I’m a constant self-evaluater (is that a word?). I’m an analyzer to the core – especially of myself. Part of that is my nature; part of it is wanting to “better myself,” for lack of a better term. For instance, most recently I realized how annoying it is that I am so opinionated. Want to know how I figured this out? Because someone else who is extremely opinionated was beginning to drive me bananas. I kept thinking, “Geez, I don’t really want to be around this person because they take their own opinions as fact!” I was stopped in my tracks when I realized… I DO THAT TOO. Uh oh. I have been driving people insane for over 29 years now. People must have more grace than I’ve realized! Before this revelation came the revelation that I’m a people pleaser and a codependent (they are virtually one in the same). I think I’ve always known this about myself, but I’ve never known the extent to which my life often revolves around it. And so I’ve started looking into it… I bought a book entitled When Pleasing Others is Hurting You, by Dr. David Hawkins, a licensed clinical psychologist who has been in private practice for over 25 years. And a Christ-follower. Anyway, have you ever read a book that made you think the author knows you and wants you to know more about yourself, so he wrote it in a book?! This one’s for me. I figure some of you may struggle with this disease as well, so I thought I’d share a bit from this book. If you identify with the following statements, you might have a people-pleaser on your hands! … “Tired of pleasing others and feeling increasingly dissatisfied, she finally realizes she needs a change.” “The codependent wants to take away other people’s pain. In some cases, codependents may literally feel another’s pain. Codependents cannot feel at ease until they have helped others feel better. Surely this is taking compassion too far.” “They see a job to be done and they do it. Only later will they complain about having to do everything themselves.” “They especially try to keep everyone happy with them! When their attempts fail, they feel guilty, angry, and hurt.” “So much of my codependency centered around feeling that I had to be perfect. When I feel this way, I make myself crazy. And I hide the imperfect side of myself from myself and others.” “Codependents need to be needed.” “They are unsure of what they feel, unsure whether they are accurately analyzing the situation. They may also question whether they even have the right to be dissatisfied.” So (shamefully) I am all of these things. I always feel that I need to justify myself to everyone, and it is no less than exhausting! Recognizing this in myself is the first step. Now I’m working on it and praying that God will heal me of this. If any of you struggle with this, I highly recommend this book. It has cleared my mind about what’s going on, and has pushed me to heal. The only one I need to ultimately please is God Himself. Therefore, I will work on my own personal integrity and morality before Him and let all the others fade to the background.
People need to fade