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 Link between TMS headaches and people pleasing
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floorten

United Kingdom
120 Posts

Posted - 11/10/2007 :  12:22:13  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
A couple of days ago while journaling I realised something which is quite profound.

My major TMS symptom is a persistent tension headache. It's effect is to make me feel crappy, low energy and antisocial. When I have this symptom badly, which is a large amount of the time, I just want to stay out of people's way.

For a while this has been a puzzle to me, what benefit the constant headache is bringing me, for my subconscious to never let up on it. I know I'm a big people-pleaser and I'm also very self-critical, but it was always a mystery to me why headaches and not just the usual back-pain or tendonitis?

The answer came to me quite clearly when journalling. For a people-pleaser, the constant judgements of others and the feeling of needing to live up to their expectations is massively burdensome and enraging to the subconscious. If even a stranger on the street being rude to me has the potential to upset my mood for the day, then clearly every single other person on this planet represents a sort of latent threat to me. It's like they're a time bomb of disapproval or negative judgement just waiting to go off!

So if literally EVERYONE out there is such a potential threat, no wonder my subconscious wants me to avoid social contact as much as possible. It achieves this best with the TMS headaches. Nothing spoils your mood quicker than a headache. Nothing makes you want to hide in on your own and never be disturbed more. It's the perfect alibi against a world which I've made impossibly threatening to myself, by holding myself up to impossible people-pleasing standards.

I'd be interested to hear from anyone else here who suffers from TMS headaches to see if they've spotted a link with their people-pleasing.
Headaches are the most persistent and trickiest of TMS symptoms to relieve and after a year of TMS work I still don't feel I've made much progress. I'd like to hearrom anyone else who has insight and can advise on getting myself out of being a people-pleaser.

cheers,
Greg

--
"What the Thinker thinks, the Prover proves."
Robert Anton Wilson

Edited by - floorten on 11/10/2007 12:34:39

Scottydog

United Kingdom
330 Posts

Posted - 11/12/2007 :  17:43:44  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
The answer came to me quite clearly when journalling. For a people-pleaser, the constant judgements of others and the feeling of needing to live up to their expectations is massively burdensome and enraging to the subconscious. If even a stranger on the street being rude to me has the potential to upset my mood for the day, then clearly every single other person on this planet represents a sort of latent threat to me. It's like they're a time bomb of disapproval or negative judgement just waiting to go off!

So if literally EVERYONE out there is such a potential threat, no wonder my subconscious wants me to avoid social contact as much as possible.


Wow, you put clearly into a few sentences what was my major issue. I had a desperate need to be respected /admired (my father was an alcoholic so this makes alot of sense). Things have vastly improved but negative feelings can still creep up on you and I spend alot of time on my own - maybe I should get out more!

Headaches were never a problem but I did get knee pain due to people pleasing. Shouting at my brain to stop it worked, so you could try that but not easy if you have headache.
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floorten

United Kingdom
120 Posts

Posted - 11/13/2007 :  18:23:25  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hey scottiedog,

I've realised now that people-pleasing isn't always wanting to *do* things to please people. Probably a more toxic sort of people pleasing is having to avoid people's anger and judgement - ie. to always have people pleased, or at least neutral with you.

My friends would probably laugh if I said I was a people pleaser. They'd say I'm the one who always forgets their birthdays and never does the washing up! But they don't see what's going on inside my head the whole time.... constant checking to see if people are happy with me and a gripping panic if they possibly aren't.

My poor subconscious. How can it possibly live up to hundreds of people's expectations all at once. No wonder its only way out was to make me so physically unhappy that I avoided everyone and maybe also got some sympathy instead of aggression.

Getting out more is key. I think you should definitely do this. Think of it as the people-pleasing equivalent to continuing physical exercise. It's basically denying the subconscious' planned outcome - physical or social incapacitation.

