Marriage Problems: What Happens When You’re a People Pleaser

Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you. Deut. 31:6 (ESV)

For those of us who are constantly worried about pleasing others, nothing can be more frightening than interacting with someone who is ill-tempered – especially if we might have been the cause of their ill temper in the past.

That feeling of having butterflies in your stomach, your palms turning wet or fidgeting with your nails is how you feel when you have to face that ‘Scary Giant;’ a ‘Giant’ who after all is just another person like you.

This article touches upon a few aspects of personality imprints covered in “How We Love” by Milan and Kay Yerkovichhen

People pleasers are generally those whose childhood is nurtured either by a parent who was either overprotective or hypercritical.

In the first case, the child learns to fear many things. Here the parent is always eager to swoop down to keep any unforeseen worry or harm away from their precious little child, resulting in the child never having to stand up to face situations on their own.

In the case of the hypercritical parent- the child becomes a pleaser in order to avoid the constant anger and criticism of his parent. As the Yerkovichs put it, they turn into ‘good boys’ and ‘good girls’ in order to escape anxiety or abuse. Ultimately concerned with attending to the feelings of others, they ignore their own, never learning to deal with them. (71-73)

Their imprint might also because of constant anxiety or even some sort of learning disability. School is a trial since they abreast of others and the other kids mock them for it. They always fearful of having to give answers out loud or of having to work problems on the board. (76)

Time away from home can be a source of stress for these types of kids. This is because they are not able to keep tabs on the home environment while they are not there. Returning home means that they have to assess everyone’s mood so that these young people-pleasers can accommodate their behavior to the home environment. (75) As these little ones grow up they are constantly monitoring their spouse’s emotional moods even without realizing it.

Not Worried, Just Stressed

Pleasers are people who engage in a continual subconscious emotional battle. They are ruled by a constant feeling of stress, which is their anxiety to please others. They tend to absorb all the emotions and anger of everyone around them, trying their best to keep them all relaxed and comfortable, which in turn reduces their tension and keeps them happy.

Since they were never taught to handle situations as children, as adults they try to avoid them altogether. Their parents might have been a source of unpredictable anger so they keep track of the emotions of everyone around them, looking for the telltale signs, and instantly attempting to flee or to please them.

Pleaser adults live in constant fear of being accepted or rejected by those that surround them. Their actions are designed to seek acceptance from those they come into contact with. They frequently permit themselves to be taken advantage of.

Taking a firm stand for something they believe in is extremely difficult for people pleasers. Saying “no” to someone might incur anger from them. They often end up with too much on their plates because they say yes to everything. Paralyzed with fear of rejection, they struggle to solve problems and take independent action because they lack the required confidence

What the Bible Says About Man-Pleasers

As Christians, the Scriptures warn us against fearfulness. Though life is often filled with challenges and crossroads, we are encouraged to trust in the God who holds our future.

“Let not let your hearts be troubled” (John 14:1). The Bible also assures us that “God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control” (2 Tim 1:7).

The Lord has cautioned us to think before we act, but He has also promised: “fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you …” (Is 41:10). Consider some of the well-known characters of the Bible: Abraham, Elijah, David, Peter, etc. Though they were all in difficult situations at various times, they knew that they could rely on God, who is faithful. “When I am afraid, I put my trust in you” (Ps. 56:3).

Christian Counseling for People Pleasers

Imprints are difficult to grow out of. But if you are willing to break free from the old self, you can learn to be comfortable with who you are, and not be so afraid of others. A professional Christian counselor is equipped to employ proven therapeutic methods alongside spiritual principles to help you live a life free from fear.

“Lost in the Wilderness,” courtesy of Toa Heftiba,, Public Domain License; “Keep the Blinds Closed,” courtesy of Iz zy,, Public Domain License; “Surprise,” courtesy of,, CC0 Public Domain License; “For Me?” courtesy of iPrice Group,, CC0 Public Domain License

What are the Symptoms of Depression in Adults?

Depression is a common theme in the modern world. On TV and in movies, we see popular fictional characters that are battling depression with reasons ranging from romantic breakups to constant stress at work. And on social media, friends, family and even celebrities claim that they are depressed echoing similar sentiments as the fictional ones.

Whether people choose to believe their friends’ depression claims or not, depression is a real issue. According to the National Institute of Mental Health (2016), around 6.7% of adults in the US suffer from depression.

Women suffer more from this than men and the age group that experiences major depression the most for either gender is that of 18 to 25 years of age. This mental issue also does not favor any particular ethnicity as all races suffer from it.

