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.


8 responses »

  1. Kim, I know exactly how you felt! Once when my children were smaller (like elementary ages) I was working almost 20 hours per day in the weeks before Christmas, plus trying to be a decent mother at home, when I was called and asked to bake cupcakes for the Christmas party for my daughter’s class. It seems the mother who was supposed to do them just “didnt have the time!” I remember sitting in the middle of the kitchen floor at midnight, crying, and trying to find cupcake pans so I could stay up all night baking and decorating them. In retrospect, how I wish I’d just said no. It would have made a lot of people around me much happier!

    • I know! What were we thinking? These days, I’m too tired to say ‘yes’ all the time and I don’t have the mentality or the motivation to do all that stuff. But, when we’re young, I guess we just don’t know better.

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