It is often said that as booze is to AA overthinking is to Al-Anon. At one time I thought I could read other people’s minds despite the fact I was always wrong. I made myself think I could read you mind because if I was wrong about that I had absolutely no way to make myself feel safe. So on and on I believed I could protect myself that way.
The bad part of that if I was building my life around falsehood it became harder to recognize truth, I could make good decisions with less information than many people. Growing up I had to make quick decisions to have a chance to live decently.
One of the things I discovered was that people liked me for reason and for one reason alone. It was not wealth, good looks, intelligence, success or any other thing about me. People liked me if I made them feel good about themselves. That made me into a people pleaser. When I lived my life sucking up to people I might as well have put a sign on my forehead saying “Kick me please”.
However, since I have been in program for years now remembering that people like me based on how I made them feel allowed for me to be very attentive to the things I truly admired in people and to in all sincerity compliment them.
In another area I had to learn that people respected me on one basis alone. They respected me if I respected myself. If I ignored my own needs people around me ignored them also.