Most of us are familiar with the first sign of being a people pleaser—the inability to say “no.” When asked to bake 100 cupcakes for the school carnival, lead the Bible study for the fifth year, or plan the church bazaar; we cringe on the inside, but plaster our smile on and raise our hand.
Because it’s good to serve, right? To be selfless with our time and abilities?
What if it’s not so simple? Because while it’s good to give, it’s also true that God loves a cheerful giver. From personal experience, I know that if you’re a people pleaser, you’re not always giving so cheerfully. Why?
Because you’re e-x-h-a-u-s-t-e-d.
In addition, every time you say “yes” to someone, by default you’re saying “no” to something else. No one has more than 24 hours in any given day. So you say yes to baking all day and no to playing on the floor with your toddler. You say yes to leading Bible study and no to your neighbor who needs some one-on-one discipleship. You say yes to planning the bazaar and no to quality time with your spouse, or Jesus, or that project that you really wanted to do just for you.
When we’re people pleasing, we often say yes to the things immediately in front of us because all we can see is our immediate goal of keeping people happy. But this keeps us on the proverbial hamster wheel, constantly spinning and going and striving, but getting nowhere. Nowhere in our relationships and nowhere in our self-development.
Maybe you’ve learned (probably the hard way) to say “no.” But could you still slip into some people-pleasing behaviors? Here are 9 other indicators:
Photo Credit: Unsplash