About Pleasing Others

By Eilat Aviram

Yesterday I had a wonderful conversation about possible names for this blog. The ideas became progressively outrageous until we were rolling around crying with laughter.


We had some good ones; Nasty Little Messiahs, Light Side Of Trouble and then we just couldn’t  – or wouldn’t – move off titles with variations of the word ‘crap’ – Holy Crap, Good Shit, Good Clean Dirt, All That Crap, Life’s A Load Of Compost…

Soul Compost was lovely, but it’s taken.

I had lots of fun.

Then I went to sleep and couldn’t switch my brain off. Whirr, whirrrrrr, chewing over titles, grinding out ideas, sorting, rejecting, pondering, coming back to the question “What is my message?”

“Go to sleep!” I commanded myself. Whirr, whirr, whirrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

Things are fun until at some point they’re not. It’s useful to take note of when something is no longer pleasant. I reached that point. There was pressure behind the need to solve this riddle.

So I asked myself, “Myself, what is this about?” and Myself answered, “Pleasing people. Getting it ‘right’.”

Oh. That.

Yesterday the theme of pleasing others was very present in other’s tales. I’m afraid to say no to them. Why? What if they don’t like me anymore. I’m living a double life. Why? They won’t understand and they’ll cast me out. I tell lies when the truth is inconvenient. Why? I’m scared they can’t handle the real me and they’ll leave. I should have known I was going to get a dose of it myself.

So why? Why do I need to get it right? To please others?

When I was younger I was once in a situation where two very dear people were actively pulling on me in opposite directions. I tried and tried and tried to please them both. In the end I was so stressed that I broke away from them both. An excellent move in retrospect. But the memory of that never left me. Why? Because it was an impossible situation. Whichever way I turned I would disappoint someone. Whatever I chose would show me up as someone who wasn’t good enough in some way and isn’t that the fear that lurks beneath our need to please?

And now here I bloody am, putting myself in the same bloody position. VOLUNTARILY! What am I, nuts?!

You see, in making it so public that I’m choosing a new name I have opened myself wide to be seen. For starters I’m bringing change and that makes people uncomfortable. Now I will choose a name and direction and some of you will say, “Ah what was she thinking? That other one was much better. Maybe she’s not who I thought she was. Maybe she’s actually quite different to me. I don’t know that I like her so much anymore.”

I’ve gone and risked my good name for a good name!

I followed what felt good and right at every moment of this and here is where it’s taken me. Back to a point of pain where my choice will leave someone disappointed. Where showing my choice shows who I am and that may shatter someone’s illusion of me. Ain’t it funny? This is how it works though, right? Returning over and over to the lesson we want to master. Different levels, different variations.

At this point I’m so grateful to myself for all the inner work I’ve done because yes, I’m a bit stressed and my mind is whirring but I was quick to spot it because I noticed the shift into unpleasant, it was quick to understand I’m trying to please others because I live more and more for my Self, it is relatively easy to let go of wanting to please you all – because I’m getting progressively more comfortable with following what it true for me, no matter what. I’ve learned that following the shine is what feels best for me and I have learned that I can remind myself I am good enough, no matter what. I can withstand disappointing you – as long as I am not disappointing me. That is unbearable.

I am re-membering who I am.

Hmmm, Re-membering My Self. Another title.

I’m loving your ideas. Keep them coming in your comments, emails and messages. Who knows where all this fun will lead?



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  1. Fantastic Blog Eilat! Spot on!!!
    Neil (my husband) is so good at honouring his own needs. And at saying no, if it does not suit his own needs. He is just so honest. Some people think he is cold, but I am amazed always at the level of respect that people have for him.

    And here I am trying so hard to please everyone, often placing my own needs last (sometimes not even asking myself what my own needs actually are!) AND it always backfires! It always has negative consequences!
    I think it is actually strangely more egoless to follow your own needs and bring that message over clearly, as there is not so much of that worry about “what people might think of me” . It also sets a great example for our children, to learn how to listen to their own needs. I think most of the time I actually don’t know what my own needs are, as my mother hardly ever gave me the space to decide for myself and to honour that – this started with food and moved onto all other aspects of my life, social and personal. So now I am practicing to rid myself of the guilt that comes with honouring my own needs. It is getting easier and easier, I feel clearer in my messages to others and I don’t always know what people feel when I say no, but I realise more and more that honesty (with kindness) is the kinder option in the bigger picture…

    1. Eilat Aviram says:

      Oh Ilse I love, love LOVE what you are saying. I wish we could frame your comment “I think it is actually strangely more egoless to follow your own needs and bring that message over clearly”. This is a tough one for many of us but I see over and over how it is actually kinder to say no, for example, than to say yes and resent it later.

      I’m so glad you have the example of your partner to help you see it in action. Your children are very lucky that their mother is striving to honour herself. It can only lead to well-being for all. