How to Stop Being a People Pleaser

Published on Apr 12, 2018
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People-pleasing behavior, while ostensibly pleasant, causes enormous difficulties for us, especially in relationships and in love. We need to grow better able to disappoint others, and to stop fearing calamity when we do so.
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“Being someone who pleases people sounds, on the face of it, like a very good idea. But it is a pattern of behaviour riddled with problems, as much for the perpetrator as for their audience; the people-pleaser is someone (who might at times be oneself) who feels they have no option but to mould themselves to the expectations of others, and yet, harbours all manner of secret and at points dangerous reservations and resentments. They act like the perfect lover when their real feelings are far darker; they give their assent to plans they hate; and they confuse everyone around them by failing to express, in due time, with the requisite courage, their authentic needs and ambitions...”
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Produced in collaboration with:
Marcie LaCerte #TheSchoolOfLife


  • Are you a people pleaser? Let us know in the comments below or on our app:

    • Yes and it's awful. I have to hide my personal needs and wants, and other people's needs are my priority. It sucks because I might want to stay home and read a book or draw but if a friend asks me "Can we go out today" I have to say yes.A girl has been Flirting with me lately, and I don't like her (I'm also gay) but I don't want to hurt her, so everytime she asks for a hug or she wants me to call her... I have to... I don't like this, If I had a penny for every time I said yes instead of what I really wanted to say, I would be a millionaire

    • The School of Life Very much. But it's best to be yourself, not someone else. Thanks for spreading the wisdom of life.

    • I think you got this slightly wrong (😉 see, I am one, and it is pretty hard for me finishing 3 rows without deleting half, "because I don't want to be unfair or mean toward anyone" ) That being said I am absolutely positive that even though I strongly believe you are half wrong in this, I won't hate you just because of that nor do I plan against you, 😂🤣🤣. Better yet people pleaser are usually the ones that were never loved(can you only imagine) copping by pleasing it isn't very attractive. But that doesn't make them secretly resentful of others, Often so much unsure of deserving love that they get involved with bad people. So naivety being the primary aspect,why do you think that they gather frustration and rage against the one who exploit them. Isn't that natural?(they become bitter - 🤣🤣 well yes heartbreak and decept does that to everyone, especially if because of being naive they got more of all that deceptions that a usual almost normal/socially desirable person 😉

    • Yes and it sucks when nobody can help or understand you

    • The School of Life yes and I want to get out of it ,even my friends want me out of it

  • I was having a big fight with my best friend the other day and the last thing she texted that I didn’t respond to was “You’re a people pleaser and you let people walk all over you sometimes.” At first, I didn’t know what “people pleaser” meant, so I decided not to look it up, but after a fews hours I let my urge take over me and looked it up. I was so surprised to see that I was in fact a people pleaser because of how many things I could relate, my best friend was right. I started to look back to my childhood to see how and why I became a people pleaser, and I think I know why, when I was little, my mom would always get mad at me when I did a simple mistake like dropping my cup of water on the table or crying because I hurt myself, so because of her, I was always scared of people yelling at me, I never actually talked back to my mom until it was my teenage years and that’s when she started to calm down her anger issues a bit, but when I was, I don’t know, around 8, I was introduced to a girl who I have been friends with until I was around 13 and she would always manipulate me into doing things I didn’t want to and even though she was 3 years younger then me, I was scared of her, because of her also, I think I was still a people pleaser and still am a people pleaser. I’ve always been a people pleaser and gullible since I was small, I hated the idea of people not liking me, I have gotten better since I got to be best friends with a girl who taught me to speak my own feelings for a few years, but Its sad to know that I’m stall a people pleaser and now thanks to my best friend saying that I’m a people pleaser, ill try not to be for the sake of myself and others...

  • I have been a people pleaser to my own detriment. I figure if I have nothing to gain then I can't be morally bankrupt

  • Literally had a panic attack because I kept saying "YES, I'll do it for you no problem" When in actuality I barely had time to even eat a decent meal. Even if I really really didn't want to do something I get bombarded by the thoughts of how disappointed they would feel. It is not as simple as just saying NO. Believe me I have tried. Their response : It would mean the world to me, you would be helping so many people , come on, sure you have time. etc. The consequence: Because I keep saying yes , they keep asking for more. Ugh I hate this cycle.

  • I've been very confused about being a people pleaser. Somehow one day I turned out to begin to consider other's feelings, more specifically seconding guessing??, and I am eager to change this habit as soon as such information striked me. Anyone know some ways??? Apart from that, what's the difference between being a people pleaser and being simply considerate?

