Saturday, June 30, 2007

"People Pleaser"

Ewww. That label has such a negative connotation to me. So much so that I don’t want it attached to me. I try so hard NOT to be that person who, when making a decision, takes into account what everyone else might think. After all, I’m a first-born, one who should not be affected by peer pressure or any sort of pressure for that matter. I was even described as “bull-headed” by a professor in college. But instead of taking that as a compliment, I tried to correct him and told him that he must have me confused with another student. In taking that stance, I was trying to present the front that I am always sweet and soft-spoken and kind. As much as I’d like to be that person, that‘s not who I am all the time. And so I confess that I struggle with being a people pleaser.

The problem with this habit is that it is futile. I cannot predict how every person with whom I come into contact will react. Even those people I know somewhat well often don’t follow a predictable pattern in their reactions. Every person has different opinions, and in order to excel at people pleasing, I would (a) need to know all those opinions, (b) balance them, and (c) still need Divine intervention in order to tell me how to do (b) so that everyone would be happy.

I caught myself thinking about this topic in relation to this blog. A friend and I have been discussing the challenge of trying to write clearly so that all can understand. The way this friend brilliantly summed it up was “[p]art of being a good writer . . . is knowing your audience and realizing that everybody comes from different perspectives[, which is] sometimes hard to account for.” And so when I learned that people from all over the world have stopped by this blog, even if only for a little bit, the enormity of the task of trying to write well enough to please them hit me. I recognize that I am not well-versed in what perspectives those in Germany, Chile, Peru, Brazil, England, Egypt, Spain, Portugal, Costa Rica, Morocco, and other countries come from, and consequently I may not do a very good job of communicating my message to them.

Along the same lines, I feel like I should write something every day in order to keep people happy, and yet sometimes that’s hard to do either for lack of material, energy, or time. I also found myself trying to balance the heavier heart posts at the beginning of this week with some lighter posts toward the end of the week. And that didn’t please ME. Honestly, it felt like filler because bigger, heavier stuff was still on my heart, and I’d have been more true to myself to have either posted about those things or posted about nothing at all.

And so, I quickly realized that I’d gotten off track. That this blog is supposed to be for an audience of One, that One being the Great I AM. At the end of the day, if God is the only person who reads this material, would it please Him? Would it bring a smile to His face? Would it show that I am trying to use any writing talent that He has given me for His glory, instead of my own? Because at the end of the day, the answers to those questions are the only ones that matter.


Anonymous said...

Interesting to me that I can tell the difference between the writing you've done to please others and the writing you've done to please Him. Your passion doesn't come out when you're just filling space. It's nice, but it doesn't move me. Funny that I was wondering about it before I got to this post. I guess there's your answer to how well "pleasing others" through your writing really works, huh?!

"Bluebonnet in the snow" said...

C - Thanks for the reassurance that I need to redirect my efforts away from filling space. I'll do my best!