Do you often find yourself consumed with the desire to please others? Does your fear of conflict or rejection control your thoughts and actions towards other people? Are you continuously pleasing others, never thinking of yourself and your own personal needs? Then chances are you’re a people-pleaser.
Obviously there’s nothing inherently wrong with wanting to help others. Making others feel good usually makes us feel good too. But when your life is consumed by the needs of others then you’re setting yourself up for disappointment. Discontent will begin to take over your life and you’ll feel that no one is concerned about your happiness. People cannot make other people happy! I’m going to say that again…People cannot make other people happy! You may be able to bring moments of enjoyment to others, but deep joy and fulfillment comes from above. Our creator is the only source of true happiness. He will never fall short or disappoint you, only He can give you genuine delight.
7 Action Steps to Overcome Your Desire to Please Others
There are seven ways to help you overcome your desire to please other people. They will decrease your anxiety and improve your self-esteem. Recognizing your own personal worth will lead to positive changes in yourself and those around you. So, let’s get started on those seven action steps toward a better you!
- You don’t have to be liked by everyone! Every person was created differently which means we all have different things we like and don’t like. It’s okay if someone doesn’t like you. Accepting this can bring you unbelievable freedom.
- Just say “no.” Saying “no” to someone isn’t going to bring an end to their life. Saying “no” means you can then say “yes” to someone or something else. There are times that the Lord will want you to participate and there are times that saying “no” can allow the right person to say “yes.” At first this will be difficult to do if you’ve always been a “yes” person, but over time it will become easier and easier.
- Get your affirmation from above. You don’t need others to declare your worth based on your accomplishments. Realize that what others think about you (refer back to #1) is not as important as what the Lord thinks about you.
Conflict and Displeasure Will Happen
- Acknowledge that you will have conflicts with others. People will not easily accept that you’re changing. They will want the person who was always at their disposal, the one who always did what they asked. They knew they could ask and receive so removing their control over you will not be easy. Just stay focused and don’t back down. Change is hard but you can do it!
- Prepare yourself for the fact that you will lose some friends. If they can’t control you then they look for someone they are able to control. In which case those people were not your friend, however you will gain some new friends. People watching will begin to respect you and they will want to be your friend, a real friend.
- Stop providing explanations or apologies. What you do with your time is your business! You determine the direction of your life according to God’s purposes. You don’t have to provide others with an explanation or an apology. It’s important that people understand that you are valuable too.
- Remove the burden of pleasing people. Worrying about others opinions and happiness only leads to an exhausted, stressed-out life. You will be consumed by guilt thinking you couldn’t satisfy someone’s request. The only person you should be concerned about pleasing is Jesus. “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30
You Can Overcome!
Since working to meet the demands of others will always be a very heavy burden you need to take action to implement the above changes. Removing this burden won’t be easy, but it is very important for you to realize your own worth. In God’s eyes, you are valuable and your worth is immeasurable. Look to Him, seek His guidance, be obedient to His leading, and don’t worry. “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Matthew 6:33-34
Most of all accept that you can’t change others, but you can change yourself. Only you are able to release yourself from this burden you are carrying. Changing your habits and behavior will not happen over night. If you’re looking for a quick fix this isn’t it. Make a commitment daily to pray, read through this list, and be obedient to the Lord. He will give you the support that you need to overcome your people pleasing attitude and replace it with a God pleasing mindset. When you please God you will find that others will be pleased as well. “When God approves of your life, even your enemies will end up shaking your hand.” Proverbs 16:7 (The Message) – Love this verse!
Till Next Time,