  • Bonding with people has become very tricky in itself.Boundaries have become so hard to walk , peer pressure not wanting to hurt...the stakes keeps getting higher...not simple...if you are a caring person...if you are not(not overthinking more analytical person or cold).it's easier i guess

  • is being pleasant when a person really is saying "get lost" or sending thousands of quotes that require a simple and cold press of a digit (and nothing else) not a form of people pleasing and manipulation? Had the idea that the way we interact with people around is what makes is feel closer and intimate,a family and not strangers.....without having to lose ourselves completely... Maybe that's just oldfashioned and everyone lives on their own island in the end ...with their phones,troubles ,opinionsand telling ourselves that we don't need anything else...because trying desperately trying to fit in into a mold by mass influence ...not individuals anymore

  • I ❤️ school of life. Thank you ❤️

  • all of this info will get in a box ,stored in your brain . the more the box the mature you are . knowledge matter in life

  • I truly needed this video in my life. THANK YOU for all the helpful videos you create 🙏

  • this is an incredible video especially the last part is very genuine , thank you !

  • I wanted no conflict or letting people, friends, even acquaintances down. At first the effects were positive, they all became friendly towards me, I did and even when Im stressed I set myself aside just to help or be with them, until it started to be unfair, I felt that it was getting unfair, chances lost as I became like a reserve and I never get to speak up because of what will they think after? Im then easily angered and more so depressed on how Im the one who was unafair all this time, Im starting to open up, it felt a little better afterwards but its a slow process. This vid helped clear up and made me understand more on what a people pleaser is.

  • This is me. Growing up my dad had an explosive temper, although he was a great dad. Provided me with everything. I didn’t like his temper and how he responded no, and overreacted-so to my friends and work colleagues I’ve always tried to be the nice guy. I don’t like conflict.

  • when you are a people pleasr but noone n people arround you get used to that. its very hard for you to become a new one:) its hurt

  • Excellent video! 👏✔ applying, from the view point of this video, everybody (or almost everybody) is surrounded by liars. In other words, the pleaser is lying, and those being pleased too. Why? the pleaser lies because he does things that he doesn't feel like doing; and the one being pleased because he achieves his / her purposes by flattering or intimidation, but she doesn't feel a lil bit of empathy for his "servant." This one is, for him, just an object.

  • School of Life, can you offer advice on how to support a partner who has people-pleasing tendencies? I want to show up for him and support him on his growth path.

  • Just being yourself is what's best. Thank you for spreading wisdom.

  • I have been criticized by my mother for 25 years and recently I cut my relationship with her. I feel better and I became someone who wants ordinary life. But then I realized I have missed so many opportunities to connect with people and I am so resentful to my mother. I don’t have job and I am feeling depressed I might kill my mother.

  • People Pleaser = a lot of Stress . That's my experience..

  • This is me in a nutshell. My mum found it very hard to deal with being challenged or disagreed with my whole childhood. Even though I'm now an adult, I still find it stressful disagreeing with people in case they blow up like she did. Its a challenge being an adult and still feeling this way, especially in the workplace where you need to assert your opinions and disagree with people sometimes!

  • until not to long ago you could easily add all the women in the people pleaser community based on the desired model.🤣🤣

  • So you are saying that this people who weren't loved by their creators, are looking for love by pleasing people and then they become resentful of the people they pleased because they were exploited?? please tell me this is not what you are saying! Huhh??

  • the very me that I hate

  • true and true.

  • Thank you for the video. We all have needs and it is important to meet our own needs too y'know. We all need balance in our lives. Please ourselves and others. If we please only ourselves, we become selfish. If we please only others and neglect ourselves, we become zombies inside.

  • Cuts too deep.

  • Animation is off topic lol looks like that LittlePrince Book....

  • Thank you guys!!! This was awesome! I really appreciate your efforts in helping the world!

  • can you please make a video on how to sound and speak like the school of life narrator?

  • Thank you

  • Some are people pleasers in order to feel loved. And some are people pleasers in order to manipulate

  • Yes I am...

  • I people please, to check where I stand in terms of new acquaintances. And then if I'm certain respect isn't reciprocal I make a note of it to never again. And then I'll people please one last time if its a group thing. I think a second chance, after someone's too popular ego has been given a chance to process is a final fair test.

  • Damn..this is true...I think this has been my biggest flaw for me..

