Tuesday, July 14, 2009

People pleasers

by rabbi Lazer Brody

Many folks are "people pleasers"; rather than acting their natural selves, they play various roles to ingratiate themselves with others. Such people are never happy, for the following reasons:

1. They are dependant on the approval of others, something that they don't always receive;

2. They have to act differently with different people, to the extent that they lose their own identity;

3. They never develop their true selves; even worse, they become so confused by playing so many roles that they don't know who their real selves are.

4. They are far from the truth;

5. Their own self image is very low, because they conform and concede to others rather than standing up for what they really know is right.

Those who choose emuna - the pure and complete belief in Hashem - save themselves tons of anxiety and grief, for the following reasons:

1. They are dependant on Hashem's approval, and not on the approval of flesh and blood. This leads to emotional independence. They are free to be themselves.

2. By fearing Hashem, they have no need or reason to fear flesh and blood, so they suffer less from worry and anxiety.

3. By living according to Hashem's wishes, they don't have to cater to the multiple sets of demands of different people. This alone puts one's soul at ease, and saves untold emotional wear and tear.

4. Loyalty to Hashem and His Torah, especially in the face of today's Epikursim (skeptics and scoffers), makes a person feel strong and strengthens the self-image.

5. By performing Hashem's will and living according to Divine statutes, one is connected to absolute truth, as opposed to whimsical human notions, which change from minute to minute and from person to person.

If you'd like to be a lot happier, start learning what Hashem demands from you, and pay less attention to people pleasing. Be polite to everyone, kind and considerate to your fellow human, but stand firm on the Torah's commandments. As a people pleaser, one is a loser. When you're goal is pleasing Hashem, you're always on top of the world.