February has ground its final days into the mud, in case you haven’t noticed, which means that my husband is boss again and we are heading into my least favorite month of the year. Where I live, we expect warmth in March and get blasted with blizzard. But March will take us thirty-one days closer to spring in Crawford County, which is always a good thing.
I’m ready to report on my goals for the past month! And I’m going to do it in two posts. For today, I’m talking about my chosen abstinence for February: giving up people pleasing. I replaced it with autonomy – that is, the perfect freedom to choose my own actions and responses. At first, I wondered how to measure this goal. Then I started keeping a running list of tiny successes, and it gave me exactly what I was going for.
I’m going to share my list with you here. [They wait with bated breath.]
If you are a born peacemaker and empathizer, like me, you will identify with some of what I am talking about. If you are not, no amount of explaining will do, so I’m going to leave that right here instead of trying to preempt your laughter or alarm. (Except for this part, which I already did. Oops.)
For me, a list like this constitutes a significant series of triumphs.
Giving Up People Pleasing
- I again requested money that was owed to me two and a half months ago.
- I said no to an enjoyable opportunity to serve, that I knew I couldn’t afford.
- I apologized once instead of three times.
- When I was annoyed about a personal jab, I kept my response short instead of making it flowery so they would think I was not annoyed with them.
- I told a colleague how discouraged I temporarily was about the future of a project we are team-playing on.
- I stopped checking back in with everyone I had conversations with, to make sure they were okay and what I had said was taken the right way.
- I talked very clearly with a professional about something that was not working for me.
- I did not call my grandma on her birthday. I had already sent her a card, and we’d had two phone conversations in the past week. I called it well connected, and I called it enough.
- I did not offer to host guests when I didn’t feel able to.
- I said a clear no to babysitting when it didn’t suit.
- When I missed an appointment, I was straight-up honest about why. (“I’m sorry! I lay down for a nap and forgot all about it.”)
- I asked for help.
- I told my husband kinda respectfully but also bluntly when I was really, really mad about a decision he’d made regarding one of our children. Instead of walking away I did this. Soon after, he was telling me what he was willing to do if the worst happened as a result of his judgment call, and I was telling him I appreciated it and I loved him, and we meant it and were gentle to each other.
- I listened to someone talk about their hard things without taking it on myself to heal their situation.
- I said out loud that I wasn’t ready to talk about it.
- I asked for a favor I didn’t think would be granted. (It wasn’t. But we coped fine.)
- I called to reschedule an appointment I’d already confirmed.
- I let myself get indebted to a good friend, who had already blessed us richly the week before. When she asked if I needed anything this week I said yes. Diapers. She brought a copious amount, and threw in a family-size pack of Oreos. I love her.
- I turned away from a conversation I was done with.
- I answered honestly. She said, “Call me if you need me.” I said, “Okay.” She asked, “Really? You’ll do that?” and I laughed and said, “No. I won’t.” Which was true. I told her I can recognize my need, I can even admit my need, but asking for help is hard. She said, “As long as we know that about each other. Me too.”
- I reached out to someone who intimidates me.
- When I didn’t have anything to say that time, I didn’t say it.
- I said the hard words to my child when I needed to.
- I stopped explaining myself so much. Just smiled.
- I made a phone call to say, “Something you said is bothering me. Can we chat? This is how I felt.”
- I waited to sign up until the service opportunity was filled, this time.
- I chose not to apologize for a pain I did not cause.
- I did not try to “get on the team” when someone was upset about an issue I could not control.
- I tried something that I might fail at, in front of others. (I succeeded! Yay!)
- I talked about feelings I was ashamed of.
- I answered a newcomer honestly but with less information than was desired, because I didn’t trust him.
- I left my house in a pair of socks that clashed outrageously with my dress, because they were warm and I was wearing them. And I did not even mention them apologetically to the person I spent time with.
- I moved into a place where I was unsure of myself relationally, and let it be uncomfortable.
- When a stranger stopped me to offer me hushed and unsolicited advice on what SHE has done regarding masking ever since this whole thing STARTED, I said simply, “That’s your choice,” and moved away.
- I admitted need and asked for my community’s help in a big, very public way.
- I did not promise to do what I was uncomfortable with, when someone I did not know was pushing me about it. I said, “I’ll see,” and walked on.
- I pushed back courteously on changes I disliked.
- I stopped trying so hard to make things okay in a painful situation – and I saw Jesus work dramatically.
- I said, “I’m disappointed. But it’s our fault too.”
- I wrote emails in the short form I could get around to, instead of the long form that would have been more enjoyable and satisfying for my friends.
- I bragged about myself extensively on a blog that is committed to confession. Hahahahaha.
So that’s how my abstinence went. In no way did I become a whole different person, but I measured some concrete baby steps.
(What is a concrete baby? No idea.)
I consider the experiment a full-on success.
But you guys. The abstinence I chose for March was giving up LUNCH. What was I thinking?! My plan is to eat a healthy light snack when needed, as late as 10:30 am or as early as 2:30 pm, but to skip lunch as a meal. Do any of you want to join me, for moral support or your own edification? Even a day here and there? If you do, let me know! Help wanted.
Oh, some smarty pants is going to tell me she always skips lunch, and likes it that way? Well, power to you. For my part, I can honestly say that skipping meals has never been my strong suit.
Folks, this is not going to be pretty.
Ok so if you want to wear the socks fine. Don’t flaunt your refusal to please others for the life of this blog by posting the picture.
Oh, and I will join you in skipping lunch. As a teacher I find it a bother and a waste of time. Coffee makes a great substitute.
But I like flaunting bad socks. Enjoy.
Thank you for joining me!
I identify! With all of it, I think. Except I don’t have the option of calling my grandma on her birthday. It’s been 12 years since I talked to one, 16 to the other. I suddenly miss them like crazy.
This is all good except the giving up lunch part. I must discipline myself to eat lunch, and not just snack, because I simply don’t function well without 3 meals a day.
Eeeks. You had to choose a 31-day month for this?
What’s your litmus test for people pleasing? As opposed to serving others out of a wholesome love for God. I’m supposing it has something to do with selfishness.
I hear what you’re asking, and it’s a good question.
As I read over the list before posting, I thought it could easily sound selfish – more heavily about boundaries than about loving service, for example. I’m trying to correct a negative tendency in my life. This is not necessarily a picture of how I want to live my whole life. Also, I don’t know that I’m doing it right.
I like to serve. I love God and I love his people and my default setting is YES. The problem is when I serve out of a desire to look good, because I can’t imagine NOT meeting the needs around me, because then what kind of a person would I BE? It’s freeing for me to step out from behind my reputation and my expectations of myself, and let someone else take a turn for a day or a month – or even a year, which has been part of our story this past year with my husband out of church leadership. I would hate to become a person who makes my service decisions based on what feels good to “the flesh.” But in the past, I have at times given to exhaustion and depletion, believing that it’s holy somehow to shortchange my own health and my family’s well-being for the sake of serving others. Sometimes when a person hasn’t had enough sense of self or boundaries, a sharper corrective is needed to get back to a healthier place of making decisions based on what God is asking of me – not what I or others are asking of me. Obviously both sides are open to all kinds of abuses… But does that make sense? I’d love to hear your further thoughts.
Years ago I read a book about boundaries. I remember that, at first, it was hard to regulate myself as I changed unhealthy patterns – I was a bit of a thundercloud, finally taking hold of my right to say NO. I think this is a natural step in the process of learning to set healthy boundaries.
From the book I read so long ago: “… your boundaries need to be made visible to others and communicated to them in relationship. We have many boundary problems because of relational fears. We are beset by fears of guilt, not being liked, loss of love, loss of connection, loss of approval, receiving anger… These are all failures in love, and God’s plan is than we learn how to love… Because of these fears, we try to have secret boundaries. We withdraw passively and quietly, instead of communicating an honest no to someone we love. We secretly resent instead of telling someone that we are angry about how they have hurt us… In these instances, because of unexpressed boundaries, the relationships suffer. If our boundaries are not communicated and exposed directly, they will be communicated indirectly or through manipulation.” (Boundaries – When to Say Yes How to Say No, Dr. Henry Cloud & Dr John Townsend).
