Do you know what happens when you stop people pleasing?
People are not pleased.You're going off script, you're breaking out of your box (the box you built, by the way), you're changing the rules you've worked hard to set up -- and people may not like it.
One of the great truths I heard early on in an AA meeting was this: "We teach people how to treat us."
Damn this AA and its insufferable insistence upon me taking responsibility!
A tough question I've had to ask myself -- and some sponsees -- is, "Can you live in a world in which people are not pleased with you?" It sounds so stupid, so small, so weak and silly, when put baldly like that, written out in black and white. But for some people in recovery, answering that question with a "yes" is a serious and (pun intended) sobering turning point.
As always, the surprise ingredient in letting go of character defects such as this is humility -- sure, sure, courage, honesty, willingness ... all important. But it's humility, as described so beautifully in the Chapter on the Seventh Step in the book "Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions" (AA's "12 & 12") which seems to facilitate real and lasting change in alcoholics.
Wish it came naturally. <sigh>