Confessions of a Recovering People Pleaser–Making My Own Decision

You probably don’t have to think extra hard to think of someone in your life that always knows what you should do.  One person in particular has an overwhelming personality and insists you do what they say is right you. Because you don’t like conflict or perhaps the other’s fierce determination they know what is best, you question your own judgment and do as they advised.

Can you relate? Or is it just me?

Part of people pleasing is doing things to make other people happy. Some people (speaking of myself here) will set aside their own decision making abilities and do as others insist, hoping the other person will like or even love them.  But it doesn’t work. Three things I realize in giving up my best judgment and doing what someone else has suggested.

  • Using the ‘doing what so and so told me to do’ takes the blame off you and you can now be a victim.
  • If things go well, the other person often enjoys taking the credit, reminding you how they knew best and often causing you to go deeper into questioning your own self worth.
  • If things don’t go well, the other person usually doesn’t take any responsibility toward it, opting out by saying something like “I was just giving you a suggestion, you are the one who made the decision” now adding frustration, guilt, and discouragement to your continuing self doubt.

I must stand firm in my beliefs and in my self worth.  This does not mean I cannot or will not change my mind. But changing my mind should come from considering valid information received, not pressure.

In Genesis 3 Adam and Eve are in the garden. Satan speaks to Eve and asks her a question. Not sticking to full truth in her reply satan asked her more questions and she followed his persuasion towards a decision that changed everything.  How often do we (speaking of myself here) allow others to persuade us toward something we are not fully comfortable with yet feel – at the time – it is the right thing to do, because while I am unsure that other person appears to be quite sure.

I am making an effort to slow down all conversations leading me toward another’s decision. In order to do this I have to remain focused: on my beliefs, on my desires and goals, on the direction each conversation is going.  I have to commit to MYSELF first. This isn’t easy, but it is worth it.

This is my life.  God gave me a brain and the ability to think for myself. I have the strength and ability to do what is right for me, even if someone else doesn’t agree.  This also means I have the strength and ability to deal with whatever consequences that come from my decision. 

I run the risk of not being like by someone, or being shunned by them. This fear of rejection is strong. What if they don’t like me anymore?  What if they tell other people how stupid they think I am?  In my heart, it hurts, but I have to remind myself, this isn’t a real ‘friend’ if they have to control me like this.

It also means I have to be careful in how I speak with others so I don’t lead them down the same path.

Look out world! A stronger me is emerging. You may not always get your way, and you just might be surprised by the results of me following my own path instead of the ones created for you.

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