Mental Health & Wellbeing Matters: you really can’t please everyone

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You’re never going to make everybody happy, and it can be difficult to accept that: but it’s useful if we can.

Hello and welcome to the place on the Film Stories site where we chat about mental health, wellbeing, and things that may be affecting us. This is a weekly column, that’s been running for a few years, and will be running for a lot longer if we have out way! Across that time, hopefully there’s an article or two that are of use to you, amongst the many that no doubt aren’t.

This week, a quick chat about pleasing people. Or, more to the point, not always pleasing people.

The problem of being a human being – as well as the best bit, in truth – is that we’re all different, and we’re all imperfect. We all make mistakes. We sometimes, accidentally and less accidentally, rub people up the wrong way. We all have moments where we second guess what others are thinking.

And then we all have those moments where we try and please people. Where we try and do something right and nice and proper, whether the recipient of this wants or appreciates it or not.

There’s nothing wrong per se with trying to do nice things of course. The problems mount though when we try and do nice things for people who aren’t particularly nice to us. That thing where we try and please people no matter how they treat us. And if they’re horrible or mean or non-appreciative, we end up trying harder, rather than walking away.

It’s easy for me to write that walking away is the right choice, and oftentimes of course it is. But also, it’s very much easier said than done a lot of the time. There’s something about human nature that draws us to the people who aren’t the best to us, and we end up trying to please them. Then, when inevitably they’re not pleased, we’re back in the circle of trying to do so again. Ugh. Been there lots of times, and it’s a very hard habit to break.

But it needs breaking.

It’s not just the physical energy employed in trying to make someone happy, but usually the mental energy that’s the real drain. And the hard truth is perhaps this: some people aren’t nice. Some people don’t want your kindness. Some people are plain unpleasant.

The old adage of you can’t please everyone I’d argue is an adage for a very good reason: because it’s factual. It’s hard sometimes when things go awry, or a friendship falls away. Or when someone just doesn’t like you or appreciate you and you don’t know why. But for your own headspace, there has to be a walking away moment. If you’re struggling to see it yourself, do try and reach out to someone else and chat to them. Even if it’s online. But don’t keep doing the same old same old, especially if it’s having a negative impact on you.

You really can’t win them all. It’s a hard thing to conclude on, but it is true. And the path to better self-care usually requires some acceptance of that.

You all take care and the very best to you. This column will return next week.

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