Do You Mold Yourself to Please Others?

An essential step in the self-growth journey is learning to love yourself regardless of what others want you to be. Do you mold yourself to please others? My beautiful sister has been living the journey of breaking the “please others mold.” Here’s a recent picture of us together (she’s the one on the right).
sisters breaking the please others mold
She’s my “baby” sister and she’s one of the bravest women I know. She just recently admitted to me and to the world that she’s spent most of her life trying to be what other people wanted instead of being true to herself. 
Let me show you another picture of her. Here she is more than five years ago in full-on please-other-people mode . . . 
Beautiful before she broke her please others mold
Thing is – she and I have very different, yet similar stories. I almost literally died trying to be thin enough to make myself lovable and she layered flesh upon herself to shield herself from her own pain – the pain of trying to be something she was not.
I’m a few years ahead of her when it comes to reclaiming my life from abuse. But she and I have always wanted to be close – even when time and circumstances didn’t allow it. Now, I get the pleasure of watching her grow. 

She is learning an essential lesson that comes from the FREE Relationship Rights Checklist that you can pick up right here:

  – You have the right to be different than your partner.
Healthy is: to think, feel and do everything in the way that’s most natural for you.
Think about what I said about my own journey to be what someone else thought was lovable to the point of threatening my health.
Think about the image of my sister with the pink hair: trying to hide her unhappiness behind her weight and a funny show.
Think about what you might have done to yourself to try to make yourself acceptable to someone else.

*************IT ALWAYS HURTS!!!!*************

What’s the alternative?

Discovering & loving who you are!

Ask yourself this question. What hurts more:

Bending yourself into shapes that don’t fit you so you can avoid your fear that
someone might not love you as you need them to?


Facing that you may not ever be perfect enough for someone who doesn’t love you as you are and making the critical decision to love yourself?
One of the problems is that we tend to think in this kind of either-or, black-or-white way. But, what if . . . 
You take the chance to get to know your unique, true self and you discover that you will get love because you are being true to yourself?
AND – What if you discover that you can be true to yourself and you find that the person you love doesn’t reject you when you bring your real self to light? What if that person loves you more because you love yourself?

Before I sign off, I want you to think about another question: What if you are like me and your tendency is to “make nice” – even when you don’t have to?

I’ve been married to a delightful man for the past five years. We are very different, yet simpatico! And I still sometimes hesitate to speak my mind – especially when we are dealing with conflict and I think my difference of opinion could hurt his feelings.
Hey – I’m a therapist, and I still remind myself sometimes that he loves me because I’m not the same as he is. 
It really is healthy to think, feel and do everything in your own, natural way.  
Practicing breaking the please-others mold requires awareness of the subtle, internal voices you generally accept as truth because they feel like truth. 
Just to recap:
  • Self-growth requires breaking the mold of pleasing others first
  • Eating disorders can be a sign that you spend too much time in pleasing-others mode
  • Understanding your Relationship Rights will move you closer to self-love within relationship
  • Self-love attracts more love

Ready to take the next step toward claiming healthy love beyond breaking the pleasing others mold? Discover the 14 Rights of a Loving Relationship and sign up for Tamara’s FREE 30-Day Relationship Rights e-Course by clicking here.

For more of Tamara’s work, please visit Tamara’s podcast can also be found on  iTunes.

© Tamara Bess, LMFT 2016 All Rights Reserved. Any use of this article without Tamara’s express written permission is prohibited.


FREE Relationship Rights Checklist to Help You Claim The Healthy Love You Deserve

If you’ve been hurt in your relationship, it’s natural and normal for you to want to “harm proof” yourself.

The most common request in survivor groups is for information about how to avoid attracting the same kind of hurtful partner in the future.

“How do I avoid ending up in relationship with another abusive person?”

How to avoid abuse brightened.png

To Claim Healthy Love You Must Recognize Your Own Patterns

It’s a good question and survivors are smart to ask. What we know is that if you are in a relationship that hurts, there are some aspects of your patterns of interacting with potential partners that “alert” them to the fact that you are someone who might easily be taken advantage of. Those are the hooks that a potential abusive partner use to “lure you” into relationship. The problem is that we can’t usually see our vulnerable points until after someone has used them to take advantage. I’ve heard many women speak of their disappointment because they were able to get out of a harmful relationship and then found themselves being hurt again by a different partner! The other person didn’t look the same as the first hurtful partner. But, here they are again, being hurt like before.

It’s a common problem. You leave your abusive relationship, only to find that your next relationship is the same.

After doing this work for myself and so many women I’ve helped, I understand how to break that pattern.

It’s not in being able to spot an abusive person “a mile away.” Although recognizing potentially abusive behaviors in other people is helpful, that is not the way you will “abuse proof” your future.

As I’ve continued to work in the field of Domestic Violence recovery, I have noticed that MOST of the focus is on identifying abusers or identifying abusive patterns.

I think that approach to providing answers just a little too little and a little too late.

Domestic Violence Awareness movement in our country is doing a great job of raising awareness to the problem on a social level. It’s also doing a great job of helping vulnerable people recognize that they can get out of their situations.

All of that is fantastic.

But, what’s next?

How do we stop vulnerable people from being harmed in the first place?

What are the real answers to Breaking the Cycle of violence once the Silence is broken?

There are lots of potential responses related to education in the schools and changes in public policy.

What I’m focusing on here is breaking your cycle.

You need a way to see what is invisible to you but obvious to someone who would take advantage of you.

You need to be able to use this information to abuse-proof yourself in the future.

Seeing this need and recognizing that the information “out there” is filled with answers that ask you to look at other people in hopes of recognizing threat, I want to offer you something different.

I want to offer you something that will help you reclaim yourself. I want to show you the areas where vulnerable people typically get hurt, tell you what you have the right to expect in a relationship and give you permission to ask for what is healthy. It’s called the Relationship Rights Checklist.

This is your first step toward getting what you want in relationship while building a deep connection at the same time.

Lead Magnet

It’s based on the personal work I’ve done to get myself out of 2 abusive marriage and an oppressive religious upbringing. It’s also based on tried-an-true realities I’ve seen while working as a therapist for the last 2 decades.

It’s my gift to you.


I’d love to hear your feedback. I’m always here to help.

All my love,


© Tamara Bess, LMFT 2016 All Rights Reserved. Any use of this article without Tamara’s express written permission is prohibited.