Stop the insanity!!
That's my semi-humorous way of conveying a thought that in all actuality is anything but funny. People pleasing is a serious problem, and it wreaks havoc in the lives of those it plagues. Before you wonder if my words are too harsh, let me lay out some evidence in support of my position.
Looking at the issue of people pleasing through the lens of God's Word, we find that it doesn't produce any lasting fruit. Don't just read that and continue on - think about it for a moment. People pleasing produces no lasting fruit! It just doesn't, and it never will. You will not be the one person in all history to generate lasting fruit by working to please people!
People pleasing hasn't yielded fruit in the past, it isn't yielding fruit right now, and it will not yield fruit in the future. What it does do, it does consistently and very well. It leaves you worn out, weary and resentful. Hmmm, doesn't remind me of the fruit of the Spirit in the least.
In some instances people pleasing will even cost you friendships. In fact, it's been my experience that any friendship forged in the fires of a people pleaser's kiln cannot withstand the pressure and heat of real life. It isn't strong enough to endure the rough and tumble that is real life. The one who is a people pleaser will eventually need to rely on the other person for something, and the other person may well not know what to do when this happens. After all, the friend they knew was always there for them, going the extra mile and bending over backwards. Even the smallest upset in that balance can send said friend running for the hills. How do I know this, you may ask? Life experiences. More than one of them. Yes, I am a recovering people pleaser. And yes, I have lost many friends when I was unable to keep up my people-pleasing facade during times when real life came rolling in.
This isn't easy to admit on a public blog where anyone and everyone can read it. Not only read it, but make judgements about me based on what is written here. For someone with such strong people-pleasing tendencies, that's a scary thought! But it's much scarier for me to hide in my turtle shell and not share this openly in the hope that someone, somewhere might relinquish their people pleasing ways and turn to the Lord for His guidance in relationships.
Not as many people "like" me now that I am more the me God created me to be and less of a people pleaser. And that's okay. In fact, it's far better than having more friends who opt out of the friendship when I actually turn out to be, ahem, a real live person with real needs and flaws. And I've found out that I have some truly amazing friends who are there with me through thick and thin. Praise God for each one of them!!
My final piece of solid advice, from the heart of a die-hard people pleaser, is this: Do not be a people pleaser! Be the you God created you to be!
Lord bless you today!
Day 208 done :)
Jan L. Burt