--
"What the Thinker thinks, the Prover proves."
Robert Anton Wilson
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armchairlinguist

USA
1397 Posts

Posted - 11/15/2007 :  15:36:53  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hey floorten,

I really empathize on this subject of people-pleasing. Lately after working with my therapist, I have started to realize how much of my energy has been consumed by trying to figure out what other people want me to do and say and be. Like you, it's not that I am always going out of my way to do nice things, but I am always trying not to do something that will upset someone, or be not what they want. Trying to read their minds and fend off any displeasure.

Now that I realize this is what I've been doing I realize how impossible it is and how much pressure it has put on me. I am having some success these days doing some things because I want to, putting what I want out there, and going with that, seeing what other people put out there and working with that instead of trying to read their minds. It is so much easier even though it is hard to change the pattern. And it is pleasant to just do things without so much worry.

--
It's not 100% belief that's required, but 100% commitment.
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Penny

USA
364 Posts

Posted - 11/17/2007 :  20:32:34  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi Guys, It's always so encouraging to read feelings that are so similar to my own. Thanks,
Penny

quote:
Originally posted by armchairlinguist


Lately after working with my therapist, I have started to realize how much of my energy has been consumed by trying to figure out what other people want me to do and say and be. Like you, it's not that I am always going out of my way to do nice things, but I am always trying not to do something that will upset someone, or be not what they want.
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tmsjptc

USA
124 Posts

Posted - 12/13/2011 :  17:42:05  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Floorten, you sound like my twin brother! Headaches are my main problem too, although I also have neck and shoulder pain. I'm 90% pain free now but still working toward complete relief. I can even catch myself getting overly concerned if I'm in a drive-thru lane at a fast-food place and I'm taking too long to order. I start to worry about the guy behind me and him having to wait for me! Silly I know, but at least I'm aware of it and that seems to be the biggest part of the solution.
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Joy_I_Am

United Kingdom
138 Posts

Posted - 12/15/2011 :  04:09:13  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I don't get the headaches, but I'm glad (in a way) that I'm not the only person who frets for a day after a rude comment! I'm getting better as I get older, but as a generally well-meaning person myself, I get baffled and upset by people who don't seem to care if they're nice or not, if they hurt someone else - to me, it seems to go against all that makes us human and social animals.

I try to understand that they are probably afraid and threatened, and it makes them over-defensive. I guess the difference is that they turn it out while we turn it in.

I'm still going to keep being nice myself, though! It's a way of striking against the tide of general grinchiness!

Joy
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tennis tom

USA
4696 Posts

Posted - 12/15/2011 :  10:06:34  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Migraines were Dr. Sarno's own original symptom as a med student that got him thinking about psychosomatic "dis-ease" and lead him to develop his TMS MINDBODY theory. He found by thinking psychologically, he could stop the migraines in their early stage, the visual aura, and the headaches would not materialize.

Here's a link to an allopathic medical explanation of migraines:

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/migraine-aura/MM00659

==================================================

DR. SARNO'S 12 DAILY REMINDERS:
www.youtube.com/watch?v=r0dKBFwGR0g

TAKE THE HOLMES-RAHE STRESS TEST
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holmes_and_Rahe_stress_scale

Some of my favorite excerpts from _THE DIVIDED MIND_ :
http://www.tmshelp.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=2605

==================================================

"It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society." Jiddu Krishnamurti

"Pain is inevitable; suffering is optional." Author Unknown

"Happy People Are Happy Putters." Frank Nobilo, Golf Analyst

"Be careful about reading health books. You may die of a misprint." Mark Twain and Balto
======================================================

TMS PRACTITIONERS:

John Sarno, MD
400 E 34th St, New York, NY 10016
(212) 263-6035


Here's the TMS practitioners list from the TMS Help Forum:
http://www.tmshelp.com/links.htm


Here's a list of TMS practitioners from the TMS Wiki:
http://tmswiki.org/page/Find+a+TMS+Doctor+or+Therapist

Here's a map of TMS practitioners from the old Tarpit Yoga site, (click on the map by state for listings).:
http://www.tarpityoga.com/2007_08_01_archive.html

Edited by - tennis tom on 12/15/2011 16:54:52
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