The Happiest Lives Podcast

E22: People Pleasing

September 29, 2023 Jill M. Lillard Season 1 Episode 22
The Happiest Lives Podcast
E22: People Pleasing
Show Notes Transcript

This is our last episode in The Relationship Foundation Series

Ever struggled with the exhausting cycle of people-pleasing? Felt the burnout and resentment from constantly sacrificing your own needs for others? It's time to unveil the truth behind this draining behavior and discover healthier, more fulfilling alternatives. In this revealing episode, we dissect the complex world of people-pleasing, self-seeking and God-loving mindsets. We dive into why fear and insecurity often fuel people-pleasing tendencies, leading to unsatisfactory relationships.

But it's not all doom and gloom;  with scripture serving as our compass, we guide you towards cultivating a God-loving mindset, creating a route to true fulfillment and contentment in your relationships. Empower yourself to step away from the people-pleaser persona and embrace an authentic, balanced, and satisfying approach to your relationships. Ready to journey towards healthier relationships? Tune in to this enlightening episode.

⭐️Enrollment is now open for my most intensive life-changing coaching program for Christian women who want to think better, feel better, and be the women God says they already are.

If you are ready to leave the old behind and move into the new, I want to give you 5 Transformations in 5 months. Inside The Happiest Lives Academy, give you all the tools and support you need.

Enrollment opens once a year, and the program runs Jan-May 2024.

Learn more and enroll at

Questions? Email Jill directly at

Speaker 1:

