”There’s just no pleasing him/her ever” is a common thought for many.
Probably an untrue statement to start with, but more important is: do you actually need to please him/her?

Also true, some people are just impossible to please. Like your mother. Or your teacher.

But then again, you should make sure you know the difference between pleasing and listening to advice (and taking it).

There are two types of pleasing in my opinion:

Bad pleasing is when you want someone to be on a good mood, not to get upset with you or to judge you. It’s about buying goodwill and making sure you’re kept in good graces.

Good pleasing is more about making someone else happy, but yourself also: like bringing your partner breakfast in bed. It’ll be sure to please them and makes you also happy to be of service.

Bad pleasing is more about low self-esteem and wanting to people like you. “Am I not good enough?”, “Will s/he not like me if I say no?”

Bad pleasing is when you are tiptoeing around a person or an issue, so as not to upset the balance. Bad pleasing leaves you running around, trying to make everything “right” – a headless chicken running around. Or a dog chasing its tail: since the need to please comes from within, you’ll never catch up.

So, stop pleasing (the bad kind).

And then there’s the advice part: listening to someones’ advice and taking it if it’s something that can help you, is just common sense.
Even if you know everything (like I do) and are right about everything (check that as well), sometimes other people may just have accidentally stumbled upon a gold grain (probably a one-time happenstance) and they are willing to share it with you.

When someone gives you advice, make sure you are not discarding it simply because you don’t want to start pleasing someone.

They might actually have a point.

In case when you’re getting some feedback and your first instinct is to definitely not to do as they suggest, take a moment and think: If I follow this advice, is it because I want this person to like me and agree with me (the bad pleasing kind in case you didn’t follow my train of thought) or is the idea actually good?

Pleasing everyone (or even just a few people around you) is not something that will give you energy, ideas or support your well-being.

But listening to advice? Usually you end up with something more and better than what you started with.advice

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4 thoughts on “People pleasing

  1. Gershon

    In my opinion, much good advice is best left unsaid unless asked for. Even then, I’ve found it better to encourage people to seek their own solutions if the matter is not important or if I do not have expertise in the matter. I’m no expert in giving advice, and when I give it, I try to identify the source of the advice. For instance, I can say I prefer combat boots for walking as I’ve walked many miles in them. I cannot say they are better than trail runners as I haven’t worn them for many miles.

    Naturally, if a person is really stuck and truly wants advice, I will give it. I try to use phrases like “I’ve found this works for me, but others find this other method works equally well. Why not try both of them and see what works for you?”

    I’ve run across people in the military who demanded things be done their way. My response was, “Yes sir!” and then I’d continue working the way I was working.

    1. Hot Potatoe Post author

      It is a bit risky to write about advice stuff on a site that specializes in giving advice 😀
      But then again, my advice if of course always the best 😆

    1. Hot Potatoe Post author

      Thanks Sarah – somehow this train of thought hit home today for me :mrgreen:

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