Even if we don’t get it right every time and our actions are not always understood perfectly by others, I think taking small steps towards freeing ourselves to consistently set healthy boundaries is well worth doing!
It took me a long time to realize how important boundaries can be. Part of why I resisted them is that I don’t like the idea of “secretly” holding friends at arm’s length–it seemed disrespectful.
One of my semi-solutions has been to be more open when talking about boundaries. Like, someone asked me to help with a fundraising thing that always stresses me out, and I said, “You know, I’m really bad with saying yes to things like that and then resenting it after, even though it’s always me who agrees to it in the first place–I think maybe I’ll hold off this time. I can never seem to do it without getting all stressed out.” Maybe that’s too much explaining/apologizing? It’s a start. I’m not sure!
Thank you for this, “the honest ‘No'”. Communication is good, especially with Jesus sisters. Just being quiet and doing what I need to is ok, but better to share my deficiencies/grumps and accept His grace.
Postscript: I might be wrong here, but I’m pretty sure what MB is asking is whether my litmus test has something to do with selfishness – that is, is it enlightening for me to evaluate whether I am serving selfishly or serving out of love… I do not hear her saying that my post or my boundaries are labelled as selfishness. But I might be wrong. And I love this conversation. Thank you for the lovely insights, all. ???? ???? Good stuff here.
Thank you for your response. I need to ponder this awhile. I collect my derailed train-of-thought cars, then someone yells “Mommmeee wiiiipe meee!” We really do have to bring the demands of life before God and be obedient to Him. Let Him have the last word rather than others. It’s probably fruitless to scrutinize the decisions themselves.
No, I dont think it has to do with selfishness. Shari is right….some of us are such hard core people pleasers that sometimes we need to take what feels like really drastic measures to correct. And for us to know that we are worth it. We’ve spent so much time taking care of others that sometimes we have forgotten ourselves in the process.
“What’s the litmus test?” I wish I could see into your mind and know the background of this question. Is a test something you, like me, have often longed for?
And yet there is a test. Though it’s not as tangible or measurable as we desire, it is still real within each individual heart. It is the voice of God in our life which guides all our choices.
There are a few things here I think we can all agree with. Taking on guilt that is not ours is unnecessary baggage. Apologizing more than once is most likely an overkill. ???? There’s little to be gained from arguing a controversial subject with a stranger.
But what about the opportunities that come for us to give for the good of others. Is it ever right to say “No”? Is it ever wrong to say “Yes”?
I have always gotten squeamish at the idea that I must set My boundaries to protect Me. Looking out for my well being is a need that will never be satiated. And yet, as Shari already explained, serving can also become a warped way of looking out for my own ego.
A book that helped bring clarity and peace to me on this subject is titled “Unseen” by Sara Hagerty. Sometimes God removes us from public serving, perhaps for extended periods of time in order to drive us deeper in Him, the Reason we serve at all. Sometimes like Jesus, He calls us to serve til we are beyond our own strength because He wants us to trust His power. Either one can bring much glory to God. Discerning between them becomes as easy and as difficult as following the personal guidance that God gives to anyone who seeks it.
There are two things that will never happen when living in this passionate pursuit of God’s will. 1. God will never allow us a vacation from discipleship. Whether we’re led to accept or decline opportunities, it will be because He wants to do a good work in us. 2. Our commitments will never be beyond our capability. Quite possiblity they’ll be beyond our comfort zone. But the Bible promises they’ll be within our ability.
May we be very merciful with each other. We may be judging as selfish what is actually God’s opportunity to receive glory from another’s life.
This answer resonates!
Thank you for sharing your thoughts, I appreciate them.
