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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FURTHER READING
“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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Comments

  • Are you a people pleaser? Let us know in the comments below or on our app: bit.ly/2JFp7Ev

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

    • yes i am i dealt with people who had no tolerance let alone patience to deal with someone like me who made mistakes in his life. Instead of being told it's ok i spent my teen years getting yelled at and part of my childhood i endured the same thing even the tiniest mistake i got scolded for it. I have also dealt with early trauma as a kid. I have a stepfather who not only never wanted to be bothered with me but didn't understand the struggles i was going through with my Aspergers and i was struggling far more back than in contrast to now. I please others because i know what it's like to feel worthless to feel a jealousy that others get praised while i am just another side character in life. Deep down a part of me represses so much emotion that at times instead of pleasing people i wanna grab them by the throat and slam them by a fucking wall. Tell them that if they don't stop their bullshit i'll strangle them to death. I fucking hate it when people scold me and get all snappy at me expecting an answer. Having dealt with this emotional abuse early on i buried my anger and bottled that mutherfucker like crazy. People need to learn that some people like me are bitter at the very world, and we try to be nice people but deep down we wonder if we have a right to exist due to how we were treated, and how i still carry the belief at times that making mistakes results in loads of scolding.

    • Juliz of course you shouldn't put unwarranted aggression on innocent people. But depending on who they are you should either tell them, or learn to disassociate that anger. You never explained what they do to trigger you, and I mean is it because they are bullying you, or is it something completely innocent that just so happens to set you off. Because those are very different situations

    • I just found out myself in this video. I hadn't known it. I got this one from the person whom I love and don't stimulate my anxiety.

  • 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 !! soundcloud.com/amr-adel-60674746/narration

  • 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 can't hold onto any sort of strong identity myself, a convincing person, or a group of people have to assign one to me, but pleasing people seems to be the constant without external forces, don't know if that's bad or not, seems to work for me throughout my life, I don't cause displeasure or inconvenience, of course I don't get anything by doing this but then again I don't expect to, I just like being inconspicuous.

  • 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.

  • THE COMMENTS ARE SO THERAPEUTIC I LOVE ALL OF YOU DO GOODERS ❤️❤️

  • 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. :)

  • I needed this video. I work in a job that puts my people pleasing to the test and it's honestly pushed me to my last bits of sanity a few times. I also think this is common for a lot of artists to have this mentality too. I could be a little biased though. 🤔🤔

  • ME, BITCH!

  • 😱😩😭😎😖😞😫👂👂💣💥

  • How to leave someone and ensure them of how much relationship meant to us?

  • Not everything begins with a bad childhood there are many factors that happen outside of the home that can be so severe that they change outgoing people into introverts

  • Human beings are very dangerous animals

  • Start stabbing people when ever possible.

  • Must have followed me around candid camera, day and night for years beginning 40 years ago...

  • Hello, my name is smiley and I'm a former people pleaser. Now I'm cured. It's been 3 years since I last gave a fuck.

  • I find myself in this so clearly. The "father portrait" matches perfectly, and despite knowing all this, it's really hard to change the behavior. Makes me question the path i chose in life, and the constant struggle of "finding myself", recognizing my genuine wants and needs, not the expected version of those.

  • This hit me deep. It's me😢

  • Parents are a bish

  • setting up high expectations of people is very ridiculous. we shoudlnt set high expectations because its very unrealistic and only might cause disappointment

  • A big I AM A PEOPLE PLEASER or was, cuz everything i got from this behaviour is being abused by others, i came to this state by a wife with some critical health issues, so i have to tolerate her to always, and this is what like printed this behaviour into me. But i can say that i have learned how to treat her and be hard on her when its time with intelligence. The title was so like the old me and thats why i pressed it in the first time. Also i have confirmed some of my ideas. So thank you so much for your amazing advices.

  • It's hard to watch this video and realise that you're everything that's described in it. It's even harder to accept that at a certain point you don't know if what you feel is what you want or what you think others wish you wanted. I feel this constant pressure to not disappoint others and I'm not sure if I lived for myself or for someone else all this time. What's sure is that I want to change this now, it's a damaging behaviour. Please don't judge people-pleasers as cruel liars, they don't like to lie but for personal reasons they feel it's the only way to go. Help and support them if you can because this can evolve in something serious and it's not easy for a people-pleaser to just stop being so.

