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Are You in This Danger?

It is dangerous to be concerned with what others think of you, but if you trust the Lord, you are safe. Proverbs 29:25

Are You in This Danger

People pleasing is a response of the nervous system to danger. Most people are familiar with fight or flight. There has been a growing discussion of the danger response of freezing, like "a deer in the headlights." However, fawn is also a natural automatic response to danger.

Fawn is a verb meaning to give a servile display of exaggerated flattery and affection typically in order to gain favor or advantage according to the New Oxford American dictionary. Servile means having or showing an excessive willingness to serve or please others. I use the example of the people standing on the picnic table throwing everything in their picnic basket at the bear trying to please his appetite so the bear will go away. It is an automatic response when fight, flight or freeze may not be considered by your body when faced with a bear. It is not a thought out response, but an automatic one.

The only One who's opinion matters at the end of time is God's opinion. When we keep our trust in Him, we are safe from the danger that would generally cause us to fawn. We fawn trying to keep other's opinions of us favorable.

For some, there may be a fear of physical danger, like a woman or child in a household of domestic violence or abuse. Both the woman and child might fawn in fear of physical abuse from their abuser if things are not perfect. Their automatic response is to try to make everything is just the way their abuser would want in hope to avoid abuse.

A school age child may fawn over her or her friends for fear of being rejected. They may pretend to be someone they are not in effort to fit in. They may allow themselves to be manipulated as they desperately try to make or keep friends in their world.

A man or woman may fawn long after the rush of infatuation is over for fear of being alone. A child may fawn over a parent attempting to gain their approval. Or a parent may fawn over a child for fear of being abandoned or not liked or loved as much as someone else in the family. 

The danger can be in the physical. However emotional and mental danger of rejection, abandonment, and not fitting in are just as real in our body. All three dangers trigger our automatic nervous system to respond. The Bible tells us it is dangerous to be concerned with other's opinions. Psychology is starting to catch up with this realization. What other people think about you, is really none of your business. You be you, the you that God created you to be.

Lord, I pray for every person who experiences the danger response of people pleasing. I pray that You would open their eyes to the true danger they are feeling. Help them to regulate their emotions and put their trust in You so they can have the safety that is available in You!

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