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Living For an Audience of One (Part 1 of 2)

Focus on the Family / Jim Daly
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September 29, 2022 6:00 am

Living For an Audience of One (Part 1 of 2)

Focus on the Family / Jim Daly

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September 29, 2022 6:00 am

Karen Ehman’s journey as a recovering people-pleaser began when she realized she was seeking others’ approval more than God’s. In this conversation, Karen shares practical guidance on healthy boundaries and encourages you to serve God intentionally in the areas he’s called you to serve. (Part 1 of 2)


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Single people like me.

People think I'm wonderful that's wonderful and I got my goal now is to walk so closely with the Lord getting my marching orders from him and I'm getting my approval from him. It really doesn't matter here in human. If you frequently find yourself taking on too much work or church will stay with us for an encouraging conversation.

This is Focus on the Family with Jim Daly and John Fuller thanks for joining us. John one of the most challenging passages in the Bible is the sermon on the Mount that's found in the book of Matthew chapter 5 Jesus says it's not enough look good on the outside Pharisees do rightly judge people by their exterior, God cares about the heart and he said it's about the heart. Colossians 323 says, whatever you do, work heartily for the Lord and not for men. Sometimes it's hard to figure out right is the Lord wants us to show hospitality people bring people and be kind to them, etc. that's all good but the bottom line is motive matters.

Are you working to please people or to please God.

And maybe you felt guilty for saying no to a friend. Maybe someone you want to keep a relationship with.

So you agree to add just another task or two to an already really full schedule and maybe year known as the mom who can juggle everything seamlessly and one more thing is going to put you over the top so they keep asking you.

It can be so easy to fall into those patterns of people pleasing and our guest today is going to equip you to handle that in a far healthier way yeah I'm really looking forward to the conversation with Karen Eamon who is the speaker with Proverbs 31 ministries and best-selling author of the foundation of our conversation today is a book that Karen is written called when making others happy is making you miserable. How to break the pattern of people pleasing and confidently leave your life got copies of that here the ministry.

Click the link in the program notes or give us a call 800 the letter a in the word family. Karen, welcome back to focus. Thanks so much for having been so good to have yeah you call yourself a recovering people pleaser. Did she realize that people pleasing was causing you to be miserable. About four years ago. In the summer I had a real wake-up call that people pleasing as a prison and I was locked tight inside and I did not know that the key out how to get out. It was a lot of little yeses and little decisions and ways of behaving for decades that had really landed me in a spot where it was starting to affect me that the people pleasing ways in my life are starting to affect me physically. I was sleep well I had last night.

It wouldn't stop twitching. While I was pretty majorly stressed out and I am I can headwall Monday. How did you connect all those dots to people pleasing while it started with actually a phone call with my very best friend from college who asked me to do a pretty simple thing she wanted her son. He was going to be doing an internship to stay a couple nights at our house because it was up near our neck of the woods. An hour and half from where she lived and sometimes during the week he would need to work really lightning open early the next morning. I know he could just crash our house, and without even thinking about it because I'm a yes girl, I'm just like a problem but everything with him.

He was like, I don't think I can do this.

My dad had just died.

We just moved to Newtown and a lot of things on my plate might first child just got married.

I was learning the mother-in-law and thanked just all of these things, and when I hung up that phone, I knew that I had said the wrong word, but I'm just so used to just meeting everybody's needs and I went out to the back of our property. I sat down in a chair and I just started to cry and I thought this is the tipping point I I've got to stop this. I've got to stop it so it led to what I call a season of necessary and no for that whole summer I just decided that I was to do only what was necessary for my family, my home and my job my ministry and to say no to everything else did people react to that were used to you saying yes.

Were they like. What's up with her.

Some people took it well. I had been serving over serving as were supposed to survive and over serving like in my church and community for decades and some people were like maybe Nila break some people do not take it well some people who were used to me putting out their fires and helping them get their stuff done and I thought they were my friends because they were my friends, but they are my friends because go to Karen G left out. People schlep to get stuff done a lethal combination for people pleaser, but the people who were my two friends my best friend from college this. Yes, that had sent me on the edge. They understood she was Jesus to me when I called and you know why I need to back out of what I just said I was in a do for the next three months and cried and I told her and she said I care more about you and your mental health and your capacity will figure something out but I'm checking on you for the next and she totally understood, but so many people there used to you know fixing their problems and bearing their their burdens out mean that in a good response to bear each other's burden way but you know they they take on too much and I want to shove some on your plate and they know you say yes they just keep coming to you. You said over serving some people would say well, make sure really good Christian if you're over serving what it what's the definition you know you closer to Jesus. If you overserved is who served a lot of people. Well, it might look like were closer to Jesus because her over serving that we got kinda peel back the layers and say why are we serving why are we signing up to do everything from teaching a Bible study to Avenues group over to make in the toddler cookies for the their class, whatever. Why are we doing we doing it because we have the capacity we feel the Lord. Colonists do it or is there a deeper motive. Are we doing it. You know to win the approval of the pastor and the staff are to be in elected homecoming queen of all the church ladies because boy now. She sure serves in everything. What is our motive. Are we saying yes because we know that other person wants us to say yes because we really feel God's called us to serve in this area, one that was Galatians 110 correct that's what caught your attention was what what does that scripture say talks about and am I now trying to win the approval of God or of humans and I trying to please people.

And if I'm trying to please people, and not a servant of God and that that work please in the original Greek is very interesting to me it means to perform an action in order to win the approval. A section or attention of another person. So there approval. He wanted to like you there affection you want to love you or their attention.

You just want to notice you and so if were making decisions and saying yes to things just because we want someone to like love our notice as not because we're doing it, as unto the Lord, you mentioned Colossians 323 and in work is with over working for the Lord, for not doing it for the Lord were doing it to get a response from someone or to prevent a response like we don't want to take them off.

We did for the wrong motives. How do you mean sometimes you're blind to not even aware of what that motive is. Is there where you can go through a quick checklist why my doing this why my reacting this way why my saying yes to this is it for that person, or for me to look good in front of the person versus I'm doing this for the Lord. How did you start sorting that out might sound silly, but my first step in, untangling all of this was to not answer right away because it's just a knee-jerk in a blink response.

Yes, yes, as were so used to saying as so all the time. Now I say I can't answer you today.

Let me know what you want your request is what Alan tales I'm in a think about it and pray that I'll get back to you within 24 hours and really do need the answer right now, the answer is no. Yeah that's good that's really good early in ministry. You weren't happy unless you had 100% positive feedback. I guess five stars see it now you got your five stars. Why was that important. I think I get it asking the obvious question is that an indicator of a people pleaser know that good response that five-star rating. Now we want we want to be known as confident and competent and capable compassion.

Whatever we had these this image of trying to keep up and if someone comes along and doesn't agree with those that we were all of those things.

I remember being at a conference once with a give you feedback on your talk. Afterwards, the attendees filled out this little form and there were 67 comments 66 of them are positive and dwelling on that one who thought there wasn't any really there were any really new and wonderful ideas in this.

It was a real idea like homemaking based workshop and she was like there, I didn't learn anything new in the speaker was kinda boring at times terrible boring speaker with no good ideas that you are here to entertain me.

Sorry I missed the mark you concentrated on the one because I just felt like lightning. Look at you like you say words like our best of that's not good enough for you.

So what. Again, it goes down to the motives when we switch our motives and our motive is not to win the affection and attention and approval of everyone. Our motive is to please got to do what he called me to do and let the people react as they may let me ask you wish you had a friend who encountered some pushback when she was making the decision to do foster care, something we do.

Her focus on the family what would happen in that context I think was with her parents. But what I what happened. Now we had friends who were considering doing foster care and hoping to do foster care to adopt and they were super excited about it, felt the Lord had called them he was opening doors they knew was the right call, but when they told us some of their extended family members. They were met with an icy cold response and a lot of well have you thought about this and have you thought about that and even this kind of all those are going to be real grandchildren like our other biological grandchildren. I mean I mean will be kind to them or whatever but you don't think you can just tell that they want to be completely accepted if they did end up adopting them and it crossed my friend, crushed her. She was just devastated and made in her and her husband almost rethink the decision because it was an enemy you know met with this warm, happy, welcome to the family kind of response but if you ask later when I had lunch with her again.

Her demeanor had completely changed. She seemed confident they were moving forward, and she didn't care any longer.

