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

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


Articles are intended for informational purposes only and do not constitute medical advice; the Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. All opinions expressed by authors and quoted sources are their own and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the editors, publishers or editorial boards of San Diego Christian Counseling. This website does not recommend or endorse any specific tests, physicians, products, procedures, opinions, or other information that may be mentioned on the Site. Reliance on any information provided by this website is solely at your own risk.