COVID-19 Update: How to protect yourself. Click Here to Learn More.

Do You Have This Disease?

I have a special friend who has the Disease to Please quite strongly.  She is a People-Pleaser from day 1!  I love her deeply and she is well aware of her disease and through the last number of years she can tell you how this disease has taken its toll on her mentally, emotionally as well as physically.

You see, contrary to what you think, no one can be everything to everyone.  Yes, that was quite a mouthful, but it is so important that I want to speak it again:

“No one can be Everything to Everyone!”

You want to be the best spouse.
You want to be the best parent.
You want to be the best child.
You want to be the best sibling.
You want to be the best employee.

You get the picture…
Do you know what the pressure of perfectionism is doing to you?

First of all, you are not and never will be perfect!

Now, you should be drawing a very large sigh of

“Yes, I am so glad to have that monkey off my back”!

Our need to please usually starts in childhood. We do something pleasing, we get positive reinforcement—and we’re hooked! However, this desire to please others often gets carried away and we lose sight of what it is we authentically want.
Many people are riddled with guilt, anxiety, depression, loss, grief, sadness, and resentment after years of valuing someone else’s comfort over their own—and that’s what it is really, right? We are saying

“I value your comfort over my own. I value you having peace of mind over me feeling that I’m living a life of authenticity.”

So, for the next week, we want you to try to do something bad.  Think of “bad” as something you feel you shouldn’t do or something you feel is a bit irresponsible.  Obviously, you should not rob a bank or hurt another human being.  Just start out slowly. Some “bad” ideas are:

  • Delete your unread emails
  • Take off work early to get a massage
  • Say “No” once
  • Tell someone what you really think (it can still be tactful)

This will help you gradually build your “being bad” muscles, but more importantly it will help put you back in charge of your own life.  Perfectionism is a self-defeating behavior.  In a way, it is inauthentic to live life pretending to be so perfect. True integrity lies in the ability to recognize and accept your imperfections.

It is easy to fall into a people-pleasing pattern and neglect your own needs.  Learning to put yourself first and find your voice is priceless.  If people like you—great! If they don’t then that’s okay too.  Remain true to yourself.  There’s nothing more health promoting than that.

Let us know how your week of being “bad” goes. We hope you find your true self during this exercise!


  1. Sally Sands September 8, 2016

    I am so glad you are drawing attention to forgiveness and people pleasing! Though a Christian, I have struggled to forgive certain people and I have been a terrible people pleaser all my life! This goes right back to my childhood when I was rejected, and I think it was my way of trying to be everything to everybody in order to avoid further rejection.
    For the last five years I’ve suffered what I believed to be a whole string of injuries, leaving me disabled and increasingly physically vulnerable. I could see no future for myself and was in constant despair. I recently read ‘The Great Pain Deception’ by Steve Ozanich. It all made so much sense, and I began to see a pattern of chronic pain going right back to childhood. I believe I have TMS (Tension Myositis Syndrome).
    This has provided the missing link for me. I can now see how much our minds and bodies are linked, and that internalizing lots of hurt and anger was actually destroying my body.

  2. I wanted to say that i liked the article, not the use of the word “bad”. I have found in my growing up that i need to be aware of God’s gifts to me and use them. That means that while some of my friends love to go shopping and eating out its OK if i don’t enjoy this and decline to go. We much be happy with the gifts God has given us
    and not try to add to our life gifts we admire in others and do not have. You are correct it makes us miserable when we look to others for what we should do in work and at home. Thank you for addressing this idea that
    makes so many people miserable. As my daughter told me once, Mom, if someones give you a gift and you decide its not for you for any reason, then its yours to do with as you please. We are not tied to the gift giver.

    I read almost all your posts.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.