People Pleasing

i’m a recovering people pleaser.

i’m not exactly sure of how i got to be one, but i know i’ve been this way my whole life.  when i was 15 years old, i got my first job in the real world…i went to work on a construction site as a basic laborer.  my dad was the superintendent…the big boss man…and i was his son…the rookie…the kid who couldn’t get a job on his own…the kid who knew nothing.  it was the summer that i started to grow up.

but that’s another story for another time.

on my first day, i was driving around with the job foreman and a couple of carpenters when they pulled into a diner and announced, “coffee break”.   i had never been on a coffee break before.  cool.

the four of us bellied up to the counter and the waitress came to me first and asked what she could get for me.  i hesitated and then stammered out, “…uh…i’ll have a…cup of coffee.”

the guys all looked at me and one of them said with no small touch of sarcasm, “ooo, the boss’s son wants a cup of coffee!”  i remember i replied something like, “yeah, i like coffee”, or something equally adult stupid.

the three of them all ordered sodas and proceeded to watch me choke down my coffee…which i absolutely hated.  always did.  always will.  but i refused to let on.  i wanted so desperately to be “one of the guys”, there was no way i was going to let them know what i had done.

i spent years and years of my life wanting to be the guy that everybody liked.  i didn’t need to be the center of attention.  i didn’t need to be in charge.  i certainly didn’t need props or awards or recognition.  i just wanted to be liked.

i’ve learned a lot about being a people pleaser through the years.  i’ll share some of my lessons with you later.

for now, i’d like to know what you think about people pleasing.  are you a pleaser?  how do you know?  what are some of the things you do?  how has it been harmful?  are you changing?  is it getting better?

let’s put some thoughts out on the table!

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3 thoughts on “People Pleasing

  1. Most people that are impressed by us when we are “people pleasing” are just people that will find someone else even more pleasing in the near future. Leaving you alone and ashamed that you sold yourself out to please someone who didn’t really give half a crap about you to begin with.

    I’m always drawn to people who don’t really care what I think of them. They are independent and confident enough in themselves that if I don’t like them, then that is just my problem.

    Jesus pleased a lot of people but He stepped on an awful lot of toes. As we study about James and Paul there are plenty of people who got there feelings hurt and were not pleased. But they spent their lives pleasing the One that matters and not wasting their time on the ones that are just looking for someone that can please them more.

  2. Yes Mike i have been a People Pleaser, Kids, family,friends ,coworkers, i am now just seeing where it has got me and what it has done to me. I guess another word would be “Codependent”. I am just now finding out that I don’t know who I am or what I want out of life. Its kinds Scary, but on the other hand I am learning alot of new thing and helping myself long the way and it is getting Better. Thanks

  3. Tit for Tat? I get it now!

    I want people to see the SAME me with all my good and bad qualitites, where ever I am. (Church, Work, Restaurant, Vacation)

    There are enough “Wanna bes” in Dallas already
    From blowhard PASTORS to credit card MAXED out Ghost Bar seekers.
    Let them go off together and impress each other.

    I don’t have time.

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