Daily Archives: May 8, 2011

People Pleaser on the Loose


“Yes.” “Yes.” “Yes.”
The Dog

Church seemed an unlikely place over which to have a breakdown, but nonetheless, that’s the place that prompted it.

My church friends also helped end my severe bout with run-on yeses.

Our family participated in three, four, sometimes more events each week. In fact, every single church-related activity I was asked to join, attend and lead, I did.

I said “yes” to every single one.

Eventually, I got up the courage to stop overdoing.

So, when a woman from church approached me about helping with our youth group on Wednesday evenings, I told her I couldn’t fit another thing into my hectic schedule. I explained the dilemma of trying to squeeze youth group responsibilities in between teaching kindergarten, mothering our two young children, planning and instructing four-year-old Sunday School classes, and attending circle meetings twice monthly.

Did I mention homework, supper and baths?

“It’s a good thing everyone doesn’t feel the way you do, or we wouldn’t have a youth program,” she said. 

“If everyone feels like me, we shouldn’t have a youth program,” was all I could think to say. 

My response was sincere, but still, by the time I walked through the front door of our house that evening, I reeled, cried and carried on like I killed one of the youth, instead of simply saying I wasn’t available to teach them. I pitched a fit about the woman’s  expectation, her accusation, and my need to please her. My need to please everyone.

Seems it was that full-blown hissy fit that put saying “no” into perspective and made it okay, although I still want everyone to like my answer. 

What’s your no factor? Is it easy to say “no” or does it seem more like a four letter word?

WRite wHere I’m supposed to be – God, help me to to more easily say “no” to others when that’s the right answer, even if they don’t like it, so I have time for me and you.

On the side: Proverbs 31 Ministries blog post, People Pleasing by Lisa TerKeurst.