I’m so curious why you chose to skip lunch. I realize that this is a personal question, I’m just so curious! I’d think it’d be the hardest meal to skip, and . . . do forgive my impertinence, but. . .what good will it do? ???? (This from a woman who interrupts deep conversations with her husband with, ” I need to eat something. I’m getting grumpy.” ????)
Well. I don’t have a good answer. 🙂 I chose it for the same reason I chose to skip sugar for a month, or social media, or bread, or movies. Some things I chose to skip are GOOD, though this probably tops the list for the healthiest. I just want to know I can skip them, it’s good for me to flex those muscles. For me, breakfast or supper would be considerably harder. When I start being cranky with my family over low blood sugar, I know I’ve taken my fasts too far. 😉 This feels manageable to me, and good for my self-discipline. Thoughts?
Well, I thought perhaps that was what you were doing- quitting something not for the objective benefit as much as for the self-discipline/sacrifice. At least, I think that’s what you said. Usually when I quit things for a season, it’s because I feel they have taken an unhealthy turn in my life, although in themselves they are harmless, and I need a reset. Or a reminder. But that doesn’t seem to be what you’re doing here. Hmm. It still kinda intrigues me!
In the middle of the night when I was up with the baby, ???? I thought of the word that describes what I’m trying to do. It’s wrapped up in “privilege.” I am asking myself not so much – what do what do I need to give up because it has an improper hold on me? (although I did target some bad habits) … But – what do I enjoy and take for granted as a rich white American Christian woman, and what can I do without for a time? Because I can. I have the luxury of voluntary abstinence.
Oh. this. Yes! This seems like a really good exercise and maybe one I need to do too. But not lunch… sorry. I need lunch or my patients suffer!!! Grace in your endeavor!!
By which I mean the good exercise was giving up people pleasing. I relate.
Lol! “Or my patients suffer.” There are times of eating that take me there too. Lunch, thankfully, isn’t one of them. I will miss it with purely nostalgic feelings.
I identify so hard with this post. (Possibly one of the reasons I’m so conflicted over posting a comment.????) I get very weary of feeling guilty about things that aren’t mine to feel guilty about, the endless trying to make sure everyone is ok, over-explaining, and excessive apologizing. Almost everything on your list made me think “I do that too!” I try to be aware of this tendency and work on it but I’ve got a loooong way to go for sure.
Thank you, Amy. Me too. Let’s keep reaching for grace together. xo
I was startled to read this comment and briefly wondered if I had commented and forgotten about it. My name is also Amy and over-explaining, excessive apologizing, and endless trying to make sure everyone is okay sounds so precisely like me its a little freaky. Are you my secret double?
Thank you, Shari, for giving us people pleasers –me! My name is Amy and I’m a people pleaser!– a glimpse into what it looks like to gain a little freedom over pleasing. I love the list idea and may implement it.
I will take a hard pass on the whole lunch skipping idea… I would use the excuse that I’m pregnant but truthfully? I love, love lunch. Sandwiches! Spaghetti carbonara for one! Sourdough toast with chocolate!
Did you have to do that? Now I’m drooling. 😉
The two of you and the overlap makes me laugh. I don’t know either one of you, but I find it hopeful somehow that others find their way toward wholeness by similar routes, sometimes. Bless you both.
Hello, Amy #2! This made me smile! ???? I feel like I’ve read comments posted here before by a different Amy that sounded like myself so maybe it’s been you! Except I think lunch would be the easiest meal for me to skip. But I’m not rising to the challenge because I’m breastfeeding currently. At least we’ll say that’s the reason.????
It’s interesting to me that most of your commenters picked the skipping lunch part of your post to comment on. Is it because there are fewer people who identify with the people-pleasing part of it, or because the people-pleasers don’t want to offend anyone? 🙂 I, personally, identified so much with what you wrote. (not the lunch-skipping part…) The over-explaining; making sure the person understood me correctly and wasn’t offended; taking on the role of peace-maker, even though no one asked me to. I had to change the Voice in my Head from “It’s up to you to fix this”, to “It’s not your job”. It’s an on-going process. It takes listening to the Holy Spirit instead of the Voice in my Head.
