The Disease To Please

Kim Speaks Up - Disease to Please

We’ve all been afflicted by this contagious disease.

Ever since I was a little girl, I had a knack for numbers and a knack for talking…out of turn most of the time. People were often impressed by how much I knew so the more they were impressed, the more I kept talking. I loved the attention. I loved the affirmation until I realized that it held me hostage from living my life. Honestly, I wanted people to like me.

The disease to please ensured that the word “no” was nowhere to be found in my personal vocabulary. I bent over backward to ensure others were accommodated at the expense of my time, relationships, health, and peace of mind.

I allowed people’s opinions to compromise my integrity because I found myself saying ‘yes’ when I really meant ‘no’. I realized that there were times I missed God’s leading because my ears were pinned to loud uttering of the opinionated than the gentle whispers that He spoke throughout the day.

Kim Speaks Up - Say Yes or Say No
Some wise words from Jesus – Matthew 5:37

When I turned 30, I resolved that I would no longer live my life to please others but to honor GOD and my family in my decisions. It was the only way I could ensure that I gave my best yes. I am grateful for a husband that does not pressure me into things I do not want to do and gives me the option of saying no even when it comes to church and ministry. This has been the most freeing. I am so grateful for this.

I have learned that the disease to please will ultimately kill your joy.

Always saying yes, forces you to live out another’s blueprint apart from the one God has purposed for you. It’s a miserable and unfulfilled life trying to lead a life that pleases fickle and confused hearts.

People may become agitated and annoyed by your no’s, but a mature and balanced individual is able to discern whether the rejection is targeted to the request or the person who asks. If it is the latter, there is a deeper issue – one that I will address in a later blog.

There are a few questions that I ask myself before I make commitments:

  • Why?
  • Who benefits?
  • Will I complain while doing this?
  • Do I really want to do this?
  • What are their motives?
  • What are my motives?
  • Am I trying to prove anything by saying yes?
  • Is this the best use of my resources?
  • Am I this most competent option to complete this task?
  • Am I compromising my integrity?
  • Am I lying?
  • Am I being fair?
  • Am I balanced in my thoughts?
  • How will this affect me emotionally?
  • Will this cause me distress?
  • Is this a life or death situation?
  • Will the purpose of the ask still be accomplished if I did not participate?
  • Is there a better alternative instead of me?
  • Have they exhausted all their options?
  • Is this constructive criticism or manipulation?
  • Is their request or my response laced with greed, pride, or jealousy?
  • Will I be ok if not acknowledged for my work?
  • Is God glorified?

I recommend that you take time to answer these questions. You will be happy that you did and your family will be too.

The disease to please adversely infects the heart and can only be combated through right perspective of God and self. God does not need us to accomplish His purposes throughout the earth but has chosen to use us. Despite what many may think, you are not a savior. Life will go on without you.

We do however desperately need Him to live with purpose. One of the keys to a purpose-filled life is NOT doing all the things, but doing the few things that God has placed before you WELL. Saying yes to everything squanders our Best Yes to the right thing.

You my friend cannot be all things to all people. The only one well qualified for the job is GOD.

Let God do His job and you do yours.

  • Tauheedah Muhammad

    I LOVE this post

  • I greatly appreciate your words here. Such a reminder for me, as the routine of Fall kicks back in, to be ok with not doing EVERYTHING! With new babies, I feel like I have to keep up with other moms, but that is not Gods best for me. His best for me is to know Him! I have been exploring this concept on my blog with the #5weekrefocuschallenge: http://www.campfiregrace.com/2015/08/12/refocus-your-worship-refocus-challenge-week-1/
    Thank you again for the courage to write this post. Fantastic title by the way. Gripped me immediately.

  • CouponDivaAndi

    it’s about why we do what we do – and who we do it for

  • This is so important! Sometimes we empty ourselves out when trying to please someone when it isn’t a good situation.