Because of the stimuli and the reality of it, many people believe that they too may be dealing with “depression” as they wrestle with constant setbacks in life or struggle with a lack of motivation in what they do. But despite similar symptoms to what is shown in mainstream media or social media, not everyone is truly suffering from depression.

While setbacks in life can cause someone to feel very sad for days on end, true clinical depression lasts longer than that. So the question many ask is, “How do I know if I’m really suffering from depression?”

Symptoms of Depression in Adults

1. Changes in Emotions

An initial sign of depression is an increase in mood swings. A person generally becomes more irritable or angry. There is also a feeling of restlessness or tension.

In addition, feelings of guilt or regret about past occurrences begin to crop up as if much of what was done in the past was the person’s fault. As these guilty feelings compound, a sense of worthlessness and hopelessness ensues causing that person to have thoughts about death. Crying spells may then occur. All of these symptoms cause the person to feel very distressed.

Some noticeable thoughts when one is depressed:

  • “It’s all my fault.”
  • “Things are never going to become better.”
  • “My family will be happier without me.”

2. Loss of Interest

A person who is undergoing depression usually lacks energy and motivation to do the things they usually did before. Hobbies and extracurricular activities become meaningless. Rather than going out with others, the depressed person would rather just stay at home, oftentimes alone.

Even the necessary activities like grocery shopping or even going to work or school may be difficult to do. For those who still manage to work or attend school, the lack of motivation is quite present and others often take notice of this.

Relationships are often strained when one is experiencing depression as the person is not excited anymore to see their significant other. The sex drive takes a hit and the person begins thinking that their loved one is better off with somebody else.

Some things a depressed person may say to others:

  • “Yes it’s the regular pickup game later but I don’t have the energy today. Maybe next time.”
  • “Sweetie, can we just go out next week? I don’t feel like going out tonight.”
  • “I don’t feel like going to work today. I don’t see the point anymore.”

3. Drastic Change of Weight

Though in today’s society the goal for many is to lose weight, a drastic loss of weight is another sign of depression, especially when coupled with a lack of energy. This usually occurs due to a lack of appetite which often coincides with a loss of interest in doing other daily things.

However, depending upon the individual, a rise in weight may also be a sign of depression. For some, their response to deep sadness is to reach for their comfort food so they tend to eat more than usual.

Some noticeable thoughts when one is depressed:

  • “I don’t feel like eating again. Nothing tastes good anyway.”
  • “Eating makes me feel better after I cry.”
  • “They say I’m getting bigger again. Well, it doesn’t matter. I don’t care what they think.”

4. Change in Sleep Patterns

A change in sleeping patterns is another symptom of depression. Oftentimes the person has difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep. Sleep often occurs well past the usual time with the person’s mind either busy with dizzying thoughts or just blank.

The sleep itself, however, is often fitful with the person waking up every now and then. The overall experience is very frustrating as this may lead to a feeling of constant drowsiness, yet with continued difficulty getting proper rest.

However, for others, depression may have an opposite effect. Some suffer from hypersomnolence where they may sleep excessively, either during the day (e.g. long naps at work) or at night, yet they still feel very lethargic as if there was no real rest.

Some noticeable thoughts when one is depressed:

  • “I sleep for 12 hours every night but I’m still always sleepy and tired.”
  • “I feel so exhausted every day but I have a hard time falling asleep.”
  • “I’m seemingly up all night. I fall asleep but I wake up again. I just can’t rest properly.”

5. Physical Changes

Another sign of depression is a change in a person’s physical health. Other than the weight changes and difficulties when sleeping, people with depression experience other physical issues like stomach pain, digestive problems, headaches and other pains.

Others also have a feeling of being “slower” than they usually are. In their mind, they feel like they are speaking slowly, moving slowly, and even thinking slowly. Memory loss is also another result.

Some noticeable thoughts when one is depressed:

  • “It’s so hard to concentrate every day. My headaches are killing me.”
  • “I feel so slow. I can’t seem to work fast enough.”
  • “Why do I keep forgetting things? I’m going to get fired if I forget another deadline.”

Seek Christian Counseling for Depression

In this fast-paced, stressful and complex world, symptoms of depression have become common. Depression saps the joy from life and causes many other problems that hurt not only the sufferer but the people who rely on them. Sadly, many people are not aware that they are suffering from it; and those who do know rarely seek professional treatment.

But things do not have to be like this. With the help of a professional Christian counselor, the sufferer can overcome the symptoms of depression and return to a normal life. Not only will the Christian counselor help identify the underlying issues, but they will also connect the sufferer to God and Scripture.

In this way, the probability of falling into depression again will be minimized, if not eliminated, as the sufferer will get to know God who strengthens us in times of trial.