  • Find Pilko 1:57

  • the best enlightenment lve ever heard.people pleasing makes you feel tired all the time and seem stupid to others.

  • My mom's fault again???!!!! It hurts to accuse her for everything. The difference is that she didn' t exploit me like all those people do .. That is something you didn' t mention ...that there are a lot of people who are seeking for victims and ...slaves in their lives and our kindness( which we were taught by our mother by the way...) didn't let us imagine how cruel people can be.. and we just can't say no ... Mom you made me a good person and a big liar!!!! I will try to become a bad person!!!

  • I'm A Person Pleaser There Is A Difference Long As We Got Each Other We Don't Need No One Else

  • lol


  • I hate being a people pleaser!!! What kinds of personal strategies do you use to stop this?

  • Trying to please everyone will get you nowhere. Best to just be you.

  • This hit me hard......I've been breaking out of that cycle but watching this made me self reflect

  • thank u for this video

  • This is so me!

  • But how can we fix it?

  • Be pleasant, without being a people pleaser. That's a great message... We can be frank, without being pushy or hurting other's feelings

  • I still get really upset seeing myself causing others unhappiness

  • I was always afriad of displeasing others and always put other's need before myself even going as far as sacrificing myself for other people's wish.This constant fear of not knowing if other is please with myself slowly develop into a ocd syndrome to which I still suffer from today but than I learned I will never be happy if I just ignore my needs to help some people that will just throw you aside once they have done using you up for their pleasure so DONT DONT DONT ever put others before you if it means sacrificing and damaging yourself in the process

  • ,,There are two kinds of pity. One, the weak and sentimental kind, which is really no more than the heart's impatience to be rid as quickly as possible of the painful emotion aroused by the sight of another's unhappiness, that pity which is not compassion, but only an instinctive desire to fortify one's own soul agains the sufferings of another; and the other, the only one at counts, the unsentimental but creative kind, which knows what it is about and is determined to hold out, in patience and forbearance, to the very limit of its strength and even beyond." -Stephan Zweig

  • I don't know what to say about this video. I would like to say that I 'm protective of myself, but in a way, I have so often felt like a "fraud" when I people please for self-gain, that I was more open to hearing what was being said. I think the person who wrote this - or approved of the writing - was lazily careless. "Liar" is a fear reaction to me, and seems very much out of place for a professional psychotherapist/counselor, if that's what this person is/trying to be. This term is not only vague and offensive, but it's irresponsibly used. According to this logic - and I use that term loosely here - one could say that we're all "liars" in that we use common manners when interacting with others because that is expected of congenial people in our modern culture. Do we really mean to convey respect toward people who behave like assholes, for example? No, but we do, if he/she is our university professor or employer. Of course! Are we "lying" for behaving the way we "should" to maintain a relationship conducive to our needs? Furthermore, the "tips" presented within are grossly over simplified! "Just stop doing it!" is basically the advice. Oh thanks for that profound wisdom, dumbass, why didn't I think of that?! Now I can go about the rest of my life presenting myself just as I am and be perfectly content within. It reminds me of a superficial pop-culture magazine article I'd read in the waiting room of a doctor's office.

  • The parent thing explains a lot. This hit me real hard

  • youre a genius man

  • It's me..

  • “Eat your over boiled Brussel sprouts...!”

    • Every night I was told... So I would eat to please parent and would vomit. Even worse outcome. So that’s how a people pleaser grew out of overboiled smelly Brussel Sprouts.

  • I was never a person pleaser, but I've always been a liar

  • As long as you work for others, you will always be a people-pleaser. Perhaps there is something unconsciously arrogant about it too. We assume that our verdict on something, or our appearance at a social event, has some significance for those involved; but in reality, after 5 mins they'll have completely forgotten.

