Thursday, March 18, 2010

Are you?

Are you a people-pleaser? Do you care too much about what others think about you? Do you notice that you do things or don't do things out of fear of what others may think of you? Do you allow the fear of people control you? Do you allow someone elses fears control you? Did you know that you don't have to be a people-pleaser?

What is a people-pleaser? "It is those who try to please people even if they have to compromise their conscience to do so. People-pleasers are those who need approval so desperately that they allow themselves to be controlled, manipulated, and used by others."

I recently read this in Joyce Meyer's Approval Addiction:

Do you feel bad when you don't please people? Many years ago I began to realize that the reason I tried so hard to please people was to benefit me rather than them. If I could please them, then I felt good. I don't think I really cared all that much about how they felt, it was me I was concerned about. Did it ever occur to you that people-pleasing can very well be a manifestation of selfishness rather than sacrifice?

People-pleasers feel awful when their decisions do not please others. They assume responsibility for other people's emotional reactions. In my former life, if I thought someone was angry, unhappy, or disappointed, it made me feel uncomfortable. I could not feel comfortable again until I thought I had done whatever needed to be done to make that person happy again.

I did not realize that as long as I was following God's will for my life, other people's responses were not my responsibility. It may not always be possible to do what other people want, but a spiritually mature person learns to deal with disappointment and keep a good attitude. If you are doing what you believe God has told you to do and others are not pleased with you, it is not your fault; it is theirs.

I told myself that I did not want other people to be hurt, confused, or upset. In reality I did not want anyone to be angry with me. I did not want anyone to think badly of me. It was really all about me.

If you are not able to give people what they want, and they become unhappy, it is not your fault. Beware of developing a false sense of responsibility.

I have been a people-pleaser for most of my life. It's really been in the last few years that I have realized that I cannot live my life like that anymore. Sometimes I am afraid at times that I will lose a friendship or a relationship if I'm not doing something someone thinks I should do. "But those who are truly your friends will give you the freedom to make you own decisions. They will respect the decisions you make. They will not pressure you or try to make you feel guilty for not pleasing them. Your true friends are not those who are merely using you for their own benefit or those who always become angry when you don't do what they want you to do."

I share all of this because this is a HUGE thing that so many deal with. I have come across SO many people who are people-pleasers. And I share all of it because I know (based from what I have seen in my own life) that if you worry too much about what other people think of you that you can allow that to destroy dreams and it can effect creativity. It can make you want to wear masks and not be who you really are. And that's not being true to your who you are! We can only BE who we are! It doesn't matter what others think of us. Their opinion doesn't define us. Did you know that statistically 2% of the population won't like us? Focus on the 98% of people who like you for YOU!



Katrina said...

Amen! Sister!

Joy said...

Amazing! Love this. Thanks for sharing!

Karen B. said...

All I can say is thanks, thanks for posting this.

Winter said...

So true! :)

Kelley Eubanks said...

Awesome post! I am not a people pleaser (I don't think)...nah... I am not. I like to make people happy but won't compromise myself, etc to do so. I love what you said about true friends... so true so true! It is hard to be friends with people who just want to be your friend when they need something. I had rather not thank you! :)