  • Being a people pleaser truly is a disease. It is one I am starting to overcome and I’m so happy. It is so less exhausting to just worry about what God and myself want for my husband and me instead of what everyone else worries. It is impossible to please everyone, but by allowing myself to be truly happy with it I have seen so much more peace in my life!!
    Autumn @ Stay gold Autumn

  • Yolanda James

    Great piece, Kim! And so true…..Thanks for sharing and speaking, err, writing from the heart. 🙂

  • Michelle Myers

    I’m a recovering people pleaser so I completely feel ya’ on all of this. That list of questions is fantastic, it really helps you to examine your heart!

  • This post spoke to me! I think we all deal with this at some point or another.

    http://www.meandmine-r.blogspot.com

  • All Inspired Mom

    Such an important reminder. I think we all suffer from this & are taught to “please” very early in life. As I get older I realize that everytime I say a quick “yes” without evaluating the situation I lose a little bit of my purpose in life. Great questions on how we should stop before we please. Great post! 🙂

  • Great post! Just found you through the Blogging Elite and I love your message :)…women are particularly vulnerable to not saying no when they don’t have the time or energy to do something because we’re afraid of letting others down. Like you, I made an effort to stop this after turning 30 and now that i’m 40, I lead a much more authentic life and don’t fall into that people pleasing trap! 🙂

  • Love this post. I please so many people that I didn’t even please the number one person…ME. I stopped doing that last year and boy do people take notice when you are no longer marching to their beat.

  • laurenbtrain

    LOVE this! I have a hard time saying no, but as my kids have gotten older and I have realized the importance of doing (or not doing things) I have learned when to take on things and when not to.

  • Absolutely love this post! I used to be a people pleaser myself and it’s so liberating to be doing things on my terms (with God’s approval of course). I’m no longer afraid to simply say no.

  • GlamStyle Divas

    Great post! I struggle with this at times as well. I love the section where it lists questions to answer to see if it is aligned with my purpose and God’s Will.

  • Girl I learned to say know the hard way. I no longer suffer from the disease to please.

  • Very honest and accurate! I used to struggle with being a people pleaser, and still do from time to time. It’s so important to check your motives, whether you are doing it just to look good or please God.

  • JoAnna Niles

    So accurate! I am DONE with people pleasing. It left me so miserable. Great post.

  • This is so good! I remember my pastor saying we had to “gift” ourselves the option to say no because trying to please everyone will just wear us down.

  • Neely

    This post really is wonderful and so true! I have a huge problem saying no

  • LaVonndra Johnson

    Great post. I used to struggle with commitments earlier in my career. Now I practice balance.

  • Tyra

    This is such a much needed reminder. Others have no problem saying no so I need not have the disease to please! Love this.

  • I love love love this, because it is something I have to remind myself always, I used to be afflicted with the disease to please, and healing although not quick is happening…

  • Keishawna

    Wow! I love this list of questions. I often over commit myself because of the disease to please. This post is so beautifully written and so on time for my life. I just told a friend yesterday that I needed slow down on all that I’m doing. Like you said, it’s better to do a few things well that God called us to do. Thanks for sharing!

  • This is so beautiful and let me tell you girl, something I have struggled with for so long. It’s so weird but learning to say no can be such a difficult thing. But super freeing when you finally start to do it. Loved this!

  • I had only had this disease with my daughter. She is an only child and she has really been a wonderful child; excellent grades, mild mannered, pleasant and graceful. Therefore, I always had the mindset that she deserved anything she asked for (within reason).

    I still have my moments now, even with her being a senior in high school. Perhaps, I always will. (Ha.)

    Fantastic article!

  • Deidre Harris McMillan

    Such a Great Post full of Life Truths! Thanks for sharing and I’m looking forward to more!

  • This is a great post. I used to be such a people pleaser! It took me years to realize that I need to please myself!

  • Christine St.Vil

    Wow…In my book I co-authored with my sister, I wrote a whole chapter on this topic: No is a Complete Sentence. I went through a lot of similar beliefs and had to learn how to take back my power by saying no.

  • I’ve never been a people pleaser. Not sure why. Maybe being the youngest, I never had to worry about others. Hmm…

  • Wonderful post! I have written about the subject too. As a life coach working around self-love I am confronted with people-pleasing tendencies in my clients.