their children round-the-clock car service, singing lessons, dance lessons, karate lessons, trips to summer camp, trips to Disney World, expensive bicycles, a credit card, a motorcycle or a car when they reach the age of sixteen, or a trip to Europe when they graduate high school. Parents need to get off the “you owe me” guilt-trip and learn how to say no to children and their numerous demands and unrealistic expectations, and mean it.

Parents do not owe their children a college education or an inheritance. If parents can afford to send their children to college, fine; but parents must not become guilt-ridden if or when they cannot afford to send their kids to college. If children want or plan to attend college and their parents are not financially able to afford the expense, kids that really want to go to college can do so with scholarships, federal grant programs, student loans, etc. Parents who fall victim to the “give-me game” may find themselves guilted into bankruptcy if not careful.

When children become adults, parents do not owe them a down payment on a house or money for the furniture. Parents do not have an obligation to baby-sit or to take their grandchildren into their home when the parents go on vacation. If parents want to do it, it is a favor, not an obligation. Parents do not “owe” their grown children financial help or an inheritance regardless of how much money a parent has. Parents must learn to cut the financial umbilical cord for their own sake and for the sake of their children.

The parental responsibility of raising children to adulthood is an enormous challenge, as parents strive to provide for their child’s needs as best they can, only to hear those ominous words as kids get older, “you owe me” this or that. The idea of owing anything to children is usually heard from entitled teenagers and grown adult children who have unrealistic expectations of a parents responsibility and obligations to kids.

Psychotherapist Eileen Gallo, along with her husband John J. Gallo, collaborated on the book, Silver Spoon Kids : How Successful Parents Raise Responsible Children, and Gary W. Buffone, Ph.D., author of Choking on the Silver Spoon: Keeping Your Kids Healthy, Wealthy and Wise in a Land of Plenty, have provided parents two excellent parenting guides to ensure children don’t become spoiled about money in an age of unprecedented wealth, unlimited credit, rampant materialism and entitlement.

Included are helpful checklists, self-tests, and brief bits of wisdom and advice that parents can quickly put to use. Parents, if you have ever wondered how to talk to your kids about what money is and is not, what money can and cannot do, the above books are a great place to start.

Related Posts:

A Sense of Entitlement
Helping vs. Enabling: Is There a Difference?
12 Rules for Raising Delinquent Children
What it Means to “Let Go”
Setting Boundaries With Your Adult Children
Are Parents Helping or Enabling Their Adult Children?
How to Stop Enabling – When Our Grown Children Disappoint Us
Are You An Enabler? Identifying Early Warning Signs of Enabling Behaviors

A Sense of Entitlement

Do you find yourself suffering from a sense of entitlement? Are entitlement issues making you poor, to the point where you feel you must live with your parents? What does it mean to be an adult from your point of view? What are the behavioral characteristics of a true adult? Do you know how to be an adult, living your life as an independent and responsible grownup, as opposed to being a financial burden to your parents? Do you feel that your parents are controlling your adult life, money and decisions while you are living in their house?

I don’t get the opportunity to watch Judge Judy very often, but I do try to keep up by reading as much as possible about recent guests on the show.  I still remember a show from last year where a mother was petitioning the court to get $4000.00 from her 24-year-old son, who had borrowed the money (which mom put on her credit card) to buy a car.

This was the third loan given to the young man, and the mother forgave the previous two loans, despite having to take the money from her life savings. This third loan to her son resulted in the credit card company pursuing mom for repayment of the loan money.  The son’s response to Judge Judy: “I shouldn’t have to pay her back because the last car she bought me was a piece of (bleep)!” The dangers of entitlement rears its ugly head.

The Entitlement Generation

Entitlement is defined as “a guarantee of access to benefits because of rights, or by agreement through law. It also refers, in a more casual sense to someone’s belief that he/she is deserving of some particular reward or benefit. It is often used as a negative term in popular parlance (i.e. a sense of entitlement). The legal term, however, carries no value judgment: it simply denotes a right granted. In clinical psychology and psychiatry, an unrealistic, exaggerated, or rigidly held sense of entitlement may be considered a symptom of Narcissistic Personality Disorder.”