  • Sorry to post this again here, but I originally planned to post it on this video as it fits the theme. "This video hit close to home. Yesterday I began to write about my past,I wrote up a page and a half. I will tell my story and what I wanted to cover here, as I deleted everything today and dont think I will continue to write it. The book was originally meant to revolve around my experience with a "bully" at school. In my high school years, I was being bullied by him, but also fell into a friendship with him. That is to say, he was a gaslighter and I think either a narcissist or a psychopath. I experienced kind of a stockholm syndrome and how I wasnt able to get out of this situation namely because I didnt see a way out, was a people pleaser, and thought I could endure it until I get out of school. In the book I wanted to write about his psyche, his methods, as I experienced them, and all from a distanced perspective, describing what I had been experiencing. Also exploring the origins why I was "accepting my role" from a psychological point and what were the results/consequences of this (I think i have "selbstunsicher-vermeidende Persönlichkeitsstörung"- in german) in a phenomenological way which means what pathological behavior or feelings I experienced as a direct or indirect consequence. But as I said, today I deleted it, I realized that in order to do it correctly I needed to write my entire backstory from a detached point of view, which is contradictory since i can only write from my point of view. I dont know if I want to do it. Who would read it ? Would self reflection help me or is scratching the wounds unhealthy ? Why am I not focusing on the important things, on studying, and let myself be influenced by pathological aspects of my past ? Thats why I deleted it. Furthermore, I dont have anything new to say. Everything that happened to me can be read on fucking wikipedia, and im not a particularly skillful writer. There is too much to say and too little fucks are to give, everybody has his problems. But one aspect which I strongly feel about is this: When people do me wrong, I dont condemn them, because I understand their suffering. Because I understand their suffering and love them, I dont want to hurt them and dont act. If you get gaslighted, you are being conditioned to fear a consequence from your actions. It is a learning process. So in that way, I am afraid, I learned to be afraid, I learned to be silent, I learned not to talk about my problems and sufferings. Iearned not to say fuck you life. That is why I wanted to write the book, in order to be free of this pathological thought pattern, in order to talk about it and share with people. Maybe its just better to let go and focus on science."

  • I dealt with it with someone who told me to like me for something in their interest like they will like me at first then a year or a half year ago they rejected for no explanation it hurts makes me think every now and then they like me a lot then not long after they make me feel like they don’t like me but I don’t know why I am too scared to leave them because they say we like you too much please don’t leave that’s how I feel

  • What do you do when the person you're with threatens to kill herself if you leave talk about guilt trip 101

  • i realize i am a people pleaser. i have always constrained what i wanted to say for fear that i might insult or said something negative to someone else. so i have been the quiet one. but i realized people that i tried to please by being nice and not saying much saw me as some sort of prideful arrogant bitch. it doesnt matter what you do people will dislike you and thats inevitable. might as well be yourself

  • I can’t thank you enough for what you have taught me, The School Of Life

  • Excuse me ... could I know the name of the narrator because I think he is my vocal twin !!

  • Watching this video was like looking at myself in the mirror. From not being able to express myself when I got in trouble by my father, to not wanting my parents to always fight and ease the tension in the house to going the extra mile at work even though it wasn’t my responsibility to do so. I would eventually blow up or build up a lot of resentment and feel horrible. I now have some kind of understanding how not to be a people pleaser at the age of 40!

  • I'm definitely a people pleaser. I hate myself and want to die every single day. I'm terrified of letting people down. I always find myself in awkward situations with most people I meet because I just follow along despite my reservations with whatever anyone wants. I fail at conversation because I'm always afraid I won't respond exactly in the way that will impress someone the most. I'm always in trouble socially, some how, trying to save face. Pushing people away is my special talent despite my pathological need to please them. No matter my awareness of the problem, I just can't stop this behavior. It's happens naturally and fluently. I'm depressed, anxiety ridden, suicidal, and lonely. It sucks. I wish I could stop being like this.

  • Wow! That was exacly my childhood.

  • But, it's too late.

  • Thank you for this. I am wanting to overcome this after all these years..

  • I cannot even begin to tell you the amount of really stupid blunders I have made in my past because of this and the damage it has done to my self-image as well as my reputation. I have felt spineless and weak and have been filled with both regret and resentment towards others. I'm glad I found this video and now I know there is a term for this type of behavior. Time to heal and recover.

  • Whenever i watch one of your videos, i always feel a lump forming in my throat. It hurts seeing myself in a lot of pain and distress so it feels really good when you guys address it, it really does. Please don't ever stop making videos. They are practically my lifesavers now :')

  • I don't think people pleasing is strictly lying. It can be an act of love. If there's someone in your life who you value, you naturally want to show them what they mean to you by giving them a little of what they like. It's about flexibility and compromise. If the person reciprocates your affection, they'll inevitably try to please you too. If you're talking about pleasing people just to fit in, that's actually about conformity and to that I'd say don't martyr yourself unless it's for *your well being as much as theirs* .

  • I have trained myself to become a people-pisser-offer.

