The Keys to Happiness Part 3: Stop People Pleasing

By Zoe Taylor

The one thing I’ve learnt from being a people pleaser myself is that making everyone happy is a) impossible and b) going to make you pretty unhappy. Sure, you might feel good for a short while, but after that you’re left feeling unsatisfied and left behind because you didn’t let yourself have a little taste of what you were giving everyone else.

I’m not saying you need to be selfish to be happy, but rather well rounded in your giving. As well as giving to those around you, you need to give to yourself. It’s true that generosity is a virtue, but no-one ever said that generosity couldn’t be extended to yourself.

Say you’ve been really busy lately. Every single day of your life has been filled with some form of work and you’re exhausted. You finally have a day coming up where you can do absolutely nothing all day and you plan to do just that…but then your friend calls you and wants you to go hiking with them and their family. You can think of nothing you want to do less than go hiking on your day off but you know that your friend will be upset if you don’t go. You know what? Don’t go. Stay home like you originally planned and recharge your batteries. He/she may be disappointed, but they’ll get over it in a few days time and everything will go back to normal – you’ll go hiking with them next time.


It’s also important to recognise that pleasing two different parties is often too stressful to be worth it. For example, if two of your friends have invited you to their birthday party on the same day, and they’re located in opposite sides of the city, don’t stress yourself out by going to both. You won’t enjoy either of the parties because you’ll be stressing about spending enough time at one before leaving to spend enough time at the other. Sure, both your friends will be happy because you made it…but you won’t be happy, will you?

It’s time to start balancing out your generosity so that you can get in on the happiness that you so readily disperse to everyone around you.

Don’t forget to come back here next week for the next instalment of ‘The Keys To Happiness’!

For help in finding the right career path for you, or for useful tips on areas including studying and finding success, call 1800 143 080 or visit to contact one of our friendly career advisors!

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