We’re going to get a little more vulnerable here today, friends! Feel free to jump right in with me and join the discussion! I’ve been a people pleaser for as long as I can remember. It’s not something I eagerly share (maybe because then I worry that people will ask more of me, haha?! plus it’s pretty evident…) but it’s something that I’ve realized more and more over the years.
The fact that I’m naturally empathetic leads me to act carefully and watch others’ reactions, so as not to offend or frustrate people. However, I’ve found it can reach the point of worrying about and wondering how my actions will affect others’ to the point of bending over backwards to make them happy! I personally believe it can be a difficult battle for a young woman who desires to glorify God and live honorably…because we often don’t realize right away that we have stepped past the point of loving and serving others, and find we are striving to please everyone!
With the holidays immediately upon us, I felt a weight on my heart that I should share about this topic this week. Thanksgiving and Christmas and the holidays mean more time with family (I wrote about in-laws here) but can also mean more of a stressful push in the workplace. If you’re anything like me, then navigating the holidays with family, coworkers, friends, and even strangers, can become a stressful time if you’re a natural people pleaser. I’m not sharing about ways to get rid of that tendency today (I think that requires a longer, separate post!) but I wanted to share some reminders for you if you find you’re a discouraged people pleaser this season!
4 Reminders for the Discouraged People Pleaser:
Before we jump in, we should reflect on the fact that we rarely need to worry about what others think of us! If we are striving to live for Christ, then our goal is to bring Him glory and act out His love and purpose in our spheres of influence. We want to live with integrity so others shouldn’t have anything negative to say about us. But negativity can still come our way and we need to remember that we are firstly accountable to our God.
1 // People think of you less than you think they do. This reminder almost seems comical. Sometimes, people-pleasing occurs when we worry that others are thinking about us and our actions all the time. They don’t! People have busy lives, and as silly as it sounds, you’ll find you cross their mind a bit less than you think! I find that reassuring.
2 // What others think does not change your value. Your personal worth is – and has already been – determined by God your Maker…and let me remind you, you are fearfully and wonderfully made, He has plans for you that aren’t to harm you, and you are of huge value to Him! That is where our true worth lies – not in others’ opinions.
3 // You can live with integrity, no matter what others say. Like I touched on earlier, we Christians are accountable only to God. It is important that we live lives that glorify and bring praise to Him, knowing that He is our “audience of one.”
4 // God says not to worry about it! Did his disciples worry about others’ opinions when they traveled with Christ’s message? No! They brought God’s message of love and of healing to new cities, not fearing that the citizens may talk about them behind their backs (which they did…which didn’t stop them…). I have a verse on my bedroom mirror that has meant a lot to me in this season of life, as I’ve come to realize I care too much about what others think:
“I, even I, am He who comforts you;
who are you that you are afraid of man, of mortal men,
who are but grass,
that you have forgotten the Lord, your Maker,
who stretched out the heavens
and laid the foundations of the earth..?”
– Isaiah 51: 12-13
God is bigger than we could ever imagine, and His love for us stretches farther than the heavens His hand made. We do not need to fear!
Do you struggle with trying to please others, or worrying about their opinions? How do you counter those fears in your heart?