That awkward moment, when you realize you've been living your life to make other people happy, but you aren't happy...How Sway!?!?
Where do I even begin?
How did I come to know I was a people pleaser?
A little over a month ago, during our small group meeting after church, we continued the discussion about reconciliation, the topic of Pastor's sermon that Sunday. We started to talk about the desire to be liked. I raised my hand. Yes, I wanted to be liked by others.
Though this is something I knew about before, I didn't fully recognize the pain and damage I was causing myself by placing the needs of others above my own.
To some extent, I even thought it was my duty to put others needs before my own. I was taught to respect authority. But what happens when you have a low self-image, and anyone who seems more intelligent than you is an authority figure.
You become a people pleaser.
It was as if time stopped and I had a "That's So Raven" vision moment. Only instead of seeing the future, I saw the past. A reel of past moments when I compromised what I wanted or liked, to do what I though others would want or like played in my head.
My earliest memory of this is from 7th grade: The most popular girl in my class was Tamika. A pretty light-skinned girl, who always kept her hair done, wore the most trendy clothes, and kept the boys' attention. We had first period togteher. Language Arts. One day at the beginning of the school year she looked at me and said, "I like your shirt. Its cute!" I was wearing a grey shirt with Eeyore on it that said "Blue" in blue cursive letters. For the rest of the school year, I wore that shirt at least twice a week.
Working on my 7th Grade science project...Still wearing the shirt!
Once while getting dressed in morning, I recall asking myself what shirt I should wear. "This one," I thought to myself, as I choose the Eeyore shirt. "Tamika said she likes it."
Insane. I know.
What's more insane, is that I unknowingly continued this behavior well into adulthood.
I was the agreeable friend. Willing to do things or go places that didn't bring me joy because I wanted to make my friends happy. If I make them happy then they will like me. After all at least I have friends, right?...Wrong. So wrong. Wrong on every level!
Being a people pleaser is painful. When I compromise my own desires and values to please others, I pretend to be happy. But the truth is, it hurts. I am breaking my own heart, over, and over, and over again.
The most damaging thing is the seed of bitterness that grows inside.
I am a people pleaser because I desire to be liked. The acknowlegement I get from others when I receive their approval makes me feel loved. But the love from man is temporary. Limited. The love of people does not meet my needs; it cannot fill me up.
Ultimately, I feel resentment towards them. Why aren't you enough!?
The answer is simple. Matthew 16:26. John 4:14
The world's love is not enough. Only the love of God is fulfilling .
More evidence of being a people pleaser:
1. You agree with everyone.
2. You cannot say no.
3. You avoid conflict.
4. You need praise from others.
5. You don't like for others to be angry with you.
Since acknowleging these patterns, I am more able to control them. Before I agree to do something, I must ask myself: Is this this something I am doing for myself? Or am I doing this to please someone else? How will this make me feel in the long run?
I am still in the process choosing myself first. I am spending time alone learning what things truly spark joy in my spirit.
Just yesterday, I happened upon a message that is connected to this topic. If you liked this blog post, please watch the following video:
Thank you for reading! I hope this post spoke to you in some way! If so, share it with someone else who you think it may touch as well! I love you. Be blessed!