You are listening to the Happiest Lives podcast with Jill Lillard, episode number 22. Welcome to the Happiest Lives podcast, where you'll learn to think better, feel better and become the woman God says you already are. Here's your host, jill Lillard. Hello everyone and welcome back to the Happiest Lives podcast. This is our fifth and final lesson in the series Relationship Foundations. If you haven't figured it out, I love helping people create better relationships. It's very personal work. So you think you're working on two people, but it's two people working on themselves in the relationship. But we don't have to do it alone. Relationship challenges create an amazing opportunity for us to become better people by leaning into the work of the Holy Spirit and cooperating with Him working through and in us. It can be hard work, but when we strenuously contend with the energy the Spirit powerfully places in us, it is well worth it. So in the past month we have covered your thoughts about the other person, desires and wants, boundaries and, lastly, loveability. If you've missed any of those episodes, I encourage you to go back and catch the whole podcast series. And if you want application tools that will help you take this work further and apply it, you can find all of that in Clarity, encourage my monthly coaching group where you get a vault of lessons, resources, live coaching calls that are going to help you grow. If you haven't joined yet, go to myhappyvaultcom and sign up today. The link is in the show notes. So this week we finish up the series with the subject of people pleasing. It sounds like such a nice phrase, so noble, to make others happy, selfless. But is it and can we truly please others? Should we try to please them? What does this even mean, to be a people pleaser? Galatians 110 starts with an important question Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings or of God, or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ. So we're going to see what it means to be a people pleaser, a self-seeker and a God lover. I think of a people pleaser as one who is approval-seeking. When we're people pleasing, we go to great lengths to gain the acceptance and validation of others, even if it means sacrificing our values, boundaries or happiness. This can lead to burnout, resentment and inauthentic relationships. It's not sincere or sustainable. People pleasing is often driven by fear, worried that others will abandon or reject us. We may strive to avoid conflict or the feeling of being disliked. It can also be driven by insecurity, lacking a sense of self-worth or personal identity. We may question our capabilities and look for others to affirm us so we can feel better and more valuable. People pleasers try to control and manipulate others so that they will be liked. If you've been rejected or criticized in the past, you may have learned to cope and protect yourself from pain by people pleasing. So if you tend to be an empathic and caring person who values cooperation and peace, you might find it hard to just say no or set healthy boundaries in certain situations. A people pleasing mindset believes it is responsible for the happiness of other people. Do you like this? Does this make you happy? Can I do more? Was that enough? These are all questions of the people pleaser. Now, they aren't wrong questions if they're rooted in love, but so many times we ask those questions from a place of lack, fear and insecurity. A people pleasing mindset often acts out of obligation and may even behave as though it has no choice in a matter. A person with this mindset may not even know what she prefers or wants, because she has always defined herself in relationship to her relationship. When her partner is unhappy or in need, the people pleasing mindset fills a sense of responsibility to fix things. He may feel burdened and overwhelmed, seeing love as denying her own needs. On the outside, a people pleaser may look kind and altruistic. However, if she is fixated on making others happy so she can be happy, the fruit of her generosity tastes bitter. So, while acts of sacrifice and kindness may seem very considerate, people-pleasing can become a problem when it consistently leads to neglecting one's own needs and increases stress. When the fruit of our giving and accommodating is bitterness, resentment, burnout and a loss of authentic self-expression, then we are probably operating from a place of fear and insecurity rather than love. Scripture tells us that there is no fear and love, but perfect love drives out fear. So we must know what motivation is driving our actions. Is it the desire to please others or is it love? Giving to others, whether it be our time, talents, resources, is a major way people-pleasing expresses itself. So Scripture directs us to be generous in our giving. We read in 2 Corinthians 9, 6-8,. Remember this whoever so sparingly will also reap sparingly. Whoever so generously will reap generously. Each of you should give what you've decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver and God is able to bless you abundantly so that in all things, at all times, having all you need, you will abound in every good work. The Lord encourages our generosity to others and as we cheerfully give, he will in turn bless us abundantly so that we can be a blessing. This is where we have to check our hearts, as we examine our motivation. What is our attitude? What is the driving force? Are we cooperating and accommodating from a place of fear and insecurity, in an effort to manipulate our control situations, or are we serving and giving from a place of abundance, faith, security and confidence? It matters when our works come from a place of peace and joy, knowing we already have all we need. Instead of lack, fear and insecurity. It will produce a harvest. But if we give under compulsion, with reluctance, we will not be a cheerful giver and we will miss the blessing in the giving. So what's the alternative to this? Many instead choose a self-seeking mindset. Unlike people-pleasers, self-seekers resist taking responsibility for the needs of others. They may not consider their partner's dreams and wants. Self-seekers may make big decisions without consulting their partners for feedback. The extreme of self-seekers might include those who we classify as narcissists and non-impaths. However, sometimes self-seekers are recovering people-pleasers. I have worked with women who have been people-pleasers all their life and then suddenly one day they snap. You can call it a mid-life crisis. They've had enough and the pendulum swings to the other side. They have now become self-seekers, at least until they figure out how to reconcile the two. A self-seeking mindset prioritizes one's own desires and needs above all else. This mindset can lead to a self-absorbed life, where we may disregard the well-being of others in pursuit of personal gain and success. Philippians 2-3-4 warns against this. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility, consider others before yourselves, not looking to your own needs, but each of you, to the interest of others. So while we don't want to live our life trying to gain the approval of others, we would do well to look toward the interest of others and not just our own interests. We are part of a body where Christ is the head, and so all the parts of the body work together as one unit. Seeing ourselves as part of this greater whole is going to serve us well as we seek to build up the body and serve the head. So this brings us to a third alternative, which is called the God-loving mindset, or we can just call it a loving mindset. The God-loving mindset is built on the understanding of God's unconditional love and grace. It seeks to align our mind's will and emotions with his divine will and purpose. Embracing this mindset allows us to experience true fulfillment and contentment. So a God-loving mindset is when we are abiding in God as we relate to others. And since God is love, we are abiding in love, and that's why sometimes I will use the love mindset and a God-loving mindset interchangeably. A love mindset is never concerned with pleasing other people. Instead, it is concerned with pleasing the Lord. Humility, patience, gentleness and bearing with the needs of others are evident. However, the driving force is not to create a sense of worthiness or lovability. A loving mindset knows she is already 100% lovable and valuable. The love mindset is not driven by wants, fear, guilt or shame. A love mindset takes responsibility for her actions. She is responsible to others, but she does not take responsibility for others. She does not feel like she must control or manipulate others emotionally to be happy. A God-loving mindset is anchored in Christ and loves unconditionally. This mindset does not put on falsehood to keep the peace, but it continues to love, even if truth disappoints others. Consider these verses Love the Lord, your God, with all your heart and all your soul, and with all your mind and all your strength. Mark 12 30. In Hebrews 11, 6,. And without faith, it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. 1 Thessalonians 4 1,. As for other matters, brothers and sisters, we instructed you how to live in order to please God, as, in fact, you are living Now. We ask you and urge you, in the Lord Jesus, to do this more and more. Romans 12, 1,. Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God, for this is your true and proper worship. Ephesians 5, 8 through 10,. For you were once in darkness, but now you are in light in the Lord. Live as children of light, for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth, and find out what pleases the Lord. 1 John 3 22, and receive from him anything we ask, because we keep his commands and do what pleases him. Revelation 4 11,. You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things and by your will they were created and have their being, and 2 Corinthians 5 9. So we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it. Cultivating a God-loving mindset involves surrendering our fears and desires to God and allowing his love to shape our thoughts and actions. It empowers us to love ourselves and others with compassion and grace, while still honoring our boundaries and values. Recognizing the worth we have in his eyes enables us to embrace our true identity. The subject came up in our VIP coaching group several months ago about the difference between people pleasing and love. Like I'm telling you today, I told them that it goes back to motivation. I also suggested the ladies ask these questions to evaluate their actions, and I thought they might be helpful for you. Am I doing this to be validated, liked or accepted? Am I doing this to avoid conflict? Do I genuinely care to nurture and support others without expecting anything in return? Am I doing this at the expense of my own well-being and values? Am I allowing for authenticity, open communication, individual needs and mutual respect of all parties? Am I doing this to achieve external validation or are my actions built on a foundation of God's love, acceptance and abundance? Do I often find myself feeling resentful, burnt out or dissatisfied? Am I supporting the growth and well-being of both of us? These are some great questions to reflect on your actions, to see if they're coming from a people pleasing mindset, a self-seeking mindset or a God-loving mindset. I hope these questions might help you examine your motivation. We never want to change our lives by simply cleaning the outside of the cup. When we clean the inside first, by examining our mind, will and emotions, then the outside becomes clean too. Well, that's all I have for you today. Thank you, guys, for joining me in this series. It's been a lot of fun. May you continue to grow in God's love and experience the transformational power of His grace. Until next time, I am here to help you cultivate a new mindset so you can truly love others from a place of having already. And stop trying to people, please, to win approval. Next week we begin a brand new series, so make sure you tune in next Friday if you want to hear what it's all about. I'll see you then.