Season: 1 Episode: 007
Do the opinions of others cause you to second guess the life you’re living? If you feel like you’er easily swayed when those close to you tell you how you should live your life, this episode is for you. Shanda talks about whose opinion matters and what to do when those in your life try and tell you how to live.
“If you are trying to please others, you are a slave to their opinions and attitudes, allowing what they say of you to control your decisions.”
“If someone can come in and cause you to doubt your choices by questioning them and/or giving you an alternative choice, your foundation is unstable.”
“Not everyone is going to cheer you on. Not everyone is going to think what you do, what you’ve chosen and the decisions you’ve made is sound.”
Blog: Powerful Opinions
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Psychology Today: How to Know You’re a People Pleaser
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Welcome back, my friend! You are listening to episode 7 of Her Faith Inspires. Today, we are talking about how to not care about, and dwell too much on the opinions others have about our lives.
Holy smokes!! This is a loaded episode!
And before we get started, I have to give a shout out to my work wife, Mary, for sending me this episode topic. Mary and I taught at the same school together and when I laugh hard, the whole school can hear me and this girl made me laugh on a daily basis at lunch.
Oh, Mary … how I miss you! And this one is dedicated to you, Mary Mary!
So, how do we not care about what people say to us? And how do we keep from dwelling on it and thinking about it all the time?
I had to go and visit my friend, Mary, to get some clarity on this question. So, she explained that people are very open in giving her their opinions on where she should work, take her kids to school, etc, etc … and these things cause her to overthink and second guess her decisions.
I understand what she’s talking about here, because I too, have been happy go lucky, and all of a sudden someone asks me why I’m going to that church, or why I decided to take my kids to that school, or why I live in that town. And all of a sudden, my point of view starts to change and I begin to wonder if my choices are good enough.
Are they right? Maybe I shouldn’t be happy with the decisions I’ve made. Maybe I should do what they want me to do. It’s working for them, right?
This is dangerous because we are swayed by what others think we should do instead of what God wants us to do.
Some of the things we need to consider when we allow what other people to affect our thinking, decisions and outcomes are:
- When you allow what others to say about you and your life keeps you awake at night, what does that say about you?
2) Where is the confidence you need to stand behind your decisions for you, your family and those your decisions affect?
3) How can you overcome the thoughts and opinions of others?
So, let’s evaluate this by starting with the first issue …. What does it say about you when you allow others opinions to influence you so much it keeps you up at night?
First, you may be a people pleaser. A people pleaser is one who wants to please other people so much, they will more than likely sacrifice what they like and or/want in order to save face.
There are goods and bads to people pleasing …. In my own opinion.
I think it’s good you care about what other people think and value. However, when you begin sacrificing your own joy to make someone else happy that’s not healthy for you and it’s definitely not healthy for your relationship with that person.
They have a lot more control over you than you probably want to give.
*Psychology Today has an article called 10 Signs You’re a People Pleaser (I’ll leave the article URL in the show notes). But they are:
1) You pretend to agree with everyone (I used to say ugly clothes were cute because I didn’t want to hurt anyones feelings. I sacrificed fashion for pleasing others. That’s terrible!)
2) You feel responsible for how other people feel.
3) You apologize often.
4) You feel burdened by the things you have to do.
Side note: As I studied this I realized I’m a people pleaser! Help me, Jesus!
5) You can’t say no.
6) You feel uncomfortable if someone is angry at you.
7) You act like the people around you.
8) You need praise to feel good.
9) You go to great lengths to avoid conflict.
10) You don’t admit when you’re feeling are hurt.
Proverbs 29:25 says, “The fear of man lays a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is safe.”
When we try and please others, we are afraid they won’t like us anymore or that they will be upset with us. It causes us to steer off the path we feel God has put us on and we become pleasers of men.
In Galatians 1:10, Paul is talking about his relationship with God, obviously, but the same concept applies to honoring God in the choices we make and how we live for Him. He says, “For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.”
And in reality, if you are trying to please others, you are a slave to their opinions and attitudes, allowing what they say of you to control your decisions.
2) Where’s your confidence in the path you’re on? And If you haven’t listened to episode 5 titled “How to shake off insecurity and walk in confidence”, I highly recommend doing that now.
But here’s the deal, when we allow other’s opinions to sway us, we are on shaky ground already.
Why? Because if anyone can come in and cause you to doubt your choices by questioning them and/or giving you an alternative choice, your foundation is unstable.
Here’s what I mean. In the book of James, people were easily persuaded by their feelings and emotions and desires. It effected they way they prayed and James had this to say about it in 1:6 …
“But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.”
When we doubt God, ourselves, His plan for our lives, we are easily swayed by everything around us. And along with being swayed come emotions that toss us around from one opinion to another.
Let me ask you this … are you living out Jeremiah 29:11? God’s plans for your life? Are you using the Bible as a lamp to your feet and a light to your path like it says in Psalm 119:105?
Is your life, your marriage, your home built on the rock like it says in Matthew 7:24-27?
Because if it is, who cares about what other people want you to do or say you should do.
And finally, how can you overcome allowing the opinions of others to diminish your quality of life?
Well, first of all, understand that people will always think what they do is better than what you do.
Hey! If someone attends a great church, they’ll invite everyone to it (as they should). But, just because it works for them doesn’t mean your church isn’t working for you. Only God should lead you where He wants to you to go.
Just because someone loves their job doesn’t mean where you work isn’t where you should be. Everything in life has it’s challenges and it’s successes … EVERYTHING. The grass isn’t always greener on the other side. People will make you think it is. But as one of my friends put it … the grass is greener where you water it.
So, take care of where God has put you.
And another thing to really consider in all of this is … don’t follow the crowd. A lot of times our opinionated friends will rally the troops to get everyone to do what they think everyone should do. And when they rally the troops, they feel validated and empowered.
That, too, can be confusing and cause us to want to jump ship and join the crowd. But remember, Jesus never cared about the crowds. A lot of times He said and did some things that ran the crowds off because His teachings weren’t always popular.
Not everyone is going to cheer you on. Not everyone is going to think what you do, what you’ve chosen and the decisions you’ve made is sound.
But is God pleased with you? That’s the only opinion that should really matter.
So, stop stewing over their opinions. They didn’t write the plans for your life.
In closing out today’s episode, I want to bring this back to you. Start by learning how to tell people, “No, thank you.” When you shut down their opinions and let them know you are on the path God wants for you, they will slowly stop giving you their opinions.
But if you continue to welcome them by agreeing, remaining silent and stewing over them, you really aren’t sending the message that their opinion isn’t welcome with you.
It starts with you, my friend. This isn’t easy but if you want a healthier mind and outlook, you have to water your own lawn … AKA, guard and keep what God has entrusted to you.
That’s it for today’s episode. I want to say thanks again to Mary for this episode topic.
And if you have an episode topic you’d like to hear more about, send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
See you next week!