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Why People-pleasers Can't Think Straight (Self-states, Constructs, Introjects)

Uploaded 12/1/2022, approx. 11 minute read

Yes, I'm alive. I survived the Trump video. You didn't get to me. You're only going to make more videos.

My name is Salbaknin. I'm the author of Malignant Self-Love: Narcissism Revisited.

The Bible of Narcissism, the book that coined all the language in use today.

I'm also a professor of psychology. Two days ago, I released a video about the way constructs reshape reality, reframe your memories in order to uphold, to buttress and to support a specific self-state, which is responsive to environmental cues.

Now this was a mouthful, so I'll remind you. The environment sends you stimuli. The environment provides information and data. A specific self-state is selected. The self-state activates a construct. The construct interfaces with reality, gathers the information, filters it, reframes it in order to conform to the self-state. And then the construct also changes your memory. It kind of represses some memories, emphasizes other memories, creates a selective memory environment.

So it alters the perception of reality. It alters your memories, and then it induces in you behaviors that tend to uphold the self-state.

This is done via introjects. The introjects are internal voices in your head that send out a stream of automatic thoughts.

The constructs activate, trigger specific introjects, then the automatic thoughts shape your behavior and you create in the environment, you create to generate specific outcomes, your behavior as consequences. And these outcomes or consequences tend to support, to uphold, to provide the self-state and its associated constellation of constructs.

I recommend that you watch that video. There's a lot more there. It's a one-hour video, one of my shortest.

But many of you have written to me to ask, can you give us an example? Can you give us an example of how this works in reality?


So today I'm going to do exactly this.

You are warned. Today I'm going to discuss how this mechanism works with people pleasers and with children, adults who had been parentified as children.

And so these people have specific automatic thoughts. These automatic thoughts are at the core of the identity of people pleasers and formally parentified children.

What are these automatic thoughts?

Well, here they are.

Number one, my happiness is always at someone else's expense. I call it the zero- sum automatic thought.

If you are happy, someone else is unhappy. Your happiness is someone else's sacrifice.

Your contentment, your joy, your cheer is someone else's distress or burden.

So this is a zero- sum game. If you love people, if you like people, if you want to please people, if you feel that you are someone's mother or someone's daddy figure, you are going to withhold your happiness. You're going to suppress your joy and cheer and contentment in order not to inflict undue burdens, sacrifices and unhappiness on your nearest and dearest.

That is automatic thought number one and it comes from an introject or a group of introjects, possibly for example, a harsh critical mother or a withholding absent mother or a selfishessentially dead mother mentally.


Okay, the second automatic thought at the core of people pleasing and formally parentified children is I have to earn my happiness. I don't deserve happiness. I have to work hard for it. I have to justify it. I have to demonstrate that happiness is my due. Happiness is not an ambient thing. Happiness is not something that everyone around me should strive to provide me for. Happiness is not something I should pursue because if I pursue happiness it is at someone else's expense. Happiness is hard work.

So these people identify happiness with tasks, with assignments, with labor. The more the busier they are, the more difficult life is, the more onerous the tasks, the more they have to do, the happier they feel because surely having invested so much work, happiness is coming to me.

So these people who tend to becomefor exampleworkaholics, they would tend to develop addictions, a variety of addictions. Addiction is perceived by the addict as work.

You ask any junkie and he will tell you how much work there is in securing the drug and then using the drug and so on and so forth. Addiction involves ceremonies, routines. Addiction creates a social circle around the addict. So addiction is an organizing principle, a lifestructuring affirmation.

These people, people pleasers and formally parentified children, they tend to become addicts because the addiction is perceived as labor, hard laborand toil is the prerequisite and the antecedent of happiness.

There's no happiness without toil. It's a little like in the Bible, you know, when Adam and Eve were expelled from the Garden of Eden, God promised them a life of toilcompensated for by giving birth to children.

Okay, happinessincluding childbearing and child rearing, you have to work for it, you have to earn it and deserve it.


Number three, automatic negative automatic thought.

Somehow I have to bribe people. I have to bribe people around me. I have to somehow corrupt them by offering them something. I have to compensate them for being with me. I have to bribe people to stay with me. I have to bribe people to collaborate with me. I have to co-opt people to help me. I have to make sure that people tolerate me because they give me something in return. And I need to do all this because I'm a bad object. I'm unworthy. I'm unlovable. I'm crazy. I'm inadequate. I'm dissolute. I'm hopelessand so on and so forth.

I am so, I am such a bad deal. I'm such a delinquent proposition that for people to doto have anything to do with me, they somehow must be given something in return, must be compensated.

