Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ, Galatians 1:11-12 NIV.
People-pleasing tendencies sip the joy out of life. It is also a sign of low self-esteem. I was once in that world. When I felt like I owe everyone an explanation of who I am and where I am going. I tried to fit in everywhere by trying to please everyone. I also thought I could get people to like me if I go out of my way to please them.
Unfortunately, all my efforts only resulted in the opposite. I pleased no one. Simply because everyone thought I was a phoney. And I don’t blame them. Because if you don’t stand for anything, you will fall for everything and it will be hard to define who you are. When I realized that I’m doing myself more harm than good, I quit this people-pleasing quest. It’s not worth it.
Disadvantages of being a people pleaser
At some point, some situations will place you at crossroads. To please God, or to please people. Unfortunately, the latter is the first option. And you will say to yourself I will pray about it and repent. For instance the choice between to lie and continue being famous or to tell the truth and lose your fame but remain right with God?
As a Christian, you will never have joy or peace. There is no joy or peace in disobedience. And choosing to please people instead of God is an act of disobedience. It is so tricky because you may end up doing something way against biblical concepts just to make people happy.
Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both the soul and body in hell. Matthews 10:28.
How can you stop being a people pleaser?
Work on your self-esteem; usually, people pleasers have low self-esteem. They feel they have to give something in order to be loved. They feel they are not worthy of love without collateral. And that collateral sometimes is in form of their core principles.
Low self-esteem is usually caused by low self-worth. The belief that you are not worthy of love or attention.
You don’t need anyone to make you feel worthy. The love of God is enough. If Jesus Christ could die on the cross for you, how much more worthy do you want to feel? There is no human love that can match the love of Christ.
No one should make you go against your Godly principles just for you to get approval. The best you’ll ever be is to be yourself. If no one is pleased with that, don’t bother breaking your back.
What matters is your relationship with God. Is he pleased with who you are, what you do, and what you think about? Is he pleased with the things you do when you are alone? The motives you have for doing things, the way that you treat people?
Is he pleased with your life and how you treat yourself?
He created you in His own image. And what would please him most is if you love yourself just the way he created you. God does not do anything without a purpose and he has never created anything useless, unworthy, or without purpose. Everything was created for him and by him. Your very existence is pleasing to him. But it’s not so pleasing if you are going around disregarding him just to please humans. Or if you are practicing self-hate.
For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him, Colossians 1:16.
When you are right with God, things will fall into place even without you trying. You can not claim to love God if you do not love something that was created in his own image. And that something is you.
To stop being a people pleaser, you have to love and appreciate yourself. Believe that you are worthy even without laying your principles down. And always ask yourself, I’m I trying to win the approval of human beings or of God in whatever you do or say.