QUOTE: I am a recovering people-pleaser. (Is that okay?)
With about sixty-five people on my Party of One (a fellowship for those tired of dining alone) contact list, I was determined to please them all.
First, I needed to find a restaurant centrally located in the Amherst-Derry-Hudson-Litchfield-Londonderry-Milford-Nashua-Pelham, New Hampshire area. Easy-peasy. One with ample parking and handicap access; room to accommodate large parties with little notice; and an ambiance that appealed to the sensitivities of white and blue collars, democrats, republicans, and independents, and intellectuals, holy rollers, and rednecks. No prob.
Of course, the eating establishment’s menu must boast four-star American as well as international cuisine at budget prices. And their team of professional waitpersons must be enthusiastic about providing separate checks and takeout containers.
Once I found this perfect restaurant, after factoring in the New England weather, all I’d have to do was select a day that fit everyone’s schedule and a time that best matched any appetite and satisfied all current (and future) medical conditions.
What was I thinking? I can’t even do that when I eat out alone.
I suspected a propensity for people-pleasing. To discover what it was about pleasing people that sucked me in every time, I embarked upon a journey of serious research. Of course, for me, only Google would do.
It didn’t take long to discover that Google was NOT into people-pleasing—because I didn’t like what they had to say.
People-pleasers . . .
- Like to feel needed
- Dislike confrontation
- Put everyone else before themselves
- Need outside validation
- Fear being left out
- Lack confidence
- Worry about what others think
- Fear they will fail
- Fail because pleasing everyone can’t be done
- And, wonder of wonders, they are stressed
I had to re-think the way I facilitated this fellowship. Here’s what I came up with.
- Pray! God gave me the idea in the first place, so he will give me the answers I need.
- I am only responsible for my own actions.
- Unless someone else is willing to lead, I must make the decisions as best I can.
- I will make mistakes.
- My personal priorities—especially the needs of my husband–must come first.
- I need to nip manipulation in the bud.
- No day or time or restaurant will ever be a perfect fit for everyone.
- My choices shouldn’t be dictated by whiners and complainers.
- I’ll go with the flow and have fun with those who show up.
God has a master plan and he is the Master. I need to get out of his way and let him work.