“We can’t please everyone anyway”
Many people are constantly concerned about what other people think of them. A psychologist explains where this behavior pattern comes from and what you can do about it.
The fear of not pleasing others runs deep within us.
Constantly trying to please everyone is not good for our mental health. Nevertheless, many cannot let go of this insatiable desire for recognition. «The fear of not pleasing others is deeply rooted in us and has to do with the fact that we are social beings. We used to be in smaller communities and it was important to get along with everyone and to get along well with everyone, because exclusion would have been life-threatening in the worst case,” explains psychologist Ben Kneubühler (35).
From a psychological point of view, there are, among other things, the basic needs for attachment and self-esteem. When you feel included, have a sense of achievement, and look good in front of others, those needs are met. “Another reason for the fear of not pleasing others can be past experiences, for example with parents or other close caregivers,” adds Kneubühler.
Thoughts can harm us
The need for love and attention can become a problem in the unhealthy area. “The greatest damage is probably that we will never reach the goal of pleasing everyone anyway,” says Kneubühler. Accordingly, we experience an endless series of failures. “This alone brings with it a lot of stress and dissatisfaction. In addition, thinking about others restricts our own creativity and prevents us from realizing our own dreams and satisfying needs,” the psychologist continues. In the long run, this behavior makes you dissatisfied and, in the worst case, even ill.
What can you do about it?
In order to stop trying to please everyone, one must first even realize that this is the cause of stress and dissatisfaction. “The next step would be to accept that this is human. Only then can you consciously decide whether you want to change your way of thinking,” advises the psychologist. Sometimes it can feel like choosing the lesser evil: I accept that someone doesn’t like me, but I gain more freedom in return.
Ideally, you build your self-esteem and treat yourself the way you would like to be treated by others. When you’re fulfilled inside, you don’t have to constantly look for love on the outside. You can also deal with rejection much better because you don’t base your self-love on the opinions of others.