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Are You A People Pleaser?

Characteristics of people pleasers:
  • They put others needs ahead of own often at the expense of their own.

  • They try to make everyone around them happy.

  • They are so invested in outside approval that they set their own wants and needs aside.

  • They often end up too busy, stressed, and their attention is divided, thus they don’t accomplish their own goals.

  • They can find it almost impossible to say NO.

The seeds of people pleasing are usually planted in childhood.

The seeds of people-pleasing are usually planted in childhood, according to Jay Earley, author of Freedom From Your Inner Critic. Often, parents will “simply tell kids what to do and never encourage them to assert themselves,” he says. “When the kids obey, the parents give them conditional love.” Such an environment sends a subconscious message to children: The only way to feel valuable is to comply with others' demands, give others what they need, and "go with the flow." The pattern only solidifies as children grow up, fearing that if they do not strive to please, people will not love them. They respond to this perceived threat by becoming obsessed with meeting others' needs. Because girls are typically trained from an early age to accommodate and defer to others, a disproportionate number of people-pleasers are women.

The result of this is that people pleasers will spend their lives looking for validation from others.

Ideas to overcome being a people pleaser:
  • When asked to do something, tell them you will get back to them. It’s important to give yourself time to think about your response because your knee-jerk reaction may be to say yes when you really need to consider your options and most of all your own needs. Take the time to make an informed decision.

  • Know YOUR goals. Say yes to your own dreams, goals, and desires instead of ignoring them for the needs of others.

  • Eliminate or diminish the ability of toxic people in your life to use and abuse you. Protect your environment and create healthy boundaries.

  • Stop apologizing. You do not have to be sorry for taking up space and oxygen, you have a place in this world and a right to your own opinions and ideas.

See yourself the way God sees you and look to His word for hope:

Gal. 1:10 For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.

What powerful words for us to live by.


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