I did not assume you would check the comments to see how we liked this post ????
But, I want to say that I felt the victory in every single thing on your list and I said, “I want that kind of strength and freedom”.
I am working at living out of my identity in Christ and in who He says I am as His child. With that kind of security, my craving for a constant diet of affirmation from others will be diminished.
I love your honesty, and the honesty of a friend of mine who could relate to this. Me not being a People pleaser, it took a lot of conversations in which my eyes bugged out and uncomprehendingly glazed over, but though I still don’t profess to understand, I observe a courage that I truly admire. In your honesty and in your courage to step out of your comfort zone. Blessings to you in your journey. I felt like this post helped me understand some things that I didn’t before
I identified with so much of what you wrote!
I’ve been uncomfortable with my people-pleasing, empathizer tendency. Sometimes I feel like I’m a chameleon, trying so hard to understand and care about the other person that I’m not entirely myself. Apologizing, explaining, back pedaling, absorbing hurts instead of talking through them, wishing I could heal other’s hurts….
I am worse at assertiveness when I don’t know the person well, or I find them intimidating.
I’m curious how you chose the things you did. Did you take an assertiveness course? ???? Or is being mindful of the issue enough to get one started? Thank you for stirring my thinking!
Well… Chameleon is a word I have OFTEN used to describe myself. It’s not a good thing, but in other ways it is, and I celebrate those gifts at the same time that I recognize their accompanying weaknesses. They enable empathy, adaptiveness, and sensitivity to others – when they aren’t permitted to tie us in knots.
I wish there were an assertiveness course that would help me. 😉 Mostly, it’s just plain honesty that I’m going for: freedom to be. Being mindful was more helpful for me than I thought it would be! Less about pre-planning, and more about evaluating afterwards, thinking back over the past day or two and looking for small steps I took – which in turn encouraged me to take those steps next time and bring them into new situations, a step farther. Like that. ❤
Yes, honesty, I like that! I thought after I commented that honesty might be a better word than assertion. Though I think a wee bit of assertion for some of us wouldn’t be all bad. ????
This post came at a really good time. I feel like this is an area God has been slowly, gently showing me I need to change in. I’m grappling right now with a strained? strangled? relationship due to that C word we’re all so tired of. I’m realizing my tendency to explain, apologize etc. and to agree or back down rather than being completely honest. For me, there has been self-protection involved. I hate conflict and feeling ill-at-ease.
This also affects my relationship with God. I hate thought of disappointing Him. I tend toward a performance mentality. I want so much to learn to be/stay at rest in Him.
Still doing lots of pondering here. Thanks!!
Oh I’m such a people pleaser so much. I don’t like saying no. I apologize for substituting an ingredient in a dish I made. I don’t like “garbage” pizza( multiple ingredients) but I eat it anyway because a certain person loves eat etc.
I love those socks by the way. I can’t tell you how many times I wear socks that clash with my dresses like pink socks with hearts with a yellow floral dress.????
Oh, your LIST.
I felt the magnitude of the victories deep in my heart. GO YOU.
Are you and I both “nines” [Enneagram]?
Ha. I immediately went to the enneagram too, trying to figure out what number Shari might be? Being a nine myself, I identify so much with this post. But, somehow I don’t think she’s a nine — she’s so different from me in other ways… A two maybe? A one?
I’m laughing out loud at myself, dissecting a person I don’t even know ????
I know that Shari just LOVES when we discuss her enneagram number right in front on her, but I’m fairly certain she is not a 9. But you can set us all straight now, Shari. 😉
For the record, I’m going to guess she’s a one. ????
Now, won’t you please write about the enneagram, Shari? I got flack for it when I did, but since you’re not a nine you can handle it! ????????
I’m just a blog fan, but going by this post I’d guess a three? Hm! lol
No ma’am!! CanNOT handle. Hehee.
