How to Stop Being a People-Pleaser

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How to Stop Being a People-Pleaser

Several years ago, we invited some friends over for a football viewing/cookout event.

Honestly, we spared no expense and went to a great deal of trouble to host our friends for the big game.

For the meal, we prepared filets and wonderful sides. For the game, we moved two large televisions into the family room so that we could watch two games at the same time.

It was a wonderful day, and our teams even won their games!

However, as our friends were leaving, they hardly expressed their gratitude, and even complained that the steak had been a little too well done (even though that’s what they had asked for).

As they pulled away in their car from our home, I felt great sadness.

After all of that trouble, our friends were still disappointed and unsatisfied with our efforts.

It took all of the wind out of our sails.

It was at that moment that my high school-aged daughter looked at me and said the most profound and helpful statement.

She said,

“Mom, no matter what you do or how much trouble you go to, it will never be good enough.

They will NEVER, EVER be happy!”

It was eye-opening for me!

Years of trying to make these people happy had never worked.

I realized at that moment that it wasn’t about me.

It was not my job to make them happy or please them!

What I was doing was kind and gracious and over the top, but it would never be enough for them!

Honestly, I had an epiphany that day… I needed to stop trying to please other people!

Trying to make others happy all the time was impossible, disheartening, and exhausting!

And, I was sick of it all!

Can you relate?

Are you a people-pleaser too?

Today… Let’s talk about some simple solutions to people-pleasing!

Here are five steps you can take to begin to win over people-pleasing and enjoy your relationships more.

These are some simple ways to overcome People-Pleasing in our lives.

First Step to Stop Being a People-Pleaser

The first thing all of us have to do is recognize what we are doing!

We have to own up to the fact that we are trying to please other people.

It’s time to “Wake up!”

It’s like we are leaning our ladder against the wrong wall!

Father Thomas Merton, pointed out that:

“We may spend our whole life climbing the ladder of success, only to find when we get to the top that our ladder is leaning against the wrong wall.”

Look in the mirror and admit, “Yes! It’s true! I tend to be a people-pleaser!”

Tell a trusted friend and talk about this subject with them.

Also, talk to God about it!

Admit you have a problem!

Second Step to Stop Being a People-Pleaser

Secondly, we need to realize that some people will NEVER say thank you!

Some people just can’t seem to express praise, gratitude, or thanks.

It’s like they have the spiritual gift of criticism and nit-picking.


You will likely NEVER PLEASE these people, and that is okay!

If you can put them in the category of “likely not to be positive or appreciative” – it will pleasantly surprise you when they are!

A Great Example

In my life, I have some friends like this.

When they compliment me or say anything kind – I almost gasp.

It’s like a little inside joke I have with myself.

For these people to be kind and encouraging, it’s almost an anomaly. It’s so rare!

So, with some friends and family members… you and I will need to put on our hard hats and bulletproof vests and steel-toe boots.

When we are with them, we will need to ask God to coat us in Teflon!!

It will be hard and there will be little praise.

But, we can battle through it!

Third Step to Stop Being a People-Pleaser

Seek to please God above all else!

Above everyone else!

Galatians 1:10 puts it this way:

“Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or God?

Or am I trying to please people?

If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.”

Pastor Adrian Rogers said:

“If you please, God, it doesn’t matter whom you displease. 

If you displease God, it doesn’t matter whom you please.”

Today, begin to seek to please God more than anyone else!

Seek His applause and His favor!

Do everything you do for Him – for His honor and glory.

As a child, I learned 1 Corinthians 10:31 – 

“So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”

What if today, we began to do everything we do for Jesus?

That act of service – for Jesus.

That Excel spreadsheet – for Jesus.

The Zoom meeting – for Jesus.

Rocking that baby – for Jesus.

Grocery shopping – for Jesus.

Carpool driving – for Jesus.

Cooking dinner – for Jesus.

This may sound silly – but it’s what the Bible encourages us to do! 

All for Him and His glory!

Do everything for Jesus — and only Jesus!

Fourth Step to Stop Being a People-Pleaser

Ask God to free you from this temptation.

Pray and ask God to give you a breakthrough in the area of pleasing people – to free you from this burden of trying to make others happy.

Once you recognize your bent toward pleasing people and begin to seek to please God over everyone else, it is so freeing!

It’s like you get to serve without any strings.

You expect nothing in return. 

You love, you reach out, you show grace, and then you go away knowing you have done all you could to share the love of Jesus.

It’s So Freeing!

Truly, I’ve found this to be so freeing in my own life.

I’m learning to not look to please others, but to seek to Please God instead!

Give to others, and then go to the next thing…

No strings. 

No fuss. 

With no guilt. 

No shame. 

No manipulation.

It’s Like a Sailboat

It’s like a sailboat that has the anchor lifted, sails up, and soars across the waves!

Seeking to please only Jesus is like sailing across the seas – enjoying the wind in your face and hair, feeling the splashing water, and riding over the waves!

I want you to experience this freedom!

A Final Step to Stop Being a People-Pleaser

Finally, learn to pat yourself on the back! ‘

On your own back!

Be kind and encouraging to yourself!!

Say positive things to your own self!

For years, I had regular workout times with a workout partner. After each workout, we would look at each other and say, “We did great today!”

Truly, we learned to motivate and encourage ourselves.

It helped, and it always made us laugh!

What If You Started Encouraging Yourself?

Today, I DARE you to start saying to yourself things like:

“I did great today!”

“That meal I worked on for hours was amazing!”

“Unbelievable! I did four (4) loads of laundry today! I’m on fire!”

“It’s true! I spent five (5) hours driving the kids around today. I am the best mom!”

“Yes! I completed 11 computer documents and sent 72 emails. I am fabulous!”

“Awesome! I took care of my aging parents without getting upset or impatient one time! I am so pleased and excited!”

As We Finish Up Today, Let’s Review:

Here are 5 steps you can take to begin to win over people-pleasing and enjoy your relationships more.

1} Recognize what you are doing! Wake up!

2} Realize that some people will NEVER say thank you!

3} Seek to Please God above all else!

4} Ask God and your closest friends to help to free you from this temptation.

5} Learn to pat yourself on the back!

These steps are in a special printable below!

Why not print these out and put them somewhere so you will see them regularly?

My Prayer for You and Me

My prayer for you and me is that we will get free and live free!

John 8:36 says, “So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.”

That’s my prayer – may we be free indeed!

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Check out the Love Worth Finding Website.

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Just click on this link – Love Worth Finding.

When you get over to the page, type in the word, “Freedom.”

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In Him, you and I can face the future without fear!

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People-pleasing! Are you a people-pleaser? A person who wants to make everyone else happy. This can be such a burden. It can take over our lives if we let it. Let’s talk about how to win over this challenge with Ordinary Women, Extraordinary God. Here are 5 simple ways to overcome People-Pleasing.


  1. Bobby Hancock

    Good Morning Melanie,
    Again, a timely message and encouraging word from His Word! Lord, bless this today for many! You did for me! Lord, help me, help us “be an encourager” and “a God Pleaser”.

    • Women Living Courageously

      Thanks so much, Bobby!
      I pray that many will listen and be encouraged to please God only!

  2. April Ratliff

    Thank you so much for sharing this message. I can definitely see that I am a people pleaser trying to make everyone happy and keeping me so distracted and discouraged. Praying God will lead me and help me with this battle.

    • Women Living Courageously

      Thanks so much for taking the time to listen and then stop by to leave a comment!
      We really do appreciate you.
      And, I get it! As I pray for my increased freedom, I’ll also pray for yours!!
      God is able!!


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