I am reading a book about staying true to who you really are, who you were created by God to be. One of the chapters in particular has caught my attention because it has been a personal struggle that tends to creep back in me from time to time. It is an area that I have to constantly keep a check on. Loving my neighbor as I love myself and being a people pleaser is an area that I lose balance in. And it can become a self destructive imbalance. The chapter on being a people pleaser has helped me to realize some things about myself and possibly the answer to some of my discontentment and uneasiness that I feel inside. I think that some of these issues are issues that many may struggle with and could use some insight into the root of the problem so that they can gain victory over it.
We all want to be accepted and liked by others. Everyone wants to have friends. And we are suppose to love others as we love ourselves. But to what extent are we suppose to go to ensure that happens? We are not suppose to go against our morals,, God, or be unloving to ourselves. Yes there are certain situations that we need to compromise or put someone before ourselves but not everytime or just to please that person. We are not suppose to live our life for other people. We are suppose to share our life with others and live for God.
Do you find yourself doing things for the approval of others? Do you do things that you are uneasy about just so that someone else is happy? Do you find yourself saying yes to the request of others knowing that you already have a full plate? Do you feel like you are obligated to everyone’s expectations of you? Are you always putting the needs of others before yourself? Do you put yourself and your well-being on the back burner? Do you feel really bad when your decision does not make someone else happy? If you answered yes to any of these questions then you have traits of being a people pleaser. While having a desire to bring joy to someone is a great quality to have, we have to be balanced with it and not let it turn into living our life for others.
Past experiences such as abandonment and rejection could cause us to become people pleasers. If we struggled with fitting in at school, didn’t have many friends,, or had several failed relationships that left us feeling not good enough for that person then the approval and acceptance of others may become important to us. If people that you have cared about throughout life always seem to move away or pass away you may find yourself becoming a people pleaser because you hope that maybe if you keep a person happy enough they will not leave you. Our brains interpret rejection and abandonment as physical pain. The same receptors in the brain light up on a MRI with physical pain and rejection. So it makes sense that we would want to try to avoid rejection just as much as physical pain. But living life to try to please others causes it’s own kind of pain and issues. Like I said before, we should want to love others as we love ourselves but we have to keep it in balance so that we do not turn into a people pleaser.
How do we keep the balance between loving others and being a people pleaser? We have to say no when we are asked to do something that we feel we shouldn’t do or do not have the time to do it. We have to not be too concerned with if a person is going to be happy with a decision that we have made that is in the best interest of ourselves. We have to choose self respect over others happiness. We have to make sure that we take the time to properly take care of ourselves.. We have to make sure that our relationships are give and take,, not just us being the one that constantly gives. We have to value our values and morals. We have to properly love ourselves in order to properly love others. We cannot be true to and love ourselves and be a people pleaser at the same time. While it is true that in order to love others we do have to please them from time to time, we do not live our lives to constantly please others.
Do not derail the destiny that God has planned for you by living your life to please others. No matter what you do not everyone is going to like or approve of you.. That is just how it is. If someone requires you to always make them happy and please their desires in order for them to be pleased with you then you do not need them in your life. Decide today that you are going to love others as you love yourself but you are not going to live your life as a people pleaser. If others accept and approve of you that is great. But the only thing that really matters is that God accepts and approves of you.. And you can rest assure that if you have to end some unhealthy relationships with people that do not have your best interest in mind God will replace those people with ones that will treat you the way that you should be treated..