Christian Living · Encouragement · Letters

To the People-Pleasing Girl: A Letter

Dear People-Pleasing Girl,

It's exhausting trying to please everyone, isn't it? It's a constant struggle between, should I do what I want or what others want me to do? Should I be myself or conform to the crowd? Should I say what's true or what will please others?

It's a never-ending battle between what we know God wants us to do and what others want us to do. And I know that battle all too well. Because, you see, I was once you, and sometimes I still am. The desire to please others is still a daily struggle for me, although I'm learning how to handle it in a godly way.

Wanting to please others isn't inherently wrong. It shows that you care about how others feel and you don't want to hurt them. That's good. But oftentimes, at least for me, my motive is selfish. I don't want to have to deal with uncomfortable situations, confrontations, and conflict. I don't want to experience others' disapproval or even rejection. I don't want to have to walk the hard, often lonely path of truth, so I choose the easier option of going along with everyone else. And that isn't good.

People-pleasing will only leave you exhausted and drained. It will only leave you unhappy and unsatisfied. And in the end, it hurts you the most.

If you make a decision that's right for you but offends someone else, chances are, they'll get over it pretty quickly. But if you make a decision based only on others' approval, you could be stuck with that unwise decision for the rest of your life. And you'll have to live with the negative consequences and the regret as a result of that decision.

We can't please everyone. It's impossible. And we're not meant to.

God didn't make us to please everyone. He made us to please the audience of One. Him. And I can assure you, He is a much, much better audience to serve, far more satisfying than all the approval you might get from your peers.

It's a tough truth to swallow, but when we put pleasing others above pleasing God, we're actually making man's approval our idol. It sounds harsh, but it's true. And you know why pleasing others leaves us so unfulfilled? Because earthly things can never satisfy us. Only God can, and He must have first place in our lives. He must be the first One we strive to please. 

Dear girl, people-pleasing may seem like the safest option, especially if that's the only way you feel others will love and accept you (a sad reality in our broken world). But there is freedom and peace in breaking free of others' expectations and doing what you know is God's will for you. God doesn't want you to live enslaved to others' approval. He wants you to experience the blessed freedom of the gospel. He wants you to live a life secure in Jesus, not in others' constantly-changing approval.

And you know what? Breaking free might be exactly what someone else needs. Your decision to be yourself instead of hiding behind a mask might encourage another to stop hiding behind theirs too. Your decision to follow God's will for you might inspire someone else to break free of others' expectations too. Your decision to boldly speak the truth might be exactly what another girl in the room needed to hear. You never know how many lives you could impact by your choice to please God above others. You can never know until you try.

I know it's scary, dear friend. There will be people who criticize you, who disapprove of your choices, who even reject you. But as long as you're safe in God's will, you don't need to fear. God is bigger than any man's disapproval. Romans 8:31 promises us, "If God is for us, who can be against us?" 

There will be days that you fail. (There are many days that I fail.) But don't get discouraged! Ask for the Lord's help. Turn to Him whenever you feel that familiar urge to please. And trust Him to guide you every step of the way as he transforms you into a girl who courageously speaks and lives the truth.

Sincerely yours,
A Recovering People-Pleaser

Do you struggle with people-pleasing? What has helped you overcome it? Did you enjoy this letter post? Should I do more of them in the future? Tell me in the comments below!

11 thoughts on “To the People-Pleasing Girl: A Letter

  1. I think we’re all people-pleasers at heart. Well, I speak for myself. This is a wonderful post and yes, I love the idea of a letter! It’s different, fun, and brings a fresh perspective. Thank you for your thoughts!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I agree that we all are people-pleasers to a degree, but I think some people are more so than others. For me, it can be crippling to get criticism or disapproval from others, and I can spend hours worrying over what someone said or what I said to someone. But then there are people who don’t seem to have a problem speaking their mind or receiving criticism, so I think it varies from person to person, based on their personality and how they handle conflict.
      Thank you so much for commenting and sharing your thoughts!

      Like

  2. Maaaan, Kristianne. This…this is me. I go through seasons of feeling like I need to please others or prove myself to them, so this was definitely something I needed! Thank you for sharing! And YES! Please do more!!!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. This…. this honestly just hits so deep and close to home. Like God knew I needed to hear this today… so just THANK YOU, Kristianne! I LOVE THIS AND IT IS SO, SO TRUE!!!!!! I’ve been struggling with being a people pleaser a lot here lately, especially among some Christian friends who I feel like want my writing to mirror what they think its supposed to be, so this honestly just gives me a lot of courage to live for an audience of One. THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU for writing and sharing this!!!!!!!!!!!! <33333333

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so glad this was an encouragement to you, Issabelle! It means so much to me that this touched you. I completely understand the struggle between writing what others want and what we know God wants us to write. I’ll be praying for you as you navigate that situation!❤️❤️

      Liked by 1 person

  4. This is a great reminder, Kristianne, and thank you for posting it! People pleasing is such a struggle, especially in today’s culture when we are told to suppress who we really are and not be ourselves as God created us to be. If He said “very good” when He created us, we don’t need to try to prove that to anyone out of insecurity. We’re enough with God. 💛
    Thanks again for posting!

    Liked by 1 person

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