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June 2, 2022 6:00 am
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Today in the family were going to return to the topic of people pleasing and why that is not always a good thing your hostess focus president Dr. Jim Daly and I'm John Fuller, Jim. Let's start off with some perspectives on what people pleasing his life and you're not required to set yourself on fire to keep other people warm that one right there is pretty funny about when you say yes to others and make sure you're not saying no to yourself people pleasing hides the real you. Okay, the pop singer Ed Sherman who said this, I can't tell you the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everyone.
That's pretty powerful and what's ironic about people pleasing is that it's well-intentioned we can pat ourselves on the back how nice we are toward others people pleasers want to be liked and take care of other people and at the core.
It's not a bad thing, but somewhere along the line that motivation may be misplaced and their approach can get out of control and we talked about this last time with our guest, Dr. Mike Bechtel and I'm looking forward to the day discussion as well. I am as well.
He has written a great book. It's very helpful is called the people pleasers guide to loving others without losing yourself and there is an autobiographical element to the book and it really is a very powerful tool. I get a copy from us here the link is in the show notes or call 800 the letter a in the word family. Mike welcome back to the program.
Thank you very much. Now last time. Some people may have misunderstood me. Jean is a self-described people pleaser and so some of the examples I mentioned last time, or things that she shared with me, but that is right at the top of date to now you know to grab those that may not even know that there people pleasers describe for us what that people pleaser behavior the unhealthy people pleaser behavior looks like we all want to be people pleasers. We all wanted people to please us where it gets unhealthy is when I'm trying to meet my own needs by pleasing other people right so fault exactly.
It can be that I wanted take care of you.
I want to help you.
I want to do offer to do things for you so that you will see me in a positive way. But I'm becoming invisible when I do that, healthier tape in your head though. I mean if you want to demonstrate the gospel to people you are doing things to take care of others. That's admirable, but it gets back to the motivation of why you're doing it evangelism has an interesting component to it because a lot of people, especially people pleasers do evangelism in order to get other people to see that they're doing what they're supposed to do. It's a guilt based evangelism. That's interesting and so they're doing it because I want you to be able to say look at him. He's doing evangelism he's sharing his faith and is not because I care about people. If I'm a people pleaser. It could just be because I want to get the checkmarks I want your affirmation and what I'm doing, where it changes is when I can reach out to other people because I care about them and write changes from having to do it for my own needs. It's like they really have something that I can give them an answer to well and I appreciate that because again is restarted. Last time Jon, I mean people pleasing. I think we all have a little bit of that innocent man we should. He is a God thing just gets unhealthy when were putting the focus on ourselves. Mike, one of things you mention the book that taught me was this discussion about mirrors how we assume that everything we see in a mirror is accurate. Now I think that is a fair statement but you say no, maybe not.
How is that what we've all gone to the county fair would have the fun house with the mirrors make here at the size of a volleyball in your body the size of a Volkswagen, or vice versa and right. We know that there distorted, but we look in the mirror and we assume that it's right we never question it. We don't say I don't like what I see in the mirror to the mirror must be bad like no I think I'm bad but we start using other people is a mirror the way I see myself comes from what other people see how they respond to me. That's when it becomes a problem because I'm starting to to find truth in what other people say instead of what's really true.
Yeah. Is there such a thing as a skinny mirror is that real enough money sure by some of those I'd like my house up with skinny mirrors but you described that scary mirror as well. And that's the one in your home. What is the scary mirror and why should we be panicked about that. It's one of those round mirrors that magnifies a lot of people happy every poor oh yeah because and it's great when you have a splinter in your trying to get it out of your finger but if we look at to close we see every little imperfection.
