Episode 8: People-Pleasing Problems

Updated: Apr 6, 2019

Are you a people-pleaser? Listen to the episode here to learn more about what defines people-pleasing, and some practical ways to find freedom from the tendency.

In this episode, we talk about how most people probably wrestle with this to some degree or another, though it may manifest differently from person to person.

People-pleasing stems from "relying on the approval of others for our self worth", as stated in The Emotionally Healthy Woman by Geri Scazzero. It occurs when we are relying more on the approval from others than on the approval of God.

As this article points out, we shouldn't be asking if we have an audience but rather who is our audience. Who is your most treasured audience? Is it God or man? There isn't really an in- between. Let's be encouraged to live coram deo; for the heart of God, and the audience of One.

Psalm 56:10-11 reminds us, "In God, whose word I praise, in the Lord, whose word I praise— in God I trust and am not afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?"

In essence, two ways we can combat people-pleasing are:

1. Live for the audience of One by seeking God's approval above man's approval.

2. Implement boundaries. Determine clear separation between what is your responsibility or ownership, and what is not.

Practicals steps for implementing boundaries:

- Admit the problem and seek out a support system

- Practice saying "no" to something small

- Express your opinion about something simple, using empathetic assertiveness

- Take a stand for something you believe in

Remember... Growth= Grace + Truth + Time!

Action Steps:

- Ask yourself: "Am I someone who has healthy boundaries in my life? Do I have fences up, or do I have walls?"

- Ask yourself: "Do I assert myself at all?" If you do feel you are assertive, ask "Do I assert myself with empathy?" How can you be more mindful of using empathetic assertiveness?

- Start thinking of boundaries you can implement in areas where you find people-pleasing is most prevalent for you. Write down a list of ways you can respond in these situations with healthier boundaries. Making a list ahead of time may help you be better equipped to stand your ground in future conversations and situations.


Boundaries by Henry Cloud and John Townsend

The Emotionally Healthy Woman by Geri Scazzero

"The Audience of One" by Os Guinness

10 Signs You're a People-Pleaser Psychology Today

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