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


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

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    • The School of Life Please make a video on: How to be pleasent without being a paople-pleaser? It would be just greatly helpful.

    • Made tons of mistake by being people pleaser...

  • 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.

  • This is the life of the celebrity, a good child, and a upstanding citizens, also liberal😘

  • 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

  • Step one: give zero fucks

  • There was 666 comments I had to help

  • I think one should be people pleasing at times. Americans have become so agressive. I do not believe you should lie to children, and tell them the can be whatever they want. One can't turn a sow's ear into a silk purse.

  • just by being subscribed to this channel you are a person pleaser. Very ironic.

    • Fascinating thought but we genuinely feel that subscribing to a You Tube channel isn't the sort of problematic people-pleasing we are discussing here, which tends to collect around moments of romantic and professional life.

  • I'm a people pleaser and sometimes I'm actually terrified of it. Even when my parents ask me what I want for my birthday I literally pause just trying to find out who I am and what do I actually want. I remember a couple months ago I read a Aesop fable I unfortunately forgot what the name was but it was about a boy his grandfather and they were trying bring a donkey to the market to sell. Anyways in the moral of the story pretty much said "If you try to please everyone you end up pleasing no one". It actually made me think for days about it.

  • I am this and I need to stop it, I'm starting to speak up now and my people aren't taking it to well. Time to move out

  • We need to learn self love, and establish boundaries with people. Instead of seeking outside sources of validation (people pleasing), look for validation from within. We are all just products of Narcissistic abuse :(

  • Could people pleasing be associated with the instinct to be safe in order to survive? Kind of like herd mentality. You stick with the group, follow the herd and you will be safe, but instead of learning to make it on your own you jump from one group to the next after one has fallen apart.

  • ¿Por qué los títulos siempre están en español, pero solamente he visto un vídeo subtitulado en español?

  • Yup. Unfortunately that is me with a little bit more. : /

  • It would mean so much to me if you could do a video on losing a friend.

  • im such a big people pleaser i really want to stop

  • There's nothing wrong with being both direct and diplomatic in proper measure in any given situation,in general,mind you.

  • Wow

  • This video explains everything wrong with my life and gives a reason to it. Thanks.

  • I have read the title wrong...

  • I should have seen this earlier. I'm enlightened about many problems that make me confused. I've been a pure people pleaser and I'll try to change this for my own sanity. Thank you.

  • This video hit the head on the nail for sure.

  • I've been used all my life because I was always taught if you have something to give you give it. So people love that I give but take advantage of me all the time.

  • Wow. Thank you.

  • if you watch these videos something is wrong with your childhood.

  • to the point of "how to fix being a people pleaser": use your altruism how you see fit, but temper it with context. simply express how you feel and dont worry about how others feel as its not your job to ensure anything. sure, be aware and consider not being callous to the experience of others, but know its not healthy to care more about the people around you than for your own needs. dont predicate your actions on "how will others take this?" base your choices on "what do i want? what is the best way to get it?" no one is going to consistently reach out and put YOU first all the time, so dont do it for other people. just like "you put the oxygen mask on yourself, before you put it on your children"

  • the artstyle and animation is hideous, some of the worst ive ever seen

  • Good message but I don’t think I’ve ever heard a more boring voice.

  • 1st World Problems lol

  • As a people pleaser I 100% agree with all of this

  • I needed this badly. I appreciate the time and effort spent in making this video! I've been dealing with this for some time now, and when we continue to lie to ourselves and others, it feels as though literal pressure builds up inside. Thank you for your help in both understanding and addressing this within myself! : )

  • I am sadly a people-pleaser. It's in my blood. I realised recently how this has made me dishonest with the closest people to myself. I decided to abandon this ugly habit, but it's still not working for me as I wish. I think I need more time to change.

  • If I didn't please people I wouldn't have a job

  • I'm 22 now and have shot down every opportunity at doing something I've wanted to do because I felt I had to please my parents with what they wanted me to do (which was never the case, just like this video explained - I wasn't able to explain my passion due to being worried of their disappointment). I've become a pushover and always put myself second when it comes to people pleasing. Something happened over the last year where I've come to realize I have to care about myself, be a little selfish and more careful before I can ever care about someone else. It's tough shit, here I thought I was just a genuinely nice dude but more and more I see it's a psychological issue.