What other people thought he said what changed for you and she said you know one day I just realized I don't need those people. I don't need their permission to do that well. If God is calling me to do this. I'm to do it because the flipside of people pleasing it one set of people pleasing is we say yes we do things in order to please people.

But the other side of it is we don't say yes to God. Sometimes because were afraid of the response of other people, but we don't need other people's permission to do God's will or think of so many men and women over history that if they listen to people over what God was telling him how much would've been lost in terms of the impact that God is made through people because you shrink back can't do it.

Don't want do it won't adopt won't help a child come to Christ because I don't want to get engages mostly my parents or my extended family don't want me to do this. Think of it that's amazing. You've identified in this is really good and I want to make sure we get into this today. You've identified several types of people who try to call the shots first pushers. I mean, were not talking on the drug you talk about these people is pushers who are the pushers around us. The windows pushers there. Those strong, assertive, controlling, manipulative, almost people pushers push and they get their way by stopping the fight and you just you know you want to go with the program and not make a met you so you just give in and you go along and in the context of a welder with some ways to defend the Porsche or well it's hard these are the ones I have the most trouble. Sometimes I especially was raised by pusher might be your Achilles' heel to people guessing the pusher yeah my dad was a pusher and on he was in a good way, like he pushed me a good wave and then other times is like blowing when he said jump I said how how high I did it because you know I didn't want to get hit. He was abusive now the end of his life. He came back to the Lord with a wonderful grandpa to my children. They know nothing else but as a child you know I would make you mad and so I did what he said and he would push to get his way and it's it's hard sometimes because we are afraid of the response. When we do pushback.

You know, but we have to learn to stand up for ourselves with pushers. That's really good again that's just a really super sort of person who demands things their way to be good to be in the family or outside the family, coworkers, so to more types of controlling people or powders and guilt bombers. As I was talking to Jean about the site. I think we saw these two is very closely related the powder and the guilt bombers because the powder can load you up with guilt about how you're not meeting their needed mix and pout distinguish the powder in the guilt number so the pusher stops the fight to get their way. The powder doesn't stop there. Foot they drop their smile and you disappointed.

You've made them sad all.

You're not can have the extended Christmas at my house or Antilles saying to you, you know, I was really looking forward to that. You know, and so she did. You want to make her sad.

See get on the guilt bombers they can. Sometimes they're there. Tugging at your heartstrings and making feel stats at other times they make you feel like you owe them something like working. We gotta be even here now I've I've run carpool so many times it's your turn and they know how to just cutting guilt you and make you feel like I know you have more money than them, so you should pay for the meal.

You know it's not always the sadness tugging right strange. It can be that the scorecard yeah that's interesting yeah yeah I think Jean felt this is where she's vulnerable as a people pleaser is in that Gil Barber did.

I think she feels vulnerable to the circus, sometimes for her, it makes sense what they're saying is actually untrue and therefore the hooker she would make sure that I would say want to make sure that I would say that she is well along in her overcoming her people pleaser situation she's grown up since her teenage years and 20 somethings you work for someone for years you called a maximizer answer, what, what's the maximizers have positive cell on the first maximizer actually that's icon is a me first maximizer day.

I these strategic people that surface.

They seem like there they're getting along and there there helpful and friendly. But whenever there is a situation where somebody's in get the short end of the stick. They always make sure that not them. It's not even at the exact same situation plays out. Three weeks later and they're in a different spot where the okay now if that was fair back then on that they should be getting the short end of the stick no-no. Somehow they can example that because I want people to make sure they understand.

I so I'll give you a really simple example, back in the day when there is a call waiting, I have a person my life is a big me first maximizer and one day they called me and I was talking to them chitchatting away and another call came in, I said hang on a second I got to see and take this call and so I clicked over and took the call for just a second hop back on and that person just let me have that I cannot believe you just put me on hold to take another call that is so rude to feel sorry again. Fast forward two weeks later I was on the phone with my father when this person called in and I ignored the call right because it's rude to switch over while I was down with my father. I call that person back and they let me say person why did you pick up in the least, you know, so everything changes depending on where you are all your but I never sent Yahweh. I never said wherever they are in the situation things go down there way. But if the situation changes they don't think that first one was with his finger could not wait a minute. Now that they're over here there and everywhere things to always go down there way. Sounds like a politician there you go. Well, this is Focus on the Family and were talking about relationships today with Karen even and were so glad your listening in watching get a copy of Karen's book when making others happy is making you miserable.