Oh DEAR. I don’t really want to admit my views on the Enneagram, but I see our conversation has forced Shari’s hand here. 😉 It’s one of the few personality tests that is completely confusing to me, and that has no niche for me that I can find and deeply connect to. Perhaps that is why I have had friends tell me numerous times “I think you are a THIS!” and I say “Hm, okay, sounds good to me” – and ironically, it’s often the number they identify as, and suspect me to share… which in short, ties my brain into knots. (Can anyone say the word chameleon?)
I don’t know the Enneagram numbers, to be honest, and can’t confirm or deny here. On the Myers-Briggs personality test, which is the rubric that I felt nailed me bullseye and enlightened me in super helpful ways, I am an Advocate (INFJ-T). Dorcas, I think we compared notes on that one time, and share a lot of ground. So you never know! 😉 A one, two, three, or nine? Yup, sounds good here.
Well, now I think you actually might be a nine! ????
I’m sorry. I can’t help myself. The enneagram is just one tool (among so many!) and just because it has pretty much changed my life in understanding myself and (especially) my husband doesn’t mean it hits every one else the same way!
Do you know, I come back to your posts repeatedly just to read the comments?? I don’t know how you do it, but you have the BEST comment section! ❤
Aw thank you!! I love it too, so so much – but it’s not me, it’s you guys. ❤
Laughing here. I never connected with the enneagram either, despite the advocates thereof discussing it in my presence many times. But. Just yesterday I impulsively did an online test, of course the ultimate in accuracy, and came out as most definitely a nine. Ok then. The most notable 9 traits are that I am so busy taking care of everyone and chameleoning into others that I don’t even know what I really want, for myself.
Then I read your list and thought Hmmmmm.
But I did not mean to Cause Trouble or Stir Up Things.
Absolutely enjoyable across the board. Hahaha. 🙂
You should read up on ALL the characteristics of the 1’s,2’s,3’s,4’s,5’s,6’s,7’s,8’s,9’s. 😉
I have a personal guess on your number but I’m not going to make it public right now because it may cause another outburst of caring but curious conversation 🙂 🙂 The fact that you don’t identify with any of them probably says something about your number. Hee-Hee
And you think this comment won’t cause an outburst??? ????????
I like the thought of “people-pleasing.” Or, rather, NOT pleasing people…because, really, we’re all different! For example, when I’m with people who aren’t like me, how far will I go in trying to fit in with them? I am free to be ME. (Unless it’s sinful, of course.) I won’t be joining you in your lunch fast, but wear your warm socks! (Even if pink clashes with red.) 😉
I can identify with a lot of this post! As far as support with skipping lunch, I am not skipping lunch but yesterday I started 75 Hard. My “diet” is an eating window of 11am – 2 pm. I feel a huge lack of discipline in my life and need to reprogram my body – in numerous ways, including eating habits. So – I will give you moral support because I need it, too! 😀
Your vulnerability in putting your journey into words, made for many ‘light bulb’ moments for me. Being a people pleaser all my life i see myself in everything you shared. It explains some of the awful anxiety i’ve faced recently as i was faced with the realization that i can’t always please…i will make mistakes, my children will fail, and i am limited. The freedom is slow in coming as i sit back and allow these fetters to slowly release their hold… thank you for your words.
YES – “the realization that I can’t always please.” In the past year, it’s this impossible dilemma that finally broke some of my foolishness open to receive grace.
Yes, yes! To receive grace! Beautiful words!
Definitely can relate to the people-pleaser part. Definitely. Maybe you could write more about this. 🙂 I really enjoyed your list. May the Lord continue to guide you in your search/desire for the right balance.
Wow, Shari, there are so many good things here. A friend mentioned this post to me this morn, and then I reccomended it to 2 of my friends….yes, all in the same day. 🙂
So much of what you said resonated with me. The comments here though have been enlightening too. Seeing that so many of us struggle with people pleasing makes me wonder what the myths are that we are believing….and how can we go about busting those myths and living from places of Truth instead. I am not Jesus. I know I am not Jesus. I am grateful that I am not Jesus because I would be A Very Poor Jesus. But so often I dont live like that. I twist myself into all shapes and sizes to conform to what people want. (Hopefully not so much presently as I used to.) And breaking free from needing to act in a certain way so that authority stays happy is Terrible Bondage. And if That Is How You Survived Childhood And Teen Years, it is really heard to break away from. But it can be done. Who mentioned about needing to tune into the Voice of the Holy Spirit instead of the Voice in My Head?