  • oh my god it describes me perfectly..

  • some accents drive me up with a wall but this accent makes me calm as a cucumber

  • Sadly I know people like this

  • Basically, tell the truth.

  • Oh look its me

  • I’ve never been able to express things like this video has

  • ON TRENDING !!! 💗💗

  • Thank you :)

  • superego>ego

  • My fiance is this. His parents are extremely overbearing so...I get it but I hate it

  • I notice the less friendly I am the more respect I get.

  • Stop being a nigger lover

  • But I love pleasing people

  • You think that this type of people, possess a certain part of narcissism in its character??

  • This hit me way too accurately and I think it’s time I seeked help, can I get some feedback if maybe I’m being to ridiculous? I’m autistic, and just like the example in the video, my parents started to not accept anything I do around the ages 11 or 12 and it only got worse over the years. I am now 20 and I have stressed out my mother so much that she’s been mentioning suicide multiple times. I’ve never done anything so terrible imo, some of the worst things are like when the school called my mom saying that I joked in science class that I would drink a chemical. I didn’t know that everyone would react so strongly, I was incredibly apologetic; my main problem with autism is having trouble understanding people and interacting with them. But most of the things that actua stress my Mom are the little day to day things like not making my bed perfectly, or misunderstanding something she said. The real problem with the relationship with my mom is the computer. She believes I am addicted and for a long time, I believed her and anytime I do something as small as annoy her her helping clean the house, she would take away my computer for at least a day saying that it’s making me stupid, even if I was never on it the whole day and the day before. I’m 20 years old, was enlisted in the navy for awhile but discharged when they found out I had autism, and I still try to please my mom as best I can because she’s getting old and sick and she is actually a wonderful person; but I’ve given my family all the money I earned in the navy, and I can’t go to college because of no money and apparently my parents are complicated with the government and can’t get a loan, moved to another country where I don’t even have the rights to work, my parents left my birth certificate in the other country which I need to gain the rights to work or go to school, and now I’m trying really hard to get self taught skills like programming and video editing to work entirely online. my Mom gets mad that i spend too much time doing this useless stuff and says I have to limit it to 2 hours only which is no where near enough time. Yet I do what she says. I still go to bed every night at 10pm because that’s my bed time, no matter if it’s a weekend or not or if my friends make fun of me and even though I have nothing to wake up early for like work or school. I still accept my punishment of no computer even if it could cost me a job opportunity. I always thought that staying quiet and try my best to keep everyone happy is for the best but this situation has been getting worse for years and I don’t see any other option. Please believe when I tell you that I cannot change my mother’s mind if I don’t have a good reason. If I ask for my computer back she’ll just say “why? So you can play games again or edit more videos that don’t bring money?”. Interacting with others while I was in the navy made me realize how much of a people pleaser I am, and I don’t want to carry this on because I have bigger dreams I want to accomplish and I think my relationship with my mom is the problem. What should I do?

  • Dude u opened my eyes this is something that I’ve just gotten over recently and it’s hard to realize


  • I've been this way all my life. I always thought it was better to please the public rather than please myself. In school, I would be told to put others before me, always. I started giving in to other people's wants without thinking about what I wanted, took late nights to work on every bit of homework, and did not speak up when classmates were annoying me, just so I could avoid the displeasure of others. I got sick because I was giving into so much that I lost sleep. I filled my plate too much with others' wishes. I've been trying to fix myself after that, but I feel like I'm diving into a sea of dirty water. I feel like I'm going to destroy whatever appreciation anyone I know had for me. I've been starting to hate myself and the outside world more and more each day, and I can't help but blame myself because I'm still afraid of shifting the blame onto others. Why should I care about myself, anyway? I'm just one person out of many. I'm barely significant. Why should I care about my own needs if I'm just a droplet in this polluted water of society?

  • Facts 💯

  • Everytime someone even slightly gets hurt by me in some way, I blow up. I give in. I do lie to make people feel better..

  • This sounds like you are posing societies issues on an indivuals responsibility. I cannot effect others opinions and being a people pleaser is just that. No one has 100% altruistic behaviors and everyone is guilty of being taken advantage of as well as taking advantage of an opportunity. This opinion piece is really pushed off as fact and some opinions are best left to those who know you.