The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Deuteronomy 31:8

If you or a loved one is suffering from depression, then seek professional help soon. Life is meant to be lived with joy and hope in Him.


“Depressed”, Courtesy of Anh
Nnguyen,, CC0 License; “Down”, Courtesy of Mitchell Hollander,; CC0 License; “Depressed”, Courtesy of Alex Boyd,, CC0 License; “Laundromat,” courtesy of Drew Roberts,, CC0 License

How to Work on Relationship Problems: Confronting Someone

Our world is made up of relationships. From the moment of birth, we begin forming relationships with the people immediately around us. With every move we make, whether at school or work, there are opportunities to create long-lasting relationships.

There is one inevitable downside to all relationships, though. The longer you spend with someone, the greater the probability that they will say or do something hurtful along the way. Loving people is messy.

When someone close to you hurts you, the best action to take is to address the pain with that person. Though there are times when it’s wisest to overlook the offense, if offenses are left unaddressed they can gradually turn into bitterness and resentment.

If you want to keep the relationship flourishing it’s important to confront the person that has harmed you. Confrontation doesn’t come easily to most people, but it’s a necessary life skill to learn.

Here’s how to lovingly, yet firmly, confront someone after hurtful behavior by learning how to work on relationship problems.

Steps to take to confront someone

1. Agree on a time and place where distractions will be eliminated. It might be an uncomfortable conversation, so this lowers the number of excuses that can be made to dodge the conversation.

2. Consider writing a letter beforehand in case the conversation gets off track or emotions begin to escalate. This will help to articulate your thoughts clearly while keeping your composure during the talk.

3. The goal is to present your side without attacking the other person. It’s normal for the other person to become defensive. Nobody enjoys being confronted and will lash out when threatened.

We’ve all been on both sides of hurt. It’s essential to treat that person in a respectful, understanding manner. A good place to start would be to say, “Thank you for taking time to listen to me with an open heart and mind. I know you might not realize how hurtful it is when you do “x.” It hurts me because “Y,” and I’d appreciate it if it could be avoided in the future.”

This dialogue is designed to direct you toward reconciliation. If the other person genuinely cares about your feelings he or she will be receptive to what you have to say.

What to avoid when confronting someone

1. Don’t fall into the temptation of becoming passive-aggressive. People won’t naturally notice you are angry and uttering rude, cutting remarks instead of addressing the issue face-to-face will only feed your inner turmoil and bitterness.

2. Don’t seek revenge or retaliation. Maybe your friend used their words to hurt you. It’s not wise to stoop to their level and use your words as weapons too. It’s never good to confront someone when you are still dealing with anger. If you give yourself some time to cool off the tension will decrease.

3. Don’t drag your feet. Of course, if the person you want to confront just got into a car accident, it’s probably not the best time to share your heart. However, some people get into the cycle of waiting for some “opportune” moment that never arises. You have to swallow that lump in your throat and ask to speak in person.

4. Take the time to talk to this person in private or with a third-party person present. Refrain from attacking in a way that will publicly humiliate them.

What if they don’t see it your way?

In a perfect world, all conflict would be resolved and tied neatly with a bow. However, depending on the other person’s level of defensiveness, the meeting could end without resolution and reconciliation. This outcome isn’t ideal.

You put yourself in a vulnerable place and were met with hostility instead of humility. Insecure thoughts begin swirling around in your head, “Am I wrong? Did this ruin our relationship? Why did I even say anything?”

When a person completely denies doing anything wrong or minimizes its effects on you, it’s likely they are struggling to empathize. If you believe you did your best to think through the conversation, kept your cool during the talk and didn’t resort to any forms of name calling, then the issue is theirs, not yours. At this point, putting in place healthy boundaries might be the best option.

You can try to get the person to hear you out again. If the issue is severe enough, invite an unbiased third-party mediator into the conversation. A Christian counselor can help you learn how to work on relationship probelms and figure out how to navigate these difficult, uncomfortable conversations.

If the person doesn’t reflect any type of concern for your feelings or opinions, moving forward without their close friendship could be the recommended route.

If necessary, attend a counseling session alone to discuss the issue.  Your counselor may be able to help you find a more productive way of communicating with the other person about your grievances. Standing up to someone who is consistently rude to you can boost your self-confidence, lower your fear of confrontation and teach you the best ways to resolve conflict.

“Estrangement”, Courtesy of Gerd Altmann,, CC0 License; “Coffee Chat,” courtesy of Burst,, CC0 License; “Diselo a la mano!” courtesy of Pablo, Flickr CreativeCommons (CC BY-SA 2.0); “Together,” courtesy of Timothy Paul Smith,, CC0 License