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People Traps


The first way that you can go wrong on this list, is people-pleaser. In secular object relations theory lingo, this points to egocentrism. It’s ironic because although you want others think well of you, you are not being true to yourself. Although you hate the idea of ever manipulating others, we can’t help ourselves from spinning situations to our own perceived advantage when we are in this mode. You are phony. You are like a chameleon. You will change anything to please anyone, at any time, even those you don’t like, because you are looking for acceptance from people. You are looking for praise from people rather than from God. You think that when people are happy with you, you will feel better. You will avoid pain for yourself. Really, this title is a misnomer more than the next three. Though it’s called ‘people-pleasing’ you really only want to please yourself ultimately but it never quite works out. There is a right way to go about pleasing others. But this, it’s all about me. Hence the term egocentrism, otherwise known as people-pleasing, or, for short, fake.

This website points you to learn who will be present with you for the asking and the only one who can ultimately help you learn how to get free by getting on the path to truth step-by-step.


The next way we can go wrong is people-annoyer. The secular object relations theory label for this is called social incompetence. I know, ouch. You fight. You are angry because you want to be God, and since God is God and you are not, you are angry at him for assuming the position that you so desperately covet. Never mind that he had that position for all eternity and will into infinity. It’s not rational, but it’s how you go wrong with number two on the list.

Why are we incompetent socially? Because only God is competent to fill that position. We fight, discontent with being who we are under God and next to other people. We want to usurp God and be over other people rather than learning to appreciate being under God and being with other people where we can give from the gifts we’ve been given and receive from the gifts others have been given, all in gratitude to God. Well that’s how it ought to be, but when we insist on being top dog, or when we are angry that we are not the top dog, we go wrong in this way being socially incompetent, a people-annoyer, or we fight. Three ways of saying it.

“Anger is against God because he is the one who directs the details of our lives. In fact, in our anger and outrage, we have decided that we want to be God rather than submit to him.” (Ed Welch)

This website points you to learn who will be present with you for the asking and the only one who can ultimately help you learn how to get free by getting on the path to truth step-by-step.


The third on the list on how we can go wrong relationally, is people-addict. In secular object relations theory vernacular, this is called insecure attachment, another word you could use is forward. You feel that you cannot get along in life without having a BFF, without having people nearby, without getting affirmation, or without having approval from people for every decision. You can tend to suffocate a person, as you cling to them for your very identity and sustenance not only physically but even in your thoughts. You run by what they would think about something before you allow yourself to have a thought of your own. You also tend to put people on a pedestal only to have them fall off and crash so they are on your god list (idolatry) only to find themselves in the dog house not too long after. You are fickle and impossible to please. So this is the people-addict or the insecurely attached person or the forward person pushing themselves into others’ lives where they don’t belong. This happens when you replace God with other people be it parents, children, a love-interest, spouse, friends, the hope of friends, coworkers, employers, or you fill in the blank.

Ever feel the need for closeness to the point that seems extreme? Looking for that someone or something that will be the answer to your situation? Then you find someone and feel you must consume them to get that deep need met? Or have you have you been on the receiving end of someone consuming you, and once done, you are broken, like there is nothing left of you?

That felt need is not to be repented of but redirected. It is a right feeling toward wrong objects (any gnawing desire for approval, praise, power, or illicit sexual desires that we think on, read about, listen to, watch, or participate in).

Jesus offers himself to be consumed. “Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him.” (John 6:56) That need was placed deep within us to be met by Jesus. He wants us to take him up on it. Jesus meets our need without being diminished one bit, not broken, but still whole. He is other, not like us. He made us for himself. We were made to consume him like a car is made to consume gas. The analogy breaks down in that he never has to replenish himself since he is infinite. We are finite and need to continually seek his presence though he is with us always. We seek him for our sake not for his. We need to remind ourselves of who he is to be for us moment-by-moment. He is the fountain and bread of life. Every moment that we recognize that we have him in us, and we live in him, for those moments, we will not feel the need to consume anyone or anything else for our satisfaction. He alone satisfies us completely and makes us secure. He is the perfect bridegroom who perfectly meets the need of his bride. He leads the sheep of his pasture to good grass and still waters. We enjoy food and water in light of this.

Read the gospel of John or at least John 6 for context. Although the apostle Paul expounds on this in 1 Corinthians 11:23-32, really the whole of scripture was written to help us grasp the closeness of the relationship we are to have with our Maker. Marriage is a pointer to it and enjoyed in light of it. Every poem, every love song ever written and sung, every creative expression of love speaks to his glory, even as they are misdirected. Every protest against wrongs glorifies his ways. War points away from it except against our only real enemies, sin, Satan, and death. You can read about both of these concepts in Ephesians 5 and 6. There are many word pictures and analogies to take in, so get on a daily bible reading plan or 5 days a week plan. Begin today.

This website points you to learn who will be present with you for the asking and the only one who can ultimately help you learn how to get free by getting on the path to truth step-by-step.


The last on the list of how you go wrong relationally is people-avoider. In secular object relations theory parlance, it is called alienation. Or for short, we can call it flight. This is where you are tired of all of the drama, all of the misunderstandings, all of the previous three ways of going wrong, and you see no alternative but to withdraw. You perhaps are not a hermit, but you will not let others know what you really think, you will not initiate communication in any form, and you will seldom reply when others initiate. You become alternately anxious and depressed because you are looking within yourself for answers and only finding more unanswered questions and emptiness.

Ever separate yourself someone because they failed to fully satisfy? We are all broken cisterns that can hold no water. Each of us fails at being God to any one of us. Jesus satisfies. That’s it. Anywhere else you look is a dead end. Jesus is the only one from whom you can expect full satisfaction.

This website points you to learn who will be present with you for the asking and the only one who can ultimately help you learn how to get free by getting on the path to truth step-by-step.

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