In our quest for a perfect life, sometimes we give into the lie we hear from the world that we must please everyone.
The truth is we can’t please everyone. No matter how hard we try, we just can’t do it. Often we run ourselves ragged trying to please everyone. This is no way to experience the life of peace God has for us.
We must learn discernment to know when we can help and when we need to step out of the way. I think as women we struggle with this more maybe than men do. After all we have a lot to live up to. However, maybe you think you don’t struggle with pleasing people.
Here are a 5 signs that you are a people pleaser:
1. You try too hard to be seen as always doing the “right thing.”
2. You know how others feel about you and it deeply affects you.
3. You have a hard time making tough decisions, especially ones that won’t please everyone.
4. You have a hard time saying no without giving reasons why you are saying no.
5. You become easily depressed or discouraged when others don’t affirm you.
I think Paul has some wise words for us:
“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.” Galatians [1:10]
Use these real life applications when you feel like you need to please everyone.
1. Learn how to set boundaries. Just like in the lie about measuring up, we need to know God’s plan for our life. Once we know that we can set boundaries and teach those who want us to please them what those boundaries are. That means knowing what you will do and what you won’t do. And that ties in with application #2…
2. Learn how to say no. I don’t know about you, but this is hard for me. I really want to help people when they ask, however just because we are asked to do something does not mean we should. What’s really hard is when someone says they’ve prayed about who to ask to do a certain task or to lead a group and they really feel like God is telling them you are the one. I’ve had that happen before and it’s hard to argue with. But I’ve learned to say, “Let me pray about it and see if God is telling me the same thing.” Sometimes the answer is yes, but often it is no. If I’m faithful to pray about it, God is faithful to show me if it’s His idea for me or if it’s not the right time or I’m not the right person. My best piece of advice on learning to say no is don’t say yes right away. Take at least a day to pray and consider it if possible. Look at your prior commitments and think about what God has called you to do.
3. Learn how to take care of yourself. If we don’t take care of ourselves, we will not be able to serve others. If we’re too busy trying to please others, we will end up damaging our health and not be able to do what God has called us to do. Think about when you fly and the flight attendant reminds you that if there is a drop in cabin pressure the oxygen masks will come down from the compartment above your seat. What does she say to do first? Put your mask on first, then help someone who needs assistance. The same is true for our lives. We’ve got to take care of ourselves before we take care of others. I’m not saying we need to get a massage every week or abandon others in order to take care of ourselves. It just means we need to set aside regular time for self care, eat right, exercise, and renew ourselves spiritually.