Those of us who are “people pleasers” as the result of childhood abuse and/or domestic violence have our reasons. Deprived of affection, we long for acceptance. Often cruelly punished when we did not conform to the expectations of others, we fear rejection.
Saying “no” to a request is difficult for us. Putting boundaries in place, since it was never allowed, feels foreign and selfish. We may even have been taught that it was “unchristian”.
Unfortunately, “people pleasing” behavior is not productive in the long run. It is likely to leave us overworked and overwhelmed – often angry with ourselves for having failed to speak out. Over time, we can lose sight of who we really are.
Inauthenticity drains the joy from living. How then do we change this behavior?