Signs and Symptoms of Entitlement include:

  • Teens feel entitled to a new car when they turn 16
  • Kids and teens who “must have” the latest fads and fashions
  • People entering the workforce feel entitled to start at the top
  • Workers who just don’t like their jobs feel entitled to quit and collect unemployment
  • People who feel they should be given handouts until they find jobs that “suit” them
  • Expecting a certain standard of living without work or effort
  • Feeling entitled to move back home with parents because being an adult is “too hard”
  • Feeling justified in supporting their lifestyle on credit, and expecting parents to “help” pay their bills

Would you like a little cheese with that whine? In order to understand how to be an adult that is financially responsible, independent and self-sufficient, it’s necessary for grown children to evaluate their expectations of being an adult vs. society’s “instant gratification”, entitlement epidemic so prominent in America. Entitlement breeds laziness and the best way to deal with someone who has a sense of entitlement is to make them work for what they need and want! Need creates motivation, and “if anyone does not want to work, neither let him eat”.

Have your parents or grandparents become your personal ATM machine, where parents are treated like The National Bank of Mom and Dad in order to pay your bills, while you spend your own money on other things? Do your “needs” for food, clothing and shelter get paid for by someone else while your “wants” for fun, entertainment and other luxuries get first priority in your life? If so, you have a sense of entitlement that is causing you to make excuses for your poor choices as an adult, and is burdensome to your parents and/or grandparents.

Characteristics and Qualities of a Responsible Adult

  • Self-control – Control of one’s emotions, desires or actions by one’s own will.
  • Stability – stable personality, strength, reliability, dependability.
  • Independence – ability to self-regulate, not relying on others for support, care or funds; self-supporting.
  • Seriousness – ability to deal with life in a serious manner.
  • Responsibility – accountability, commitment and reliability.
  • Method/Tact – ability to think ahead and plan for the future, patience.
  • Endurance – ability and willingness to cope with difficulties that present themselves.
  • Experience – breadth of mind, understanding, accumulated knowledge, especially of practical matters
  • Objectivity – the ability to assess situations or circumstances shrewdly and to draw sound conclusions
  • Decision making capability – as all of the above correspond to making proper decisions.
  • Priorities – Ability to determine what is the most important thing that must be dealt with first, providing for the “needs” vs. the “wants” first and foremost.

How to Be an Adult

Take responsibility for yourself and the personal choices you make. Learn how to manage your money and stop asking or expecting your parents to rescue you from your repeated money mistakes. Parents need to stop enabling your poor choices; they are your choices and subsequent consequences, and you have to figure out how to clean up your own financial mess.

Make a budget and stick to it. Find and maintain a job. Learn how to live within your means by telling yourself NO! when you want to buy something you want instead of paying your bills. Even though it’s easier to sit back and let others provide for you financially and in other ways (especially by parents/grandparents), while you get accustomed to being catered to like a toddler, the sense of entitlement will have detrimental and long lasting effects if you don’t stop spending your money frivolously.

You may feel safe when you don’t attempt to change, but you are sabotaging yourself and your future. You are selling out your happiness and putting up with something you don’t want. Require more of yourself. Stop expecting regular and continuous “help” from parents or other relatives, but learn how to live within your means and practice self-restraint.

Develop a plan to get on your own and out of your parents house, but you must stick to it. Taking advantage of well-meaning parents as they try to help get you back on your feet and on your own is not a sign of maturity but of pure selfishness. Start living where you can get up in the morning and look in the mirror and say, “I’m a grown person; I’m living on my own and I’m proud of that”, and that doesn’t mean living at home with your parents. And finally, hanging onto your entitlement issues just might find you face-to-face with Judge Judy, if your parents decide to take you to court to get their money back.

