Friday, March 24, 2023

Response to an Infographic on People Pleasing


This article brought to you by the Peer Voices Network. Find us on YouTube at...

Please consider donating to support this work. I am disabled, financially struggling, and am forced by existing social structures into producing content like this for free. I hope those with means and privilege will eventually shift priorities toward increased support for lived experience content generation and expertise sharing. Donations are never required and always appreciated. Donate Link:

I am also available for consultation work, curriculum development, trainings, etc.. I enjoy partnering with organizations on development of more accurate understandings of social reality. 

I can be reached by email at


Saw this infographic on trauma recovery social media and have some thoughts.

Here's my concern. I worry that what's not being discussed in the graphic is who or what is at fault for the feelings being describe here. If a person "has difficulty saying no" or "is anxious about self advocacy" is that more about...

A) A personal character and skills flaw

B) A social environment where being assertive isn't respected and is met with getting ignored, hostility, and violence

I've seen situations and both ends of that pendulum between A and B and a whole spectrum in-between. I've seen people in safe spaces with what we might call "unnecessary" fear. I've also seen people in current and real at-risk situations. 

And here's the problem - so much of modern mental health talk almost never talks about that latter situation. For example, look at this entry from a recent article about trauma recovery...

Right there in bold it declares "YOU ARE SAFE NOW".

Yes, it says "for those who are safe now". Well, great, what about those who aren't? Also, why put that disclaimer about "if you are" outside of the bold text? I see this article as nothing then an outright shaming of people who are stuck in abusive situations.

The point here is that sometimes (not always, but sometimes) people have nothing internally "broken" or "in need of self-fixing" wrong with them. Their people-pleasing is because almost all corners of society will punish them if they don't people-please. 

And rather than hold society accountable as one cause of these reactions, we ask or demand that trauma survivors, themselves, somehow fight back or flee the situation. Which is not a privilege available to many of them. And what I see far too little of is help with holding society partly accountable for why we see reactions in this iceberg. 

I don't see articles like mine here written enough and that's a problem.



No comments:

Post a Comment