by Pastor Kerry-Ann Mapperson

Addiction to the approval of others; 

Living the life that your parents wanted you to live, your kids want you to live, your friends want you to live are all signs you are a people pleaser  

Or are you fearful of being rejected by others? 

The fear is a door you open and enables others to come in and control you, manipulate you, alter you from being the individual that you were created to be. 

It does not have to be dangerous to be considerate of what others think of you, but it can be. 

There is nothing wrong with wanting to please your parents, your spouse.  There is nothing wrong with wanting to please others.    

A person who has no interest in pleasing others at all is a narcissist, totally self-centred.  

But that need to please others cannot be controlling over us.  

Everything good can be overdone – we need to eat, but don’t over eat.  We need to sleep, but not oversleep.  We need to be generous, but not taken advantage of.  We need to work, but not overwork. 

You cannot be worried about what everyone else wants you to be and focused on what God made you to be at the same time. You will stress yourself and miss being the authentic you, instead being at risk of being a replication of someone else. 

Envy and Peer Pressure are the two problems that make us move away from being our unique self.  

Ask yourself, “Whose opinion matters most to me?”  “Who do I trust most?”  

Giving in to peer pressure leads me to be less than who I am created to uniquely be.  

We should all be self-thinkers so we don’t just blindly follow the crowd. 

Succumbing to peer pressure leads us to deny what is truth and minimises who we are capable of being. When we surrender to living less than to our full capacity we are robbing those around us of the value that we can add to strengthen our community. 

Is it possible that wrong things are occurring around us because people are not being their true self and standing in their uniqueness?  I think so. 

Can I look at myself in the mirror and say, I cared more about pleasing people. I let them tell me what to do? 

In what areas of my life am I caving in to win the approval of others?  

When we succumb to others choices we wear a mask and give a fake presentation of ourselves.  

You can alter how you present what people see, but it could just be a coverup for who you really are.   

This is giving false information to people and creates a false foundation for the relationship.  It will eventually lead to a breakdown, particularly when put under strain. 

Living like this limits my ability to share my life stories, it even takes away any chance of having a story to tell that is truly mine. 

But if I am living authentically who I am, I am free to make character alterations as needed so that I continue to grow and reflect a better presentation of who I am. 

When I am living authentically to my true self, I will get a lot of pleasure from being able to share my life stories with people and they will be enjoyed by others hearing them. 

Who would hear about my values, opinions and desires from me, if fear wasn’t an issue?  

What is the antidote?  

1.     Even God can’t please everyone.  Only a fool would try and do what God cannot do.  

The only time everyone will speak well of you will be your funeral.  

2.    I don’t need everyone’s approval to be happy.  Happiness is a choice. Disapproval doesn’t have to ruin your happiness.  As soon as you become a leader of anything 50% of the people are not going to like you.  If you haven’t got their approval already by now, you are not going to get it.  Stop trying to earn it.  You don’t need it to be happy.   

3.    What seems so important now, is only temporary.  Eg  what were the 5 most important things to you in High School?  Maturity is when you learn that everything you think is important – isn’t.   

Success, wealth and fame are the things most people value and all of which can be taken away in a breath. 

4.    Life is too short to live it as a fake representation of your true self. 

5.    I was born as unique as my fingerprints.  

You are not god for anybody.  You are not someone’s source of total supply.   

We need a balance of two elements in relationships:  

Grace –give and receive grace from each other  

Truth – speak truth with love 

Grace provides the safety we need and Truth provides the structure.  

Grace says to you, “I am for you no matter what”.    

Truth says “I need to give you some feedback so you don’t ruin yourself”  

If your relationship is out of balance it could be because someone in the relationship is out of control that tramples on grace and doesn’t have truth.   

– don’t take responsibility for their behaviour, don’t become their parent.  They won’t get better and your relationship won’t get better.  

We should all responsible for our own behaviours and when we choose to, we are healthier within ourselves and are capable of having stronger relationships. 

Or an out of balance relationship could also be because someone is controlling someone else in the relationship.  We have choices and a voice in relationships.  

There are 2 types of controlling people – anger – if you don’t do it my way I will be angry with you – control by anger. 

Control by guilt – if you don’t do it my way, I will be hurt.  This is just as strong a control as anger.  

Boundaries are simply a property line.  Defining what is my responsibility and what is the responsibility of others.    

When considering where to place boundaries, a good point of reference is knowing what I have to offer and what I need to keep. 

Love others without rescuing them.  Love and Rescuing are two different things.  

When sharing a relationship for any length of time, there will be give and take.  There will be times when one of us has something they cannot carry on their own – an emotional problem or maybe a health issue, for a season. 

Then there are also the consistent things that you carry yourself.  Feelings, what you cherish, your thoughts, what you carry in your heart.  These are for each individual to be responsible for themselves. 

Things go well when we help carry those seasonal problems for a while, but not those things that each one of us should be carrying for ourselves. 

We are not responsible to fix their bad attitudes, their finances, their emotions.  You cannot make a miserable person happy.  

Love others without rescue.  

Ask yourself “Is this something they should be doing this for themselves?”  

This doesn’t mean when your partner asks “Honey can you make me a cup of coffee?”  You think – they can do that themselves, I’m not rescuing……. That is not what this is about. 

Learn to confront in love, not judgement.  

I’m trying to make a healthy me and a healthy you and a healthy us.  This is how we can bring out the best in each other.  

Start from a position of love – I want this person to win.   

I want the “We” and the “We” is not working.  The work we, the married we, the neighbour we.  

There is a time to say “no”.  Say “no” when it is best.    

Telemarketers need to hear the word.  

“That just doesn’t work for me”.  “No”.  

Those words or tone don’t work for me, that purchase doesn’t work for me, that behaviour doesn’t work for me. 

Sometimes it will need consequences.  Don’t rescue them.   

If they disregard what you say, if your words don’t have an impact on them then they are saying that pain is the only thing that they will impact them.  Time out works for 32 year olds and 2 year olds.  If you continue this behaviour I will leave the room, I may leave the house or I will hang up the phone or I am not going to give you my money, my time or my heart.  It doesn’t work for me.  

Just because you are seeing immature signs in your relationship, doesn’t automatically mean you should terminate it. You can see restoration of relationships.  You may need to consult a professional to assist.  But it is worth starting with a conversation and make your thoughts and feelings understood, and listen for what is the felt response from your partner.   

Every relationship needs boundaries and they need to be communicated before they can be agreed upon.  Unmet expectations often occur because they were never expressly communicated. 

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