For women dealing with money issues and problems: Women & Money: Owning the Power to Control Your Destiny is an amazing resource and highly recommended for all women and teen girls.

Related Posts:

Closing the Bank of Mom and Dad
Helping and Enabling – Is There a Difference?
Raising Independent Children Not Moochers
How to Stop Enabling – When Our Grown Children Disappoint Us
Support Groups for Parents with Grown Adult Children Living at Home with Parents

Are Parents Helping Or Enabling Their Adult Children?

The primary job of a parent is to prepare their children for how the world really works. We teach and train our children from childhood the knowledge and skills necessary to become independent adults, self-sufficient and upstanding members of society.

In the real world, you don’t always get what you want.

Many young adults today have unrealistic expectations when they initially go out on their own. Many feel they are entitled to immediately live a middle-class life style (or better), because that’s what they’re used to, and because they haven’t learned that there is a difference between helping and enabling.

They weren’t born, or were very young children, during the years their parents struggled to make ends meet, pay their bills (and on time), having to eat hot dogs and beans instead of steak dinners, struggling to live within their means.

Many young adults are living at home with their parents, not out of true need, but out of what I refer to as the “Whine Factor.” They whine about the costs of housing, and how they just “couldn’t possibly live in a tiny little apartment, in a sub-standard neighborhood.” They whine about having to live on red beans and rice, ramen noodles, or macaroni and cheese, because their current salary doesn’t allow for the kinds of meals they were used to at their parents home. (Someone get me a tissue…..snif)

What happened to teaching our children how the Real World is?! That in order to have the things you want, you have to work very hard. That you have to perhaps work two jobs instead of one, all the while going to college? Many young adults, some who now have children of their own, believe their parents somehow “owe them” financial assistance, to rescue them from the burden of their own poor money-management habits! What?! Excuse ME…..?!

Let me see if I get this right. Young adults, married or living together, working full-time jobs, with or without a child to support, choose to spend their money frivolously rather than ensuring they are living within their means, and when they run into financial trouble and can’t pay their bills, the parents OWE it to their children to rescue them?! Sometimes even expected to “help” many, many times over? Huh?! Parents, listen very carefully: There is a big difference between helping and enabling adult children, and if you don’t figure it out now and put an immediate stop to the enabling, it will never end.

Maybe I’m being a little too tough. Naw, I don’t think so. I’m of the thinking that if my grown, adult children, CHOOSE to spend their money on things they “want” rather than their “needs” (like a place to live, utilities, food, etc.., like the rest of us do) and their electric gets shut off because of non-payment? Ok! So their food goes bad and they have to throw it away. Maybe, just maybe, it’s more of a “help” to allow them to experience the consequences of their own poor choices, in order to learn the valuable lessons needed to be grown, independent ADULTS.

Rescuing them from their choices and subsequent consequences, giving them money as a fix to their immediate self-made problem, allowing them to move back in with their parents, this is called “help”? I think it’s actually enabling our young adult children rather than help, preventing them from the realities of the real world. In the real world, you work long and hard for the things you need and want. That’s the only way to truly appreciate what you have, when you’ve worked your butt off for it all on your own.

A Sense of Entitlement
Children Who Refuse To Grow Up
Helping and Enabling – Is There A Difference?
Are You An Enabler? Identifying Early Warning Signs of Enabling Behaviors
How to Stop Enabling: When Our Grown Children Disappoint Us
Support Groups for Parents with Grown Adult Children Living at Home with Parents

Setting Boundaries With Your Adult Children As long as we continue to keep enabling our adult children, they will continue to deny they have any problems, since most of their problems are being “solved” by those around him. Only when our adult children are forced to face the consequences of their own actions—their own choices—will it finally begin to sink in how deep their patterns of dependence and avoidance have become. And only then will we as parents be able to take the next step to real healing, forever ending our enabling habits and behaviors.