Why do I people please?


people pleasing


I struggle with people pleasing.

It’s a habit that I use to, in a sense, protect myself. It stems from this idea that when people like me, I’m safe. But, when I people please, I come from a place of weakness, because I’m not being authentic. I’m not helping someone or performing a task because I like it, I’m doing it hoping another person will like it. This causes me pain, so I asked Holy Spirit for help.

The response I received was so helpful to me that I thought I’d share it with everyone! If you struggle with people pleasing too, I hope this helps you. ♥

Holy Spirit, why do I people please? 

You have learned to people please because you think it keeps you safe. You’ve learned that when you don’t please others, it causes a reaction in them. This may sometimes result in an actual negative consequence, but a lot of times, it results in a negative reaction. That negative reaction feels like a punishment to you, because it creates fear. It seems to take your safety away. 

“Your faith is placed in the most trivial and insane symbols; pills, money, ‘protective’ clothing, influence, prestige, BEING LIKED, knowing the ‘right’ people, and an endless list of forms of nothingness that you endow with magical powers.” W-p.I.50.1:3

You’ve been taught to learn from your mistakes, so you go over and over again what you did wrong to try to master it and make sure you do it better next time. This process induces strain, a deep sense of unease, and depression. There is a feeling that you cannot rest until you do it right and experience approval.

You’ve also learned to people please as a way of controlling others. You attempt to please them and make them happy, ensuring your safety and happiness. You try to please others to ensure your happiness and protection. 

Turn to page 366 of the Workbook and read paragraph 8. When you try to people please, you make them your prisoner. It doesn’t seem like it–you feel like you’re their prisoner–but, 

“A jailer is not free, for he is bound together with his prisoner. He must be sure that he does not escape, and so he spends his time in keeping watch on him. The bars that limit [the prisoner] become the world in which the jailer lives, along with [the prisoner]. And it is on [the prisoner’s] freedom that the way to liberty depends for both [the jailer and the prisoner].” [my emphasis] W-p.I.192.8:3-6

Can you imagine letting the people in your life out of their cell? Releasing your limits on them? Allowing them to be in pain, or to be angry with you, or disappointed with you? Knowing that by freeing them to feel your feelings, you have also freed yourself to feel what you feel, to listen to my Guidance, and to stand strong in that? 

People pleasing is tied closely with judgement. “This is wrong–they won’t be happy!” “This is right–they will be happy!” The judgements keep you in your prisoner and you in jail. 


Acknowledge their Inner Teacher, who is taking them through their journey. 

You and I are on our journey together. 

When you stop thinking you know what is best for yourself and others, you can experience peace. You forgive them and free them. You can stop people pleasing and focus on YOUR journey. Paradoxically, you accept the Oneness that lies beneath everything by letting other people feel their feelings and let them having their journey. 

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