Like you said every poor everything that's wrong and if that's what we look at it we look at close. We assume that if we can see all those things that looks horrible. Everybody else must see them to and so it's looking too closely ourselves, assuming that my perception of me is has to be your perception of me and that's when it becomes a problem. So what's the healthy side of that, what's the right distance from the mayor should be looking at the great question. I think the healthy lace is to get close to look at it to see those eat and then pull back so I can see what other people see, but the reason I look close is so I can change anything that I need to. Then I could walk away. That's why you go to a restaurant. They all have mirrors you look before you go back out into the world and that's a healthy thing but it's unhealthy if I look at the scary mirror and stay with it too long and then I may not even go back and then out into the world, is another aspect that you mentioned. The book is this idea of integrity and how that's an antidote to people pleasing you know that's all of what were talking about.
It is kind of the fundamental character that we need that idea of integrity. We need to pursue that everyday in our decisions and interactions with others.
You share story about a challenge, you were given to spend an entire day without lying. Now I can't believe you struggled with that day but I guess in some ways when somebody says, does this dress look good on me. If you don't tell them the truth. I guess that's a little bit about alive, but what was that they like and hoarded your file. I thought it was good to be easy because that's not what I see as part of my character. But I had to go about my day and the first thing that happened was I had a client who called me and said I'm having a problem with this particular thing you think you could help me find a solution.
I said yeah let me take it up the food chain and so I talked to our tech department and said I hate I've got several clients that are having this problem and I thought several clients I exaggerated because I thought it would probably get them moving more than if I just said I have a client and I realized six other times a day I did something similar for me was exaggeration, so wasn't big but it was obvious to you wasn't exactly accurate and I think we tend to Photoshop ourselves because we want to put ourselves out in the certain way and River teaching in one of the film studios in Hollywood and I had lunch with one of the people. It was just in the class. I sense what you do. He said well I work on the web. I said so you're an IT guy said no I were filming Spider-Man and I am the guy who does the web that comes out of his hand when he does, and they say will how do you do that, he said what we just get up on the roof. We take a ball of yarn and it's windy. We thrown over the edge and film it and then we use the computer to turn that into a spider web, so looks realistic that none of its realistic he said everything I do is untrue is the way he so interesting and its size it but we tend to do that people pleaser do that with their lives like I want to put myself out there. I want to Photoshop my life so that you see me in a certain way. I need to pull back from the does that relate kind of to what we talked about last time on social media.
Are there people that are ardent doing a fake world just to please others and they wouldn't dare show anything real I think so, but I don't know if it's intentional, I think they may do it because they've grown into a cycle.
This is what everybody else is doing on social media. This is, I'm not going to get on their talk about what a great conversation I had with my parole officer last week because it's it's different were trying to project our best image is how social media works. And there's a healthy side of social media, but if I can figure out ways to pull integrity into it so it's honest, I think we can actually use it as a tool.
Now let's move to another character trait that you identified and that was to foster curiosity.
I like that for the people pleaser wise curiosity and important attribute to pursue because if I'm trying to grow away from the wrong kind of people pleasing if I'm curious about you and genuinely curious that I'm not just trying to get you to respond to me in a certain way is like I can set that aside, I'm not worried about me anymore.
I really want to find out about you and one of the simplest things I can do is to listen deeply to what you say and receive areas. Yeah, I can type cousin when you say something as something as simple as they will tell me more, and then you tell me more, and I ask another question so that I am really trying to explore. I did that yesterday at the airport. I was in line with somebody in and I she asked me a question were just waiting to get on the plane and I just responded but I asked her deeper question. So I explored using that little question tell me more. You can repeat it to find out because I was just curious. It was a fascinating conversation. I can say hardly anything, I just explored because I wanted to know, and I wasn't worried about how I was coming across.
I wasn't trying to get her to like me, the more curious we can become. I think the easier it is to get into this proper when you said that what it sounds like what Jesus did with his interactions with people he would start questions and won't be the Samaritan woman I'm really really just help them almost under realized for themselves as their speaking.
Oh that's me you're oh I do that right that's exactly. I think of the Lord deals in our own hearts today could see still alive in us right and that's I think part of the Holy Spirit's work in her heart just to whisper that you want fascinating exercise would be to go through the New Testament. Just look for every question. The Jesus asked to foster the four Gospels that would be good just capture those and see how did he use those Dr. Mike Bechtel as our guest today on Focus on the Family your hostess Jim Daly and I would love to put a copy of Dr. Bechtel's book the people pleaser's guide to loving others without losing yourself into your hands just up by the episode notes or give us a call our number is 800 the letter a in the word family and Mike, one of the things that we mentioned last time that I think we need to pay especially high attention to his gratefulness as Christians. For those that are joining us today.