So this is the third automaticnegative automatic thought.

And the fourth automatic thought is I need to compromise. Life is a compromise. I need to compromise on my boundaries. I need to give up my rights. I need to do all this because of the previous three automatic thoughts.

I'm unworthy. My happiness is always at the expense of someoneand I have to earn my happiness.

So I need to give up on boundaries, on rights, on demands, on expectations. I can't force myself on the environment. I need to minimize myself. I need to minimize myself to the point of vanishing. I need to be an apparition. I need to become a function. I can't be a full-fledged human being because I'm a full-fledged human being.

This in itself is a burden on other people. This in itself requires an exertion of other peoplejust to accept me. I'm inexorable. I'm a plague and a devastation. I need to keep myself hidden or count in a way.

These are the automatic thoughts at the core of people-pleasing, at the core of formerly-parentified children. And these automatic thoughts pervade all areas of life, all types of functioning, all acts, all decisions and choices, all cognitions, and all emotions.

In sex, for example, someone with this mindset would allow her partner to do anything to her, even a casual partner, even a total stranger. She would have no boundaries. She would let him do anything he pleases. She would not dare say no because in her mind she has no right to say no.

If she were to say no, she would make the partner angry, justifiably. She would deserve punishment because she's a bad object. So she would succumb to unwanted sex with an undesirable partner because that's just the way it is. She doesn't deserve any better. She has no rights. She doesn't have even the right to impose a boundary. It's nice of him to just be with her and give her some attention.

And this is in sex. In the family, such a person would be a doormat. She would cater to the needs of others to the point of self-depletion and utter exhaustion. She would sacrifice her health, physical and mental, just to guarantee harmony, consensus.

These people are conflict averse. These automatic thoughts are co-opted by the constructs. The constructs within these people, the constructs inherent in these people, they activate, they trigger specific interjects.

For example, the harsh mummy interject or the regenerative absent daddy interject or the critical teacher interject.

So the constructs within these people, they would trigger specific interjects. And these interjects will spew out, will generate the aforementioned four automatic thoughts.

So the constructs activate the interjects. The interjects begin to generate automatic thoughts.

Your happiness is someone else's expense. You have to earn your happiness. You don't deserve it. You have to bribe people to stay with you, collaborate with you, help you or tolerate you. And you need to compromise on your boundaries and rights.

These are the automatic thoughts. The constructs latch onto these automatic thoughts, appropriate them, snatch them, and they use them to manipulate the environment, the behavior.

I'm sorry, they use these automatic thoughts generated by the interjects. The constructs use them to manipulate or affect the behaviors of the people pleaser and the formerly parentified child.

People pleasing and formerly parentified child, these are the self-states.

So the people pleaser has a people pleasing self-state, which then uses a group of constructs, which then activates specific interjects, which then generate the automatic thoughts, which then affect the behaviors of the people pleaser and the formerly parentified child.

I hope it's a bit clearer now. You can apply it to every situation and every person you've ever met.

This is a universal model, a self-state responsive to the environment, self-state responsive to circumstances, self-state responsive to other people. This self-state selects constructs, constructs a ways of organizing the world, constructs a ways of imbuing the world with sense and meaning, interpreting the world, explaining what's happening.

So the constructs falsify memory, reframe memory, and they also suppress lots of information, information that conflicts with the self-state, challenges the self-state, will be filtered out. The construct is like a memory.

And then these constructs would affect your behavior, affect the behavior of these people, to conform to the self-state.

They do this by activating interjects and flooding the subject, flooding the person with automatic thoughts.

automatic thoughts affect behavior, behavior affects reality. Reality conforms to the self-state. Everyone is happy. There's no dissonance, no conflict, no anxiety. This is how things work.

So next time you come across a people pleaser, next time you come across a promiscuous person who can't say no, next time you come across someone who has been parentified as a child and insists on being your mother or your father, because that's the only thing they know how to do.

Next time you come across these people, realize that these are self-states. They have other self-states. When they are in the people pleasing self-state, the promiscuous never say no self-state. They are parentifying self-state. When they are in these self-states, they have specific constructs inside that activate specific interjects that flood them with automatic thoughts that they cannot resist.

These automatic thoughts are like programming, like algorithms.

At that moment, the self-state takes over, the person becomes a puppet, a machine, a robot, a computer. We spend most of our lives in this automatic state, which is why many philosophers and psychologists and neuroscientists doubt the existence of free will.

I have a video dedicated to this. Be forgiving, because people know not what they are doing.


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