People Pleaser No More



I could’ve titled this, “I Can’t Please Everyone, But I Sure Have Tried.” This probably started in my family of origin where I strove to get good grades thus pleasing my parents, to have lots of friends, to be well liked by the teachers, and on top of that I wanted to be cool.

I wish I could say when I got into adulthood I was untouched by the expectations of others. Hardly. Those ‘great expectations’ were often heavy on me. I wasn’t performing well enough on my job (though I seemed to be doing as well as other employees). My house didn’t pass ‘the white glove test.” Remember that, when your mother-in-law, or your snarky older sister, or that holier than thou church lady comes, rubs her white glove across your coffee table and horror-of-horrors, absolute panic-time, she finds dust. Of course, since then I’ve learned a little known truth: dust is a wood preservative.

I can say that at one point in my life, right before I started my serious fiction writing journey, I twisted myself inside-out to make everything perfect for others in my personal world, to create a happy picture. Some had absolutely no appreciation of my efforts, while a few others actually disdained my efforts and actively tried to wreck them. So, I tried harder and the upshot was I lost myself in the process, for a while. For a while I was in a place of desperation. That was nearly eight years ago, when I banged out a really terrible first effort at a murder mystery novel. Writing fiction helped bring me back to me…back to the woman God sees when He looks at me.

Now that I’m a tad older than 39, I’ve learned categorically, no matter what I do, somebody’s going to have an opinion about my actions. I can prove this by taking a cursory look at social networking sites. Don’t you just love when somebody takes a stand, perhaps a faith stand, and they get castigated?Maybe they’re out of step with the mainstream. Maybe they hold traditional core values and they dare to express that… and they get figuratively stomped on. Other, do nothing types, sitting in their pajamas in their parents’ basements barrage them with insult upon insult. Some do not merely want to win the present argument, they seek to destroy the other person.

When this happens to me, and it has happened to me, I refer to, hold onto, put my feet down firmly, and stand on Scripture. Romans 8:1 [NASB] Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. (2)For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death.

Eagel 2


6 thoughts on “People Pleaser No More

  1. On this one I was really not a people pleaser until I became a Christian and it was what I thought I had to do. I have learned I just cannot cover all the bases. especially now when I have chronic pain (probably came from people pleasing and the stress of it a lot.)


    1. Blue, I went through that too. I thought I had to be a certain way to be a Christian. I found that’s not really true, but I went through a lot of unnecessary grief trying to be Sally SuperChristian. I think believers are moving toward grace and away from legalism and don’t try so much to appear to be perfect.

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  2. saragoff

    Oh, I still fall into the pleasing pit. (I’m a child of divorce.) Has my writing helped?? That’s an interesting thought. Yes, I’ve put writing before many social obligations. I’ve written about topics that make people uncomfortable. And, well, I’ve become brave enough to write about my faith in God. That’s a good start, anyway!


    1. Sara, I’m on a similar writing journey. My husband and I came from crazy families of origin (some people functional, others semi-functional, while yet others were dysfunctional and destructive). So, I also grew up people pleasing. I’m much, much better about that now. Writing has helped a lot. It’s been a refuge. The biggest help is learning to please God and forget about the rest of it.


  3. dltolley

    Totally a ‘pleaser’ myself. But I do set limits and retreat into my writing whenever I find the stress levels rising!


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