  • i feel as if though all my life up to now i was a people pleaser just because i was always had this fear of rejection from others that if i didn't comply with their wishes and thoughts , that this person would somehow " banish" me from their mindsets as one that contradicted with them and ultimately one that could not become friends with or have meaningful conversations with that really scared me but now i am realizing that exemplifying actions of a people pleaser might have been one the reasons why people didn't want to the inaciate those relationships in the first place.

  • This is so me. If I did something or said something my dad doesn't like I'd be called selfish. So I would try to please my dad so he wouldn't call me selfish.

  • Do you know porcoddio

  • Give your the best and let others to judge it..lolololololo

  • This one hit REALLY close to home. Great video

  • i have realized that i have been too easy to evryone. its not like they will treat u the way u treat them

  • you just described myself i thought almost no one had this problem

  • Yes im a huge people pleaser. And it pisses me off

  • Where is "dx" in integral?

  • This is me....😐😣

  • portuguese please 🙏🙏🙏🙏

  • Quanto mais você se amar, menos se importará com a opinião dos outros... The more you love yourself, the less you care about others' opinions ... Namastê!

  • your app isnt available for ipad... Also this video didn't help

  • So well said a road to freedom from social anxiety and guilt! Cheers; with great thanks!!

  • This is a great video but it seems that it mostly explains why a person becomes a people pleaser not how to stop pleasing people.

  • Most of these subjects be hitting home...

  • I am a people pleaser

  • I was raised by an authoritarian father and a weak mother. During my childhood he would scream at me just for saying my opinion, sometimes he beat me up just for disobeying him. My mother's personality was very weak and my older sister had also low self-esteem. I was raised in constant fear almost until my teenage years and I also developed this "pleaser" personality. Then I struggled overcome that and since I wasn't a kid anymore didn't have that much fear, but the harm was already done. Now I am a 34 yr old guy still affraid of being myself, pessimistic, and single. I've had very few and short romantic relationships due to my shynesss and fears. After several years trying different things to overcome social anxiety I feel like I cannot undo so much harm. I'll have to live with this incomplete personality for the rest of my life. I don't even know if I'll be ever capable of having a long lasting relationship. And it really sucks.

  • I can say that I fall into this category, even though I try not to. I think is always about wanting to be loved and to be accepted. We can discuss about this rationally saying "people who truly loves you will stay by your side" etc... But really, when the fear of disappointing is so strong that even a comment from a stranger will haunt you forever, there's not really much you can do to stop those intrusive thoughts about "I need to please others and behave if I want to be loved". From my experience, trying to get out of this way of thinking, I only became more cold, anxious, and I feel horrible about myself... it's really a pain. I always say that I don't care, but I do, and in order to not feel, I get distant with people. It's tiring...

  • I've been in a relationship with a people pleaser it's made both of us crazy and it were a very toxic kind of relationship based on fear ,lies and hiding

  • Very guilty of this and it's something I've been working hard to get out of. But, I'm curious, and I apologize if this turns out to be a bit too personal. Towards the end of the video they mention having the courage to say "No." But, what if you are in an environment whenever you try to say "No" it's never accepted, and you have no way of to cut them off of your life? What if you have a view, but you're shamed for thinking that way (now, this isn't the fact that I crave to be right, mind you. It isn't important to me to be right. But I'm talking about how people react to your line of thinking)?

  • There's nothing with wanting to please people, so as long as they don't think it will always be successful (either from the giver or receiver).

  • I don't know if it's the narrator speech or the way it was recorded, but if you watch this video in 1.25X speed or 1.5X speed, the sound is very bad and it's VERY HARD to understand. And I watch almost every video in youtube in a faster speed.

  • i love love love these compact philosophy videos! Could you please do another one but from ancient rome??

  • That certainly isn't me. I'm much too lazy and selfish to give a damn about trying to please others. Especially if it meant going out of my way.


  • I’m a people pleaser. I’m a pushover. I’ve always known it came from a dark place as well as possibly insecurity despite how I act so confident and never knew how to pinpoint it. I’m currently working on it and trying to just do me. This video actually made me realize how psychologically damaged I was but just couldn’t but a finger on it. I always thought it was perfectionism from insecurity . I have all these awards and still want more , and feel like I’m still not good enough. I feel like I can’t even talk to People if I’m not in their status or have done something to earn it. How do I get out of these chains?

  • My takeaway is be kind for the sake of being kind. When you do good, do not expect something in return. As a former people pleaser, I always found it my priority to seek validation from other people. Not anymore. This is me, I'll be the best I can be for you, if we can't agree, then let's move forward. :)