I have a disease that I have dealt with for my entire life. It’s a terrible, debilitating sickness that holds me back, causes much grief and plagues plenty of my days. The illness is called People Pleasing.
Honestly, if I say ‘no’ or think you’re mad at me, my stomach hurts and I feel just awful.
There must be some DNA glitch within my makeup that causes me to care SO MUCH about what people think about me and wanting others to like me. Argh….
I am that person who doesn’t say where she wants to eat because I don’t want friends to go to a restaurant because of me…what if they hate it? Sounds stupid, but oh, so true.
For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ. Galatians 1:10
Uh, oh. God, please help.
Being ugly and hateful is not the solution. But, the issue with people pleasing lies in the reason for the pleasing, the aftermath and the way it wedges a barrier between us and God.
Motives for people pleasing can be anything from wanting to help others (a good reason) to embarrassment or a lack of confidence (bad reasons).
It’s not that I don’t make others mad or never say no; the problem lies with my reactions when I do – the stomach ache – or the emotions in the aftermath of doing something I really don’t want to do just to make someone happy or save face.
In addition, the repercussions of people pleasing might include bitterness, depression and resentment – all because I wanted someone to like me. Dumb, dumb, dumb. Plus, then I’m no better than a bald-faced liar because I wasn’t very honest in the first place.
Slaves, obey in everything those who are your earthly masters, not by way of eye-service, as people-pleasers, but with sincerity of heart, fearing the Lord. Colossians 3:22
Please tell me I’m not the only one who struggles with this!! And it would kill me if you didn’t like me because of it! Ha, ha! Really. Just. Kidding.
As I’ve matured (it’s been a slow process), I seem to have gotten a little better, but the character flaw still haunts me more than I’d like. The results just bug me. Plus, it really takes a lot of time and effort to satisfy everyone else’s needs and guess what? It never works!
I want to be real. I want to be honest, but I can’t seem to feel content when there is dissension.
On one hand, I do want to help others and add to their happiness, but not at the cost of being a fake or mad later.
People pleasing is a two-edged sword that tells me I’m focused on the wrong point!!
Basically, when I’m people pleasing, I’m NOT trusting God.
The cure to my disease lies in placing my life in the Savior’s hands. My Heavenly Father is the only one I should be worried about pleasing and He has already given me a guide to do just that! He loves you and I more than any human ever could and His love was proven with the cross.
Even though I often battle with this weakness in my personality, I have hope that as I draw closer to God, He will help me overcome the need and desire to get the approval of man.
Who are you trying to please?
Some Wisdom for Today: Proverbs 29:24 – The fear of man lays a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is safe.