I find myself falling into the trap all the time. I admit it, I’m a people pleaser. I don’t want to rock the boat. I want everyone to be happy and there to be no conflicts. So I do everything I can to try to keep things peaceful and keep others happy. I have known for years this isn’t a great quality to have but felt like it wasn’t terrible because after all, I was just making others happy.
It was crossing into all areas of my life. Personal and professional relationships were my focus. I would do everything in my power to make sure the other person was happy. I would go as far as bringing myself down to lift them up. That’s when I really began to realize that pleasing others was wrong. I should be focused on pleasing God. Doing all I can, using all my energy, focused on bringing Him glory, not worried about what others think.
After realizing I was putting pleasing others above pleasing God I began to back off a little. It was a struggle to do it but I realized the power of pleasing people was overwhelming me. As I began to put God first and other’s second I thought that I could still please people and as long as God was first there would be no problem.
I was at my weekly bible study group recently and the topic was people pleasing. We learned that people pleasing can be a form of control. Control? I feel very out of control when I’m caught up in the world of making everyone happy. But if you look at it deeper you discover the true power of people pleasing. Its not good. Why do we please people? Why do I want everyone to be happy? My first response is to avoid conflict. I really don’t like conflict. But as we dug deeper into people pleasing I quickly learned that we tend to want people to be pleased or happy so that they will like us and/or do what we want. In turn, that means we are wanting something from these people and are using the power of people pleasing to get what we really want. That was huge. It was so hard for me to accept that I deep down am actually attempting to control others by trying to please them.
I know am working to really assess each situation. Does this person need me to make them happy? Is conflict important here? Am I putting this relationship before my relationship with God? Am I deep down trying to control this person? Its a slow and long learning process but I’m really trying to work on the way I use the power of people pleasing.