Emotional health, Main, Women, z73
Comments 2

Are you a people-pleaser?

Credit: Nick Kenrick/Flickr/Creative Commons

Credit: Nick Kenrick/Flickr/Creative Commons

Giving and pleasing look exactly the same on the outside but they both come from a different place or motivation of the heart.

They even feel different because giving comes from a positive space and people-pleasing comes from a negative one.

Stacey Martino, a relationship expert, refers to people-pleasing as ‘the kiss of death’ because we are giving from a place of insecurity (our need for approval and to be valued).  We are doing it for the wrong reasons and this creates resentment.

People-pleasing drains you emotionally because you really didn’t want to do it in the first place. You just did it to please someone. And if we experience rejection it magnifies our resentment. An internal explosion is not to far away.

Giving comes from a positive place of optimism hopefulness, passion, gratitude, joy and desire to bless. People-pleasing comes from a place of insecurity, doubt, worry, jealousy, disappointment, blame or boredom.

Ultimately, people-pleasing stems from our need to be loved and valued. It is rooted in insecurity.  We don’t know our true worth and value in God’s eyes and because of this we will go looking for it.

I had a people-pleasing addiction and needed to learn the difference between giving and pleasing.

For me, and I am making myself vulnerable, it was a way of getting the leadership of my church to notice me. At first, I didn’t even realize that was the reason I was doing it.

The speaker at a conference I attended a few years ago, said it clearly. when we overdo our giving, it draws attention to you but not in the way you want.  It is like a neon sign over your head that says, please love me!

I had an addiction to people-pleasing, and often went overboard because of my need to be approved and valued by the leadership. But it was not their problem, it was mine!

This was such a wake up call and exposed my need for people particularly in leadership roles to acknowledge me. It exposed my greatest fear — rejection.

It had become so ingrained in me that I didn’t even know I was doing it. The light came on when I heard the speaker say, “you are just saying to people, please love me!”

The key is to understand your motivations for doing something. Are you doing it because you genuinely want to help someone and no recognition is necessary, or are you doing it to gain approval and you desperately need to be acknowledged for what you did.

Recognizing our people pleasing tendencies will help us establish healthy boundaries.  It allows us to focus on the things in our lives that really matter and deserve our attention.

Simply put, people-pleasing is a distraction that pulls us off course and away from our purpose, our loved ones and our relationship with God.

I am loved, accepted and valued for who I am right now by my Heavenly Father.  My value and worth has been secured through the cross where Jesus shed his blood for my  failure to please God by my own works.

I can walk and shine on because my value does not depend on the approval and opinions of man.

We end up wasting our time and energy trying to prove our value and worth to others.

Take action from the side of giving, not pleasing.

There is a verse in the bible that talks about giving and the motivations of the heart.  Although it’s referring to financial giving it gets to the root of why we do things.

“Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. (2 Corinthians 9:7)



  1. Great post. I can completely relate to this. I am always trying to please others because I’m scared of rejection. You’re right though – there’s a difference between giving and pleasing. Thank you for the reminder. Wish you all the best – speak766


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