The last two posts I’ve shared with you have been about my struggle with people pleasing (Whose behind the Pen…and Why I Blog) and (The Woman Behind the Pen Continued). I believe many of us struggle from people pleasing, therefore, I have decided to share on this topic, one more time, before moving on.
None of us can please everyone, everywhere, all of the time…it’s just not humanly possible, but how many of us are deceived into thinking that we can? That somehow we can keep all the balls in the air and everyone will be happy, but are we happy….I mean really happy? Are we happy when were pulled in half a dozen directions, at the same time, and exhaustion knocks at our door?
When one picks up the oars of people pleasing to navigate the waters of life, they become adept at reading the lay of the land. It’s more than body language, it’s a study of people–reading faces, interrupting gestures and anticipating expectations. An automatic transformation of self in which one becomes so well versed in shifting their behavior that they unconsciously slip into the skin of someone they are not and play that part—actors on the stage of life.
I don’t believe one consciously picks up the threads of people pleasing (that would be manipulation, which is a whole other ballgame). Rather, it’s a means of defusing a bomb before the trip wire is pulled. But in reality, all one is really doing is delaying the explosion–and the explosion will come, it’s just a matter of when. This reinventing of self slowly crushes one’s soul and destroys the heart of God’s creation.
When one willingly allows someone to walk over top of them, they will. When one gets used to getting one’s way they will come to expect it.
People pleasing is a double edged-sword–it cuts twice. When one is true to self and stops pleasing others, others will often slice back in anger. If one denies self, to accommodate others, they turn the sword upon themselves and inflict their own wound. People pleasers construct their own prisons and refuse to unlock their cells.
A first glance people pleasers appears to be self–sacrificing, giving up their needs for others–however, this would be anything but true. If we were to peel back all the fluff and get to the core of people pleasing one would discover that people pleasing is about avoiding conflict…keeping peace at all cost. It appears as if one is denying oneself, but in reality one is getting what they desired, no conflict…or so one thinks. The truth is that the inner conflict is far worse than what any human could inflict. One is slowly strangling the life from one’s soul.
That ticking bomb…the one that appeared to be defused…is still silently ticking and it will only be a matter of time before it will eventually explode. Year after year of self denial is a heavy load to carry. It weighs one down and will manifest itself in negative consequences…anger, bitterness, sarcasm, depression…
People pleasing is a difficult habit to break, but with the Lord’s help all things are possible.