Hi there! My name is Amy, and I really want people to like me. No, seriously. I want people to like me and think that I do things well. I feel like I’ve won half of the battle by just knowing that this is a desire of mine. But this half has not conquered the half that wants to say yes to something when the other half of me wants to say no. The half that I have not conquered often times makes it hard to say or do something if it means that it might hurt feelings.
I know that people pleasing doesn’t ring true with everyone, but I think that most people have experienced portions of people-pleasing tendencies on occasion. The desire not to disappoint someone, to care what people think about you or what you do, the fear of not meeting someone’s expectations, feeling responsible for others’ feelings, too quick to say sorry — even when something is not your fault — or even quick agreement with someone’s opinion when you don’t really agree.
You see, the thing about people pleasing is that it’s false. It’s a trap. There really is no way to please all the people. You will make one person happy while simultaneously hurting someone else’s feelings. Or you will plan to do something great for your friend and end up making two more friends upset. People are hard. Have you ever thought, or maybe even said out loud, that you just cannot seem to get anything right? Well, that is a people-pleasing thought. The only one I should truly be trying to please is God! So what does Scripture have to say about my desire to please people?
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
Ouch! I feel like that was a bit of a blow. I know that my goal and my desire should be to please the Lord. My focus should be on God, his desires, his plans and his will. I know that I shouldn’t want or desire the approval of man, but that doesn’t mean that it’s not a daily struggle to focus on pleasing my savior instead of my boss, my family or my friends.
I am a reminder kind of a person. I like to use the reminder feature on my calendar, I like to make motions to verses as a reminder of what comes next and I wear bracelets that remind me of important things. HWLF (He Would Love First.) That’s my reminder about people pleasing. Am I saying yes to this because Christ would want me to do this as an act of love? Am I truly trying to be more like Christ, or I am aiming to please man?