If you missed the first few weeks of this series, you will want to go back and catch up. We are looking at the lies embedded in each of the love styles so we can be released of these strong holds and live in the freedom of the truth. This week it is the pleasers, turn; what lies do pleasers believe that they may not even be aware of?
The basic motto pleasers live by is; “Be happy so I can be happy and relax.” Pleasers try hard to keep everyone smiling. While they may appear as the ideal Christian, giving, sacrificial, attentive, caring, and loving, there is something rotten at the core of all this “nice” giving.
Pleasers want something in return. They want to be free of anxiety. Pleasers get anxious when others are angry, rejecting or upset. So, they go in for the fix. “I’ll do something nice and make you happy.” Pleaser are so accustom to anxiety, they often don’t realize how much it motivates them. Milan was in his late 30’s before he realized how anxiety drove most of his choices and behavior
What’s the lie in this? There are several. Pleasers believe, “It’s my job to make everyone around me feel good.” In and of itself, that’s a lie. We are called to be loving and tender hearted as Christians. We are also called to speak the truth in love and stand for values and principles that may be unpopular and cause conflict. How others feel and respond is not our responsibility. Pleaser’s live a lie in a way because what they feel on the inside is often not seen on the outside. Pleaser’s hide any feelings that might make others uncomfortable. Dishonesty is often the result.
An even bigger lie is, “I have to avoid rejection and unpleasant feelings no matter what.” “I also have to protect those I love from ever feeling rejected or unhappy.” Whew!!! What an exhausting task. Jesus had enemies. He was rejected and he did not chase people and beg them to reconsider. Jesus accepted that he would be rejected and that life in a broken world will produce unpleasant feelings. Difficult emotions need to be handled, processed and worked through, not avoided.
The truth is, “In this world you shall have tribulation.” Those are Jesus’ words. Rejection and disappointment are a part of life. Jesus accepted the anger of others toward him and pleasers need to learn to tolerate negative emotions in themselves and others. If you are a parent, your kids need to experience life as it is, not as you wish it could be. Overprotection gives them the message they can’t handle life or stress without you. A little stress is good. Too much stress is traumatic. So the goal is to allow some stress so your kids learn coping skills and some frustration tolerance. When it’s too much, step in and help.
Do you want to be like Jesus? Then embrace these truths:
- Life has difficult moments and hard seasons and I can learn to feel and process the emotions that life brings.
- I can learn to understand and communicate the difficult emotions in myself and others that I tend to ignore.
- Jesus did not make everyone happy and neither can I.
- I can learn to speak the truth in love and learn to tolerate rejection or anger just like Jesus did.
- Jesus’ mood did not ride on everyone else’s feelings and reactions. Neither should mine.
How do I learn all this if I’m a pleaser? Do the pleaser chapter of the workbook. Go slow and don’t stop.