Zach Williams, singer and songwriter of “Chain Breaker” tells the story how he changed from being a young man with 2 basketball full-ride scholarships to Ol’ Miss and Univ. of Mississippi to being a high school drop out, drug addict, who turned into a rock star.


He cited that he became more focused on fitting in and pleasing his peers around him and not pleasing God. God became such a non-entity in his life, he focused solely on things that ultimately ended up causing him to feel empty and alone.


One night on tour with the rock band he realized that he had to totally change his life. He could no longer live trying to fit into that lifestyle, his heart and life belonged to God. He quit his tour, his band, and was willing to accept the severed relationships that happened because of that decision. He said he knew he had to do that in order to be true to himself.


There are both good ways and bad ways to be a “people pleaser.”


If we are seeking to be kind and considerate, that’s a positive kind of people pleasing. It fosters healthy relationships and allows us to “do unto others as we would prefer them to do unto us.” Or – to take that Golden Rule one step further – we would “do unto others as we think they would prefer to be treated.”


However, if this goes beyond just being kind, it can end up being a detriment to self.

Often times a People Pleaser is one of the nicest and most helpful people we know. They never say “no.”  And they can always be counted on for a favor.  In fact, the majority of their time is spent focusing on others rather than caring for the closest needs around them.


Typically, the need to be a people pleaser comes from inward fears of either rejection or failure. People pleasers perhaps experienced relationships early in their lives when they did not receive what they needed from those closest to them. They either experienced conditional love or were rejected/abandoned by someone important in their lives. Thus they have feelings of Fear of Rejection – worried that, “If I don’t do everything I can to make this person happy they might leave or stop caring for me.”  

Or, they have fears of failure. Feeling if they make mistakes they will disappoint people and experience punishment. Perhaps they experienced severe punishment previously in life, even for small mistakes. People who lived with very critical parents can often develop people-pleasing patterns.

People pleasing can lead to neglect of self, resenting those that we are constantly trying to please, and reduce our ability to enjoy other people and activities in our lives. It also can turn into a vicious cycle of chronic stress and unhealthy behaviors and cause us to be taken advantage of. [1]

For a period in his life, Zach experienced these negative effects of people pleasing. Then he realized he needed to live for an audience of One.

Who are you living for today?


Proverbs 29:25
Common English Bible (CEB)

25 People are trapped by their fear of others;
those who trust the Lord are secure.