An extroverted people appeaser will, without fail, become discouraged. The person will often feel unwanted, undervalued, and purposeless. You see, as an extrovert, people fuel your excitement. However, attempts to please folks is feeble. You will wind up making someone angry, frustrated, or annoyed. Trying to please everyone is wrought with failure.
I know this because I am an extrovert who struggles with people pleasing addiction. I also struggle with depression. I think them more intertwined than I care to admit.
When you express feelings of feeling devalued, unwanted, or ignored, you are often told that you are exaggerating, to deal with it, or to just ignore it. This simply perpetuates the problem. At the same time, you begin to wonder if you are just exasperating a non-issue. Shouldn’t I be the quiet, demure woman so praised in Scripture? Am I really just inflating the problem in my mind? I do tend to read into things more than I should.
I’ve been told I’m nosy simply for taking interest in people and their life. I’ve been told I’m controlling, judgmental, and dramatic. I will confess that at times I struggle with these attributes, but are they my character? Oh God, I hope not. Can I be known beyond my sin or am I so steeped in it that is all I am really identified as by outsiders?
“Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer everyone.”-Col. 4:6
Lately I am beginning to wonder if I should even speak at all. Sometimes silence is more pleasant, more accepting, more kind, no? If we are silent though, will we be found in agreement with what we are against? Is it important for everyone to know our opinions and views? How do I make it so my actions are louder than my words; or that there be no need for words at all?
We live in a society addicted to social media. I guess we are consumed with self, with independence. Any inkling to community and sharing vulnerability is frowned upon. I guess this is why I get hurt so often. I’m an extrovert who strives to please people. Am I throwing myself a pity party? I guess in a way I am. Forgive me. *The people pleasing prowler is on the hunt again. I’ll be damned. God, please release me!*
The fact is, you can’t please everyone. I’m trying to break this cycle. I know it will only be broken by the Spirit’s power. How do I manage though? How can I surrender this desire and will to God? This is not a question of ability but more the tangible application of such surrender. I know I need to do it and I want to; just exactly does someone go about doing this? What would this look like?
Do I speak? Do I remain silent? It took years to admit that I’m an extrovert. I fought so long and hard to resist the desire to want to be around people rather than holed up by myself and entertaining my own interests. Since accepting I’m an extrovert, I try so hard to be silent because I am constantly “eating my feet”. Would God want me to be consistently quiet in a group?
I often wonder if he made me this way or if it was years of criticism, belittlement, etc. that made me full of self-doubt, a desire to appease people, and the need to feel “validated” by a group.
It is ever more pressing we find our identity in Christ, not in the flexible opinions of individuals or society. (I say this more to myself than you, my reader, of course.)
“So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new!”-2Cor. 5:17
“For we are what he has made us, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand to be our way of life.”-Eph. 2:10 (Is it a good work for me to be silent? Would I be serving myself or Christ? I want to choose silence because I have been feeling “Even a fool who keeps silent is considered wise; when he closes his lips, he is deemed intelligent.” (Prov. 17:28) Am I really just a fool? Or am I only wanting to operate in silence to preserve my self-image and reputation? Is that glorifying to God?)
Dear God, how? I need discernment. Some days I feel like I’m choking on the very air (the extroverted composition) that gives me life, the breath that fills my lungs and passions. Lord, I need you, every hour I need you. My heart knows the truth for you said, “ I am the vine, you are the branches. Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit, because apart from me you can do nothing.”-John 15:5 Help me to see the fruit of my life devoted to you, be it in silence or audible speech.