I am what you’d call a people pleaser. A giver. A grace-giving, loving, hospitable servant of others. A person that gives to others physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually.
It sounds braggy and self-inflating, but it really isn’t. I really am all of those things, and I come by them honestly. I was raised in a family that believes in “others before self,” the kind of family that, without being asked, helps you tie 300 bows on custom made cards at 4 am because you failed to plan ahead very well (or at all). I had the mom that everyone knew because she baked for EVERY bake sale, and volunteered at EVERY event, and sold snacks out of the concession stand or sat in the bleachers for EVERY game of every sport we ever played. I had the dad who hosted every party for every family gathering and every class reunion for as long as I can remember. I was raised in a culture of giving, and service, and kindness. I was taught that the best way to love others is through acts of wholehearted grace. I was nurtured to consider every person’s feelings, extend every possible courtesy to everyone involved, to always give attention to the desires and goals of others when making a decision that might affect them.
EXCELLENT LESSONS. I am glad I learned them. And I do still believe those things to be true.
The trouble came when I took “others before self” too far. Trouble comes when I TAKE it too far, because I still do that. I do it without thinking, and for the wrong reasons.