Recently I made a choice regarding Covid that was different from what my bosses wanted. But I bravely pressed in, because I felt like I would violate my conscience otherwise. It was a good experience for me, although uncomfortable, and I think I am still pondering it. How can I live that way more of the time? Still pondering…..thanks for writing!
You might think you inched forward this past month but your list really smelled like victory to me! You keep moving forward like that and you’ll definitely be getting somewhere. And good luck with your lunch loss. I’m hoping to hear more victory in 28 more days!
A second comment here… i totally agree that this is not selfish. Someone with an opposite personality might think so, but for us who are caught in the cogs of people pleasing, it is actually an effort to think less of ourselves. To break out of constantly measuring our relationships by how we have performed. That in itself can be a selfish way to live.
Exactly! I don’t think I’ve thought of it that way. The “people pleasing” that trips me up isn’t, “how can I make so-and-so’s day go more smoothly”, but more, “how can I fix this so so-and-so won’t think xyz about me?” I like the saying, “what others privately think of me is none of my business.” It kind of has the wrong tone, but it’s a way to remind myself of certain ‘boundaries’!
This is very thought provoking. My dad would rather inconvenience himself (and his family????)then anyone else and this has often frustrated me. And yes I do it too!! So I agree/offer to do something and then gripe about it and feel sorry for myself…. Where’s the blessing in that???
“Apologizing once…” So often when I examine my motives for apologizing I realize it’s cause I want to make sure the other person thinks well of me.
I really wanted to do the lunch fast but we were already a couple days into the month and it was to late to start!????
[…] chosen abstinence for February was excessive people pleasing, but there was more to my month than that. My chosen book of the Bible was Lamentations, and my […]
Oh my. You and I sound about exactly the same in the People Pleasing Department. I’m just here to say that I felt like cheering for you when I read your list of victories….and I would call it quite a list! I am slowly, slowly trying to get out of that trap as well. Maybe I should try keeping a list of victories and see if I’m actually making progress. Thank you for being honest and vulnerable enough to post this. ❤
I don’t know but I wonder if I might not have such a people pleasing personality myself. However I love to give gifts and food to those going through hard times especially. Is it too awkward for our culture to say things when asked to do something like , “I would like to pray about it first,” or “let me discuss this with my husband and I’ll get back to you?” Hmmm…I think it would be akward for me to say those things depending what or who so maybe I’m more of a people pleaser then I think????
As a side note, someone commented that you have the best comments here. There are a number of “Mennonite blogs” that I have want to comment on and they are set up in a way that it doesn’t work for me to comment on or I don’t know how! This one is easy to comment on! ????
This is really good & I rejoice with your victories Shari! I used to really struggle with pleasing people and it can become an idol without realizing it. I still struggle some, but at one point it took my health down; not just pleasing people, but other stressors going on as well. My doctor often told me”Be kind to yourself!” We often think if we’re self sacrificing and pleasing people, we’re good christians. But, when I found out I can say no, etc, it was so freeing!!! And interestingly enough, you can sit more at the feet of Jesus and learn of Him and his heart. I hope I’m making sense, but I really appreciate this! It’s much needed!
The most interesting thing about this post is that I now am challenged to ask myself if I’m a people pleaser. I would rather have labeled it “hater-of-conflict”, but I could identify with most of your “wins’ as hitting close to home! I also have been bothered by the idea of selfishness when creating boundaries. I think it can easily get there if “me” is the only thing you focus on, rather than what’s “healthy”, – as God intended it to be. But for one who is solidly in the ditch of service or pleasing others, I think that other ditch is fairly far away. Thanks for your vulnerability and sharing with us your growth!