How to break the pattern of people pleasing and confidently live your life get your copy of the book from us here we've got the link in the program notes or call one 800 K and the word family care and you were struck by something your pastor pointed out about people pleasing.

It's good that he was talking about actually business can be a really unhealthy thing.

Yes, even in churches, maybe especially in churches, as were expected to behave a certain way and if you say no to something that could be frowned upon. What did he teach you about people pleasing while it was in the middle of a sermon. I was rather enjoying what I was wanted on this little tangent and he just made this simple statement.

He said people pleasers often lie and I remember feeling like the spotlights that are affixed to the ceiling and normally pointing toward the stage had all drops with no slaughter of. I felt like me like I'm a fabulous. I have a lot of reasons that sometimes I shade the truth a little bit because I don't want to hurt someone's feelings are when it anger them or disappoint them, but I had to face the music that day that he was right that people pleasers often lying is is part of what what were doing again give us an example of that. I think you had something to do Girl Scout cookies.

How could you lie about Girl Scout cookies.

I like to a girl, let me have okay so one day the sweet little girl scouts came to my door and ring my doorbell and I didn't want any cookies. I was trying to stay away from sugar. I didn't need any cookies and tell them I don't want you cookies sell what I said was kind of a half-truth. I said oh well I have some nieces there there big and do Girl Scout house buyer cookies from them. But thanks and have a great day help nieces and that one Ron nieces had nieces. They are now in their teens and 20s that I didn't. I said that there there there to Girl Scouts when they were big into Girl Scouts and we did always buyer cookies from them. It was past tense. Okay, years ago, while I cannot fight but I made it sound like I was very strategic and made it sound like I was still buying cookies from them that I wasn't in.

It was a half-truth, but as we told our kids often half-truth is still hold my that's really good. The Scrimgeour dork's will buy less 20 minutes or whatever the poster is all you guys stay away from sugar. You guys are so cute your mind. My nieces back in the day, but I just really don't need any cookies. But here's a five dollar donation when it is be honest that's what I just got caught in that and then I just told half-truth you know that it does kinda go back to that pleasing God pleasing man thing that prevarication which means juice, sliding a half-truth right so it's not the full truth but it's close enough to the truth that you can accept it, but that's what you say.

Just tell him I really don't want you cookies like your great I love you.

Your wonderful girl but it's hard to do and it takes a little explaining like we just need to really say out loud what were thinking like you all are adorable. I hope you sometime cookies that I just don't need cookies today so I'm sorry I wish I did but I don't one of those go to statements that we can be more honest and direct with. I think we need to just have some things in her mind writing you and an arsenal to kinda start the sentence and then maybe we can finish it will get us on the way to telling the truth like hey you know I'm really kind of fear telling the truth to you right now because I love you. You're my friend. I don't want to disappoint you but I know I need to be honest with filing your shoes I would want you to tell me the truth cell minute just have to say no to request or to say things like you not want me to say yes to that request because you not going to say yes to stick can make you happy but really the band with right now in my life to do what you're asking me to do so in the end you're gonna be said that I said yes.

So I'm just on the out of the suits on that from the get-go to tell you the answers now, even though I don't want to tell you know because I know you want me to say yes to those things that are running through your mind just say them out loud always preface it with. I love you and I care about her relationships.

I'm sorry to have to say no but I'm going to and then just announce it.

Don't over explain I'm I'm the Queen of over explaining you don't tell everybody an excuse and all the background. Just saying I really thought right about it answers not when you give a lot of detail, then there might be a pushback.

Well, we can take care of that. Yes there are salespeople out there and I mean that in a kind way in relationships who you but cure I can help you.

So we get rid of that hurdle and that hurdle so you're saying just keep it simple. When you over explain your giving them targets tissue data. This just happened to me the other day some and he wanted me to endorse their book.

I don't know this person I've never heard of this person and I should have just set a polite no. But instead I said, I'm certainly busy and I see you're sending it digitally. I would need a hard copy I seen you in two weeks.

I don't have time. So what if they do, they said will send you a hard copy will give extra time and they shot it all down over explain I should do just that I'm so sorry.

My heart wishes I could say yes but I mapped.