  • Innocence is a submissive position

  • Whilst I'm a huge fan of your work, your reasoning can sometimes seem a little biased by an over-reliance on psychodynamic theory. Not everything can be explained by environment alone (e.g. genetic influence). Some with aggressive/pushy parents may grow to become like them, the opposite of a people pleaser.

    • You are right! We definitely ARE biased towards psychodynamic psychotherapy. Forgive us - we do see your point.

  • This video just changed my Life!

  • Great video easy to relate to these ways of thinking. Self destructive no doubt, it's never too late to change that though. I too have had these exact issue and am now doing much better by making myself aware of the old habits.

  • Excellent topic. I'm also finding great insight in "No More Mr. Nice Guy" by Robert Glover. It describes me very accurately.

  • i am a people pleaser and unfortunately, i realized that too late. because i was suffering on my own, i make people smile and laugh but im the one feeling sad and empty inside. i guess i was just a clown to them, because i used to have friends i can rely on but now i dont.

  • A friend of mine asked me to watch this video and let them know what it's all about . I just couldn't say no I'm to nice

  • almost all your videos end up on the problems faced in childhood

  • That's so me! Great video, thank you!

  • It is a feeling I could never put into words. But you've managed to express it so well. I'm constantly in a position where I want others to like me. Even my pets! I would like to say I'm a compassionate person and I don't want to hurt anyone if there's an option to avoid it. Most of the time I create that option out of my discomfort. I've realized this cannot be practical. So I try to remind myself again and again that I cannot please everyone. But why do I feel so guilty after I say 'No' to someone 😥 guess it'll take time to learn.

  • I low-key think I’m a people pleaser.... sigh.... 😕😕😕

  • The people pleaser is highly capable of being a tyrant if their masters (those who are pleased) are tyrants. Because, to please the tyrant master, the people pleaser must follow his masters' step and be cruel to those that displease his master. But at the same time, the people pleaser fear that those suffering will one day take revenge on him.

  • Haha the conclusion always makes it sound so easy. No problem I'll just write that on the palm of my hand, crap I'm sweating from anxiety.

  • Hello, this hit incredibly incredibly hard. I‘m a huge people pleaser, which i hate, I am working on it now. Funny thing is, I react absolutely badly to people lieing to me, it‘s a thing i absolutely hate and am always scared of, pretty much I don‘t really trust people around me to be honest. It just hit me that it might be because of the way I behave. The fact that, while i wouldn‘t lie about big things that would hurt someone, I also constantly lie to people around me by withholding critical information like that I would rather be alone than go out. I‘m just really scared of upsetting them, so I keep it bottled inside. Which isn‘t fair to others but most of all also not fair to myself. Huh. The part about not wanting to upset my parents or make things difficult hit me especially hard. I have an extremely hardworking mother who puts all her energy into working and getting money but was rarely emotionally there for me. My dad always seemed to me like a very unstable person, he is extremely nice, but it always wondered what he was bottling up inside because he never expressed it. I never told them a lot of things, like my sexuality, even saying I want to move out one day scares me because I don‘t want to burden them in any way. Thank you for showing me this, I‘m going to go ahead and speak my mind right now

  • I realized that through this channel you gave me the knowledge about questions I never know I had and about aspect of my personality and that knowledge helped me know myself more , accepted me with all the flows I have , and only then I feel the change within

  • Yes, I think by articulating one's needs and opinions so that they can be understood as reasonable, one can greatly increase the empathy of the reaction of those that are impacted. They may not like it, but if they are humane, they will at least understand and accept it without malice. But this does take practice and patience.

  • Im not a ppl pleaser isnt that why ppl want to sabatoge anything MI do. Yall video suggestions towards MI are evidence.

  • I cannot thank you enough for making me realise what I already know. I am a people pleaser, I am a liar. I mould myself into someone I'm not so that anyone I'm interacting with is not displeased with me. What I can't understand is that why I'm behaving in such a manner. It could be because if I fear that if I don't, I'll be considered a jerk or maybe I'll have to handle someone not liking me and it scares me. What I can't understand is why I've turned out like this, because I wasn't this way since 8 or so months ago. My new behaviour is also causing a great deal of stress at work and I keep on raising the expectations of my superiors, only to let them down. The three ways out of this behaviour, which have been described in the video are good. However, they are tough for someone like me who holds infinite veils on his faces to take them all off at once. I hope that I'll be able to learn from this short clip that had more profound meaning to it. Thank you.

