Perfected in Love: The Pleaser

Exciting News Flash! We are very excited to announce that we will air on Focus on the Family Radio programming Tuesday February 7 and Wednesday February 8, 2012!  We will be discussing our book How We Love.  The title of the shows are Developing a Deeper Connection With Your Spouse, I & II.  Check your local listings for broadcast times and let your friends and family know about it as well. 

Now on to our content for today… We’ve looked at the secure connector who, emotionally and relationally speaking, most resembles Jesus Christ as He loved and related to those around Him.

This week we will continue our observation of insecure connectors and lovers who, unlike Christ, live with high levels of fear.

Remember our theme verse: “there is no fear in love; but perfect love cast out fear, because fear has punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love (I John 4:18).”

Now, let’s look at the Pleaser.

The Pleaser: (fear based)

  • Background:
    • Very often, the pleaser comes from a home with an angry or critical parent whose anger and intimidation traumatizes the child which then creates a fearful anxious child.
    • Sometimes pleasers are formed as they become the good child trying to compensate for wild, unruly, reactive siblings who distress the parents and the household.
  • Characteristics:
    • They freeze internally and are immobilized when confronted or pressured.   They fear the one creating conflict, and they panic and struggle to form words.
    • As a result they avoid conflict and confrontation.
    • Because reality often includes bad news, their first response is to create a positive spin, minimize or distract attention away from the problem to make everyone feel better and smile again.
    • They have a fear of separation and rejection by others, so anger, opinions and risk are undeveloped.
    • Because of a desire to not rock the boat they rarely speak truth in a forthright and clear manner.
    • They use smiles, peace keeping and appeasing to cover fear.
    • They often give long winded responses in an attempt to create a diplomatic answer that will minimize their risk of rejection as well as make the answer palatable to the hearer.
    • They lack boundaries and allow others to push and manipulate them which in turn lowers respect in the eyes of others.
  • Fear that blocks love from being perfected?
    • “I’m afraid you’ll separate from me… or not like me.  I need you to want me and like me. “
    • “I’m only safe when I’m with you… I’m scared to be alone especially if I know someone is mad at me.”
    • “I’m not going to risk opinions or negative emotions in front of others because they may reject me.”
    • “My self esteem is based upon what people think of me and their emotional state becomes my emotional state.”
    • “If you are upset with me, I will pursue you and try to please you to win you back.”
    • “If you’re ok then I’m ok.”

Question:  Does the above description resemble the secure person of Jesus Christ?

Obviously not!  Yet we’re told that our lives are to be morphing into His image, and yet many people stay at this emotionally immature place their entire lives… and somehow believe they resemble Christ because they are sweet and pleasing.

Again I ask, is this a home that would resemble Jesus’ home?
Growth goals to allow God’s love to be perfected in you:

    • Admit to yourself, God and a safe friend that you are a fearful person.
    • Learn that you can be ok alone.
    • Learn to tolerate tension, discord, separation, hostility and rejection.
    • Learn to say no and stick to it.
    • Learn to get angry.
    • Learn to speak truth.
    • Learn to acknowledge your emotions and ask for needs to be met.
    • Self care instead of compulsive care giving to others.

These growth goals cannot be accomplished in isolation but need to be learned in relationship with a group of people who will help you learn to be stronger as a person.

You were injured in relationship and you will only heal in relationship with others who are safe and honest.

A recovery, co-dependency, 12 step or growth group within a church or your community can provide a wonderful atmosphere to help you accomplish the above listed growth goals.

Thanks for listening.


Milan & Kay

Next Week:  The fear that binds the Vacillator and steps they need to take to become more perfected in love.