Does People-Pleasing Bring Us Happiness?


Assumptions About People-Pleasing

Most of us wrongly assume that people-pleasing behavior proves we’re generous. But when you think about it, always trying to please people isn’t a selfless act. It’s actually quite self-centered. It assumes that everyone cares about your every move. It also assumes you have the power to control how other people feel.

If you’re constantly doing things to make others happy and you don’t think they are appreciative of your efforts, you’ll soon experience resentment. Thoughts such as I do so much for you, but you don’t do anything for me will creep in and ultimately hurt your relationships.

Truths About People-Pleasing

  • Worrying about trying to please everyone is a waste of time.
  • People-pleasers are easily manipulated.
  • It’s okay for other people to feel angry or disappointed.
  • You can’t please everyone.

When Someone Asks You To Do Something, Ask Yourself These Questions Before Responding

  • Is this something I want to do?
  • What will I have to give up by doing this?
  • What will I gain by doing this?
  • How will I feel if I do it?

Live True To Yourself

Dying people often say they wished they had live a more authentic life. Instead of dressing, acting, and speaking in a manner that was pleasing to others, they wished they’d been more true to themselves.

13 Things Mentally Strong People Don't Do
13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do: Take Back Your Power, Embrace Change, Face Your Fears, and Train Your Brain for Happiness and Success
Amy Morin


Amy Morin
Amy Morin
. Amy Morin, LCSW
. Forbes Blog
. Psychology Today

Amy Morin is a psychotherapist, mental strength trainer, and international bestselling author. She’s a highly sought after keynote speaker who gave one of the most popular TEDx talks of all time.

Morin’s books, 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do and 13 Things Mentally Strong Parents Don’t Do, have been translated into more than 30 languages. She’s a columnist for Inc., Forbes, and Psychology Today and her articles on mental strength reach more than 2 million readers each month.

Books written by Amy Morin include:

The Secret of Becoming Mentally Strong – Amy Morin

How is Our World Formed by Culture and Language?


Look Around You

Look out at your own present visual field. What you see before you is in the minutest detail framed and formed by culture and language – framed by cultural categories, seen in the light of theories formed by words colored by our feelings and evaluations. Our world is our own self-objectification.

Our Conscious Experience

It remains curiously difficult to recognize that we made it all up. We evolved the entire syllabus. We slowly evolved our own languages, our values, our systems of knowledge, our religions, and our worldviews. We evolved our own subjective consciousness, because the brightness, the consciousness, of conscious experience is a by-product of language.

After God: The Future of Religion
After God: The Future Of Religion
Don Cupitt

Background on Don Cupitt

What is Compassion?


Caring for Yourself and Others 

Compassion is the fundamental quality that allows us to stretch ourselves and to grow in our awareness, care, and love of ourselves and others. 

Practicing compassion can lead to lasting happiness for oneself and others.  

Cultivating Compassion

Compassion is cultivated through loving-kindness, in which one begins by imagining how they feel toward a loved one, then turning it toward themselves, then family and friends, then strangers, then enemies, and finally toward all beings.

The feeling of compassion is not something that can be generated quickly or halfheartedly. Compassion is not a one-time thing – striving for compassion is an all-consuming, full-time undertaking.

Compassion & Suffering 

Though compassion is extolled, compassion in and of itself, is decidedly not a happy feeling – it is explicitly and unquestionably uncomfortable.

Inherent in compassion is the recognition of universal suffering. If you are genuinely able to have compassion toward all living/feeling beings without exception, then this means that you are also able to recognize the suffering of all beings all the time.

The intensity of compassion is like a trial by fire:

The extensive and vast mind possessed of compassion for all living beings, like love starting from the present mother and extending to the limits of space, must be cultivated to such a degree that it compares to that of a tearful person who sees or remembers that his or her only child has fallen into a pit of fire.

Gorampa Sonam Senge, Buddhist teacher, 15th-century

Motivation to Act

Imagine having this intense feeling all the time, about everyone. This is universal compassion – it is something that is uncomfortable, unsettling, and incredibly difficult to comprehend. But this is why genuine compassion is so important, and why it has the potential to be so powerful.

Operating from a place of discomfort is more likely to motivate us to act. By recognizing the suffering of others and having a sincere and urgent desire to alleviate that suffering, we can learn to act compassionately in the world.

We must try to really see and understand the suffering in the world, and to lean into our own discomfort in order to work toward alleviating the suffering of all.

For a more in-depth look, see The Discomfort of Compassion, by Constance Kassor.

How Can We Cultivate Our Capacity for Solitude When Smartphones Tempt Us with Constant Connection?

We are at a crossroads: So many people say they have no time to talk, really talk, but all the time in the world, day and night, to connect. When a moment of boredom arises, we have become accustomed to making it go away by searching for something – sometimes anything – on our phones. The next step is to take the same moment and respond by searching within ourselves. To do this, we have to cultivate the self as a resource. Beginning with the capacity for solitude.

Reclaiming Conversation
Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk in a Digital Age

Sherry Turkle



Sherry Turkle
Sherry Turkle

born 1948

. MIT profile
. Sherry Turkle (her website)

Sherry Turkle is the Abby Rockefeller Mauzé Professor of the Social Studies of Science and Technology at MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology). Turkle is the founder (2001) and current director of the MIT Initiative on Technology and Self. She obtained a BA in Social Studies and later a Ph.D. in Sociology and Personality Psychology at Harvard University.

Turkle now focuses her research on psychoanalysis and human-technology interaction. She has written several books focusing on the psychology of human relationships with technology, especially in the realm of how people relate to computational objects.

Books written by Sherry Turkle include:

Connected, but alone? – TED Talk by Sherry Turkle

Houdini’s Magic – The Irresistible Spectacle of Concealment and Deception

Houdini’s fear of being imitated – his need to be unique, unprecedented, unthinkable – was matched by his desire not to imitate himself too much. He was a tireless inventor of things that might defeat him, of traps that could kill him. And all these stunts, as he called them – the word itself meaning a performance, a feat, an event – had that kind of uncanny symbolic resonance that made him an irresistible spectacle, a unique draw in a newly emerging and ever more powerful entertainment industry (Houdini would eventually start his own Film Development Corporation).

Houdini was determinedly and calculatingly a spirit of the age, but by using a vocabulary of familiar cultural objects – chests, trunks, beds, locks, ice (for freezing and preserving food) – he seemed to speak the strange language they seemed to encode, as though the drama of the age was claustrophobia, of the confinement created by new kinds of freedom.

The magic was to escape without damaging the locks, without even chipping the ice. It could all be done without violence, everything would seem the same. The grand illusion was that nothing had changed – neither Houdini nor his box – but everything was different. It was literally a revolution – a radical and irreversible reordering, and a repetition of the same thing unmodified, without apparent struggle. It was magic, an art form in which success was the concealment of difficulty, and the difficulty was deception.

Houdini's Box: The Art of Escape
Houdini’s Box: The Art of Escape
Adam Phillips

Background on Adam Phillips


Harry Houdini

Harry Houdini (born Erik Weisz, later Ehrich Weiss or Harry Weiss) was a Hungarian born American illusionist and stunt performer, noted for his sensational escape acts. He first attracted notice in vaudeville in the US and then as “Harry Handcuff Houdini” on a tour of Europe, where he challenged police forces to keep him locked up. Soon he extended his repertoire to include chains, ropes slung from skyscrapers, straitjackets under water, and having to escape from and hold his breath inside a sealed milk can with water in it.

Houdini died, at age 52, of peritonitis, secondary to a ruptured appendix.