Saturday, November 15, 2014

Sometimes Courage Is Saying "No"

(Warning: Content may be hard for people-pleasers.)

     I firmly believe that every individual person on this earth is jam-packed with numerous personality traits. God went all out creating a perfectly unique version of you that is so complex that it is impossible to recreate. Personality quizzes, like the Meyers Briggs or the ones you find on Facebook, are cool and occasionally accurate, but they can never truly explain who you are. You probably don't even know all the little quirks you have that makes God smile because


That is an incredible thing that I love about human beings!
    Since we are an incredible melting pot of attributes, there are most likely some that we share in common. (By the way, I wholeheartedly advice you to learn who you are. It doesn't matter if your a tweenager, teenager, or adult. Knowing the little things about you is an incredible discovery that I am still enjoying.) In this post, I want to connect with the people-pleasers out there.
   You know who you are. ;) 

    You are the kind of person who is really compassionate, slightly vain (admit it), always wanting to help a friend out, a perfectionist in some areas, perhaps the teacher's pet, that person in class who gets an A's not because they are extremely smart but to make the teacher happy, perhaps you're a performer of some sort, or you work in customer service. People like you because you follow the rules, always seem pleasant, willing to help extra, or easily persuaded. I am sure you are not all of these things. This description doesn't fully describe me.
    If you relate to maybe a couple of these traits, I want to have a little chat with you. I am a people-pleaser. You bet I am! I am the first child, which I guess could add to it, but it is also a part of my personality. Being willing to help others out and being compassionate is a really good thing! The Bible encourages us to be kind and compassionate, and says that encouragement is a spiritual gift! Woohoo! Great job! This probably comes easy to you!
    However, every trait has a flip-side. If you are anything like me you probably are easily persuaded. Have you ever taken the leadership role, not because you are a natural born leader, but no one else stepped up? Or have to tried to help too many people at once that you don't have the time to get any of your personal stuff done. Have you been overwhelmed with other people's problems? Have you been depressed because you felt that you are not enough? If no one encourages you or says you did a good job, do you feel devoid of a purpose? Basically, I am preaching to myself. This is me.
 Listen. You and I are not enough! 

    We cannot please everyone we come in contact with! We are going to fail, sometimes drastically. We will sometimes not have the right words, enough strength, the right voice, the best attitude, or the best grade. We can be so fake sometimes, acting like our world is butterflies and rainbows so that the people around us will be pleased with our radiant attitude. You and I need to be real. We have got to grasp that we cannot satisfy everyone.
    This may sound selfish, but occasionally we need to have a little "me time." We can be kind of obsessed with saying "yes" to every person who asks for our assistance. For us it takes courage to say "no." This is an act that I struggle with. I hate saying "no" to someone who needs me, but if I don't I won't have any time to work on my own projects. I cannot be the permanent crutch for everyone to lean on. It may kill me to refuse to assist, but if I say "no", I am saying "yes" to something better.
     So, people-pleasers, this might be a hard pill to swallow (and I hate taking pills) but ultimately it will help us balance out our crazy lives. Perhaps, instead of stretching ourselves out to fill numerous roles, we can become fully devoted to a few and excel at those. How about we try saying "no" together to make our "yes's" even better!