Why we Mustn’t Please all the People



You can’t please all the people all of the time. You’ve heard the expression but how much have you taken it to heart? We are often our own worst enemies. We will invest a considerable amount of time worrying about issues we have no control over and overlooking those we can.

As right-thinking humans we see that the needs of others matter as much as ours, and if life was kinder we would be surrounded by people who are like-minded. But of course life is more often about working or living with people who aren’t so accommodating, who are takers rather than givers, or who see their own needs as paramount.

It’s Not all About Them

Some of you have a particular problem. It’s that you are much too concerned with the needs of others. You’re  too worried about what they think, what they want, what their needs are and what might make them happy. If they get moody or upset all the stops are pulled out in order to settle them down, make things right or stop the upsets from escalating.

Not only is this overly demanding on our resources it is one that is often self-imposed.


Well, it usually boils down to our own sense of self-worth and confidence. Despite the fact we know it’s impossible to please all people all of the time we still try. Anxious people tend to do this as a form of self-defence. They believe that by attempting to please others and keep them sweet it will deflect personal attacks and criticism.

What’s More Workable?

  • We all make mistakes and that’s a fact of life. It’s our responsibility to own up or manage the situation when this happens, but it’s not our responsibility when other people mess up.
  • And, we are not responsible for the happiness of other adults.
  • Neither are we responsible for how other people view us.
  • If you have tried to do the right thing and someone takes it the wrong way, it’s not your responsibility.
  • We can’t take responsibility for the way other people feel. If we’ve tried to be good and tried to be kind, that’s all we can reasonably do.

Too many attempts at pleasing others results in too many uncertainties. It pushes us off balance too many times.

Trying to be good, look good and avoid mistakes all the time are impossible goals, so relax, and try looking after number one for a change.

See also:

Be more daring, there’s nothing to lose
Making moments: free course
Six signs you have low self-esteem

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