Before we get out today. I will make sure that people have some appropriate healthy weapons to combat the personality types that you talked about. I think just being able to categorize those is really helpful. Back to the pusher, etc. so it if you can identify where that weakness is for you as a nose was somewhat people pleasers. The other thing is so funny with people pleasers and I can tend to be want to we get very offended and called a people pleaser that really strikes us in a way that the wound. Now I'm not that really can be. Everybody has the potential to be people pleaser and not all of it is that correct in that context, what can you do to build a healthy appropriate wall. If I could say it that way to protect you and your family from the pusher mentality.

I think having some go to statements that you're gonna say when they ask you something. That number one we just Having some accountability in your life of people that are going to cheer you on and encourage you to stand up to that person and then say how you doing and that has been helpful for me to because I know sometimes with a couple different people my life. I cannot shake in my boots and think I get it, do what they ask is there such a pusher, but I have other friends are like now you can do it you can and were getting beat checking up on you. I think that accountability helps to and actually found that pushers they respect you and you push back yeah they do group where you so afraid that they're going to want to steamroll over us and sometimes I like okay thanks for showing me yeah is no insult don't pushback with that person to hell honest. I mean, I would think it might be good to sit down and talk to them about their pushy to that worker does that not work. I have one person in my life where that didn't work backfired and I have another person that actually thought it would backfire, but they came back to me later and said you know why you were right as kind of offended when you were in essence, call me bossy and pushy.

But you're right, you're a different personality may meet your easy to take advantage of.

I kinda know that and that's why men come in you and in Being a little bit bully asked Amit.

Try not to do that more but will you she said to me, but will you also be a little more forthright like to tell me the truth quits yesterday on the time if you want to do it. That's good to get that dialogue to the surface so that you can have a mutual understanding. We think in the context that's a lot of personality type pushers are just strong-minded people there able to get their stuff out right on the table right tell you exactly what they think most of the animal and another key.

I found two is for me when I'm thinking back about it right now the pushers I tried to stand up with that I didn't have a good relationship with or a family relationship with. They are the ones that didn't take it very well but the people I do have a relationship with their in my family love me even though we are very different personalities coworker. We do have a good mutual understanding and love for each other. They just do things differently than me. Those when you bring these things up and you have this dialogue with them if you like that relationships bring it to others. You together. Even though things get a little wobbly. As you're talking about being pushy and being passive. Those tend to stick to get better with the dialogue of the other ones I didn't really have a relationship with their just go push somebody else gives can elect to have their life know that's really good in the maximizer site where you displayed healthy boundaries there so this was overwhelming.

I say one thing that helpful with the maximizer.

This is my go to when the situations change in two weeks ago they were person a another person be and then they want to read you know configure the whole thing I'll say help you to understand that's my go to with and how we understand how to weeks ago. It was rude for me to switch over and take a call, but now it's not people think we understand that now they've got explain themselves and that really helpful service while actually sounds like fun listen.

This is been so helpful in there so much more coverage you want to come back and do another day or so. Let's come back tomorrow and cover more this great content in your book when making others happy is making you miserable and I think at least half the population. So if if you can make a gift of any amount to the ministry and will send a copy of Karen's book as our way of saying thank you for being part of the ministry very easy way to do that if you can make a lovely gift that's great. A one time gift is good to so just help us and will help others who can afford it will get it to you and will trust others will cover the expense of the bottom line is here to help you.

So get in touch with. Contact us today our number is 800 K in the work-family 800-232-6459 or click the link in the program and 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 next time is continued with Karen and once again help you and your family thrive in Christ. I was shocked when she gave me the divorce papers. I was so done I had reached my breaking point.

I was desperate for a shred of hope. So I called the hope restored team at Focus on the Family they they listen to me and they asked about what was happening in my marriage.

They encouraged me and my wife to attend one of their marriage intensive's for couples in crisis and they prayed with us. They help me believe that my marriage could be saved. I agreed to go but was skeptical that anything could help us but the whole environment was so safe and nonjudgmental. I felt my heart start to open up as we work with the counselors.

Both of us still have work to do in her marriage but for the first time in a long time we have hope again Focus on the Family's hope restored marriage intensive program has helped thousands of couples who thought that their marriage was over. Find out which program is right for you@hoperestored.com


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