You Can’t Please Everyone All of the Time

Pleasing people might seem like a good thing. After all, you’re trying to help others, right? Well, not necessarily. Sometimes when you try to please someone, you’re more focused on wanting the person to like you and think well of you. And that may have negative effects on your health.

You may be afraid to express your own wants, needs, and beliefs. You may be worried that you’ll make the other person unhappy and they won’t like you. So you may do things you don’t want to do. You may say things you don’t believe. And you may deny your own needs to please someone else. Over time, this can make you feel unhappy and stressed.

If you tend to be a people pleaser, never fear. There are steps you can take to help strike the right balance between pleasing others and pleasing yourself.

  1. Figure out what matters to you. Then try to make your actions align with your priorities. When someone asks you to do something, ask yourself if it’s important to you. If it is, say yes. If not, then it’s okay to say no.
  2. Consider your needs as well. It’s not selfish to factor in your own needs. In fact, you may want to block out time in your schedule for yourself. That may help you set boundaries and avoid overcommitting.
  3. Learn polite ways to disagree. It’s okay to have a difference of opinion. You don’t have to blindly agree. Stay true to your own beliefs and speak up if need be. You can do so in a respectful way.

It’s normal to want to please people. Just be careful not to set aside your own wants, needs, and beliefs in the process. Pretending to be something you’re not to please someone else may lead to stress and unhappiness.

That’s not to say that you should never do something that you dislike to help someone else. Just make sure you’re doing it for the right reason. And, in general, try to be honest about who you are. It’s a good bet that people will like you for that.