What what is the gratefulness aspect of people pleasing is one of the quickest ways to heal from being the wrong kind of people pleaser. When I can intentionally change my focus to be grateful for almost everything.
I have my life. I'm not trying to get my self-esteem from you and what you say. I'm grateful for what God has given me who is made me the opportunities I think about years ago, going up to my father-in-law's cabin up in the in the Sierras in central California and it was supposed to be a meteor shower that night and it had the according to the news it had the potential to be the biggest meteor shower ever. Or it could be the biggest debt, and I'm to be at 6000 feet with no city lights. It's like it couldn't of been better.
So I went outside about two in the morning. It was probably 20° but I'm standing outside and I just waited. I'm looking up in this dark sky and I probably was there for about 20 minutes didn't see a thing and then I out loud. I found myself saying, well, that's a disappointment, and then immediately. I realize that I'd never seen that many stars in one spot that I was missing the wonder because I was focused on the one thing I didn't have an to be intentional about it, always looking that direction. The more we can focus on gratefulness. The more that people pleasing just drops away right that Mike moving a bit from some of those good and godly perspectives into the practical realm of thinking about people pleasers in the workplace. What observations do you have about how that looks.
It feels to me like a people pleaser can be taken advantage of. For instance, we had a coworker years ago and that back. I said yes to everybody to walk by needing something. Except he wasn't saying yes to his boss. He was saying yes to everybody else so there is there's a misapplication. What what would you observe like because a couple of things that I've seen one of them relates to your boss. Oh, because obviously you want to please your boss because they handle the paycheck and so you're going to say yes sometimes whether you want to or not, but you want them to think you're doing a good job.
It's really easy, especially in the early J days of that relationship to be able to become more of a people pleaser and you lose the strength of the relationship of income when your real one. Your vulnerable and have integrity and that relationship and the other one centers around posturing with a team and I've been on hundreds, probably thousands of zoom calls over the last few years and watching team members on from a different company that are always talking about how excited they are about something someone else said, and they affirm them in this I find out later. It's like they thought that was the stupidest idea ever. But because they're in public they're doing.
They want to be the one giving the affirmations and is not integrity behind it and that's very common wow that's seems destructive, not just but very destructive to the team. So that's one of the difficulties you've alluded to this a few times that people pleasing can be a big problem in the Christian community because it's part of our spiritual DNA to care for others, and again I think I want to make sure the listeners and the viewers understand this delicate nature between no taking care of people around you and then making sure you're doing it with the right motivation.
The Bible is full of instructions about loving serving, sacrificing for others, so it pushes us in that direction. So how how do we put all of that into the proper perspective we've mentioned it last time, but I want make sure people get this again. Most Jesus followers assume that people pleasing is a bad thing and they'll say we just quit worrying about what other people think. But God designed us to be in community, we need to please other people, and it's all through Scripture Genesis 218 God says it's not good for man to be alone I will usually use that in the context of a marriage relationship. I think it stands on its own as well.
It's not good for man to be alone, which is why it bugs me that I write self-help books that categorize that way because our tendency is well. I have a problem. I'm a people pleaser.
I want to fix it. I'll get a book and do what it says and I just find that really is hard to do you know where it really becomes effective is to get a book like this and sit down and go through with three or four other people.
Then we have community because it's hand accountability and Because you got you got the relationship God wants us to work together and throughout Scripture. There's so many verses that have to do it that you have so often either. So many personality profile tests out there and whenever I'm in a position, and it has been recent, but whenever I'm taking one of those.
I'm often thinking, how would the Lord score on this disc tested score perfectly. So what does that look like to know the Lord made perfect in every way. No beaver auditor golden retriever all that and I think in that application. We so often want to look at the example of Jesus and what he did in this area.
I mean he was very to attune to the needs around him was that that was Martha and Mary Lazarus.
I mean all those things woman at the well.
The Samaritan woman there's always great examples.
The crippled person put that into some context for says what example, was Jesus actually giving us in that balance of taking care of people. He also retreated and he rested and he was exhausted from all of this. So what's that balancing factor Oracle. He was completely God, but he was completely human and that's why we can identify with them ye I don't know how you would score on this test maybe would be perfect, but we don't have to copy that example and say we have to be perfect. He was completely himself. That's what we need to do is to learn how he created us uniquely and build that that's where the strength comes from and to do that in the context of other people because it's we grow around others stats were strength really happens yeah Mike. The Scripture also talks about the Lord yoke being light. This can be a delicate one because it is were doing Christian work. Whether were working vocationally outside of the church, but then were going to church on Sunday and maybe the pastors come up to us and supply really need somebody to lead that building fund campaign. Can you do that, sure, sure, I can him I'm so impressed that you asked me to do that. I'd love to have help your pastor and you and you can apply that to anything for the hard-working woman who's asked to do a lot of the church with the nursery. Whatever. Where does that yoke become not light and I said yes to too many things I think a lot of times it becomes not light. When we say yes without praying about it or thinking, and that's one of my favorite phrases to use in response is, that sounds like such a great opportunity and I'm honored that you would consider me to do that and let me think about it, let me pray about it because and I say that, honestly, because if I say yes right now I may regret it. I really want to know is this what God has for me.
So what happens after you say that what what is a people pleaser think and how should the process that invitation to propose a people pleaser will say yes automatically, so that's I think that's a solution for the people pleaser to say give me time to process and pray and I'll get back with you in three days what questions does that people pleaser need to ask in those three days of themselves yeah and of God and of God should I do this or not, and then what else have I said yes to, because if I say yes to this. It's the opportunity cost. If I say yes to this. I'm automatically say no to every other opportunity so I can do that. How much time will it take is this really what I am wired to do. Could I do it, yes. But is this fit in with my giftedness to I feel like is a good impact my family are just I need to look at all the factors is not one, but it's a matter of just where does this fit because of that opportunity cost.
If I say yes to this. I will be saying no to other opportunities. Yeah Mike let me hone in a little bit on the question I asked you before, because I think it's important I think of the couple where they have said yes to a lot of things and it can be both the husband and wife are either one of them, but in identifying an unhealthy people pleaser attitude. Let's say your spouses are saying wow you really overcommitted I would think over commitment can be an indicator. Maybe not a perfect one, but an indicator of the people pleaser. You know that wife who said yes too much to the church activity in the husband now isn't feeling like they're getting enough time together. She's overcommitted to her Christian responsibilities.
That's not uncommon, especially the kids are older, there little more self-reliant now and she's busy doing things with the church and the husband gets a little jealous about that because I also want some time with you is that an indication of a people pleaser. I think it certainly can be one of the characteristics and it's is one of the red flags. It comes up in what you do. That's when I don't want to accuse and say you're doing this and it's causing this. This is what I'm say, I'm noticing some things that are happening in our relationship.
Can we talk about them when I see this happening. Here's what I'm feeling and I don't know if this is accurate or not but let's can we just talk about the impact of what both of us are doing because it probably has both sides to it that.
Here's how I'm reacting. Maybe I'm being selfish or maybe not, but if we can have a sit down conversation without the accusation without all the stuff since I'm feeling this make it about me, but then have the conversation again I think it's interesting because Jean is a self-professed people pleaser. She's a lot better at it today, but I can never early in our marriage when it was yes to the bake sale yes to this. Yes, to the home remodeling thing and when she was at the school as much as the teacher was at school because she had two boys in school never to homeroom issues going on there and ship you get the idea. And I can remember just feeling like when she would be regretting her yeses and telling me about that for me to simply say, well, there's an easy solution to say no, it was almost like a dagger for her. It was unwise of me to do that and and I think I failed many times. Probably she were sitting here that I would say something like that. That's so obvious what you need to do just say no and you won't be so frustrated right now but again, you've got to work in a loving way with each other because she goal surely cannot help that you're trying to help your spouse grow to the point where they could say no, let me ask on the other side of this on the parenting side when you see your 1314-year-old and it may start sooner than that. I'm just grabbing that when the culture is raging toward them, and in all the doors is Dr. Dobson's say that hallway doors with all the bad things that lurked behind them, you'd say you know the old days. Those doors were locked, but today those doors not only unlock their wide open were in your teens into some promiscuity or drugs or whatever might be in that context.
If you see that your child is a people pleaser. What is a parenting approach that you would recommend to nurture that teen in a healthier direction.
How do you help equip your team not to be a unhealthy people pleaser. I think two approaches.
One is I wouldn't go to them and say here's what I'm saying you need to fix it. I would ask questions and tell stories and when I say tell stories. I think what I learned from Gary Smalley years ago where he talked about the power of story, I met with my son one time he was starting to get involved some things he shouldn't. And I remember going to admit he hated spiders and I told him I said if I came into your room and I knew that there was a black widow spider in your closet. I don't wanted to hurt you, I would want to go in there and find it and take care of it so that it wouldn't harm you. Would that be a good thing and he agreed it hit him where he was because he really hated spiders right and so I said I've been noticing some things that are like spiders that are in your life right now. Let's can we talk about and then we started asking questions I ask him what was what he was feeling about this in different things about if it was people pleasing. I would ask him what are some of the things you do when you do this with your friends when you don't take care of yourself when you say yes too many times what is that feel like to you and you do you feel like you're getting overwhelmed if you like is just too much going on and then I just use the questions to let him move towards conclusion is that all work yes and yeah yeah that's crap. So I think using stories that they can identify with. Which means you had a plan I get to think through it, but I think questions are the most powerful tool we have. It's a good reminder boy that's not just in your parenting relationship, but in your relationship with everybody, your spouse, your friends, your church community asking questions is such a good way in a biblical way. Jesus illustrated way of getting involved in people's lives right. I have a friend who's a homicide detective up in Washington state.
She said asking questions is the most powerful tools she has when she arrest somebody because she should just ask him enough time for her to say what you do there and say anything and she finally get something to say, will tell me more and she starts exploring just a normal conversation lasted. It turns it around immediately and all she has to do is just as those kind of questions they'll confess the thing she didn't know they did right because she was just curious and asking questions. It's a powerful tool that's amazing. It's going to have the Lord wired us right you unlock those things.
Mike, this is been great. What a wonderful resource of people pleaser's guide to loving others without losing yourself if you're sitting there driving down the road. Whatever you're doing right undergoing. While this kind of, I feel a bit of identity in this this might be who I am that unhealthy people pleaser. Guess what, it's okay. We all have things to work on and I would just like to encourage you to get a hold of us and let us get a copy of this book in your hands if you can make a gift of any amount will send it to you as our way of saying thank you for partnering with us to do ministry together but also getting a great resource that can help you grow in your spiritual journey as a Christian and I'm just I'm very mindful that this is one of those subtle topics that we often won't deal with, so I'm grateful. Thank you Mike for bringing such a vast amount of insight and knowledge to this issue. Thank you. Thanks for the opportunity will donate today and get in touch to request your book are numbers 800 K in the word family or stop by the show notes for all the details. Join us tomorrow for conversation with Lauren writes about some of the challenges that moms and dads can face with a broken family and my experience with divorce. It's almost a hidden grief and not people don't experience it or express it as a loss on behalf of Jim Daly and the entire team. Thanks for joining us today for Focus on the Family I'm John Fuller inviting you back. As we once again help you and Your Family Dr. in Christ, not everything about braille can actually authority. Read and learn. Reaching teen girls right where they're at with encouragement to dwell in their faith story magazine about left onto thing way were I have is really inspiring and uplifting help your team invite into her everyday experience with premium using learn more Focus on the Family.com/Brio radio