  • Awwe this is so me. 😢😢😢

  • The first section with the Father at 1:30 explained my life nearly perfectly. Thanks for making this

  • Smoke meth hard core drug habits allways chage that

  • I had to listen to this like three times to let it sink in.

  • Jesus this video described my existence perfectly

  • Love your vids

  • mm this is completely me. ive been struggling these past 2 years trying to figure out what i was. why i react or with-hold from people the way i do. its harder for me to make bonds with others. its all a struggle within urself, ya know. and this realization and acknowledgment of it adds to my desire to say, fvck it. fvck all this mess, im now the reason why im suffering and i gotta stop aha every day is another day to improve. keep on movin, even if its baby steps in the right direction. take those baby steps seriously because even baby steps will eventually take you where you need to be

  • But you crafted all the artwork and the way you talk in this video to please your audience of "people-pleasers"

  • is that why i enjoy being alone? so i can be who i really am?

  • man... this is all me.....

  • There's nothing wrong with pleasing people .you just cant please everyone at the same time. Its simple no science to this shit

  • I once thought my english knowledge was pretty good, believing that in three years of properly listening and watching english stuff, I would have known pretty much every word. I now realise that I know nothing about the real meaningful and philosophical vocabulary that is used in these videos; whenever I finish watching one, I feel like I learned so many things about both life and english vocabulary.

  • I feel like this video missed the mark. People pleasers are typically codependents who learned that it was not safe to express ones views so we depend on external validation to feel self worth. The core of this behaviour is a tremendous fear of abandonment which is frequently triggered by the abusive people attracted to a people pleaser type.

  • I do have that feeling of anytime I correct someone, or someone disagrees with me I hurt them in someway. I think that's why I have so much trouble in social situations, I'm constantly watching myself so I don't offend, or hurt anyone else. Also I find it hard to disagree with people sometimes, and doing that for so long has made me wonder what I actually want. For so long I've listened to others on what to do, then I just agree and do it, then it's not what I want and I find out I wasted my time. I've done that so many times I don't know if something I do now is from someone else or myself. Also there's the conforming to others opinion and such to where I'm not entirely sure anymore of what my opinion is on anything anymore. I grew up with a severely depressed mother who couldn't get out of bed to save anyone's life, and so many things I did I'd get yelled at or spanked for. I also tried to help her, but nothing I did was good enough. It went on till I was about 11 or 12. I'm honestly not sure how to fix my mental issues when time or society won't stop and let me pick up the pieces, I just have to keep dragging myself a long as more and more of me falls apart. Time stops for no man.

  • Thank you

  • I'm a people pleaser. I have a very hard time saying 'no' to people. I wouldn't call myself a liar, merely helpful, to everyone, sometimes to a fault. Several reactions to this video: 1. My parents were great and very supportive. It was my classmates growing up who rejected me. I think that's where it started, wantng acceptance outside the home. School of Life often blames parents for ailments and ignores kids' social lives at school. 2. There's no reason apart from lying, to explain why it's wrong to be a people pleaser. I would argue it's right to be so, so long as you balance your priorities in a healthy way. In general, I don't like how this video makes pleasing others into a pejoritive. If the world had more people pleasers, it'd be a better place. 3. The notion that people around us today are different from those we knew in childhood - actually sometimes they're not, sometimes they're worse. We're adults, and we're pretty good at predicting the emotions and possible reactions of people around us. Most adults are good at reading others. 4. Your own video here presents several valid reasons for lying - sometimes a person around you really is too fragile for the truth. 5. Regarding staying in a relationship - what if you're staying in it, not for your partner, but for your autistic child who needs you? Some hardships are worth tolerating.

  • It seems like I can strangely and strongly relate to every video on this channel but lack motivation to change for good. Yet here I find myself being hypnotized to always sit and watch then wait for the next new video just like tv junkies and their reality tv shows.

  • Why is caillou in the thumbnail, he's not a people pleaser 😂😂😂

  • I feel personally targeted by this video ha ha.

  • Please people who please you back. Simple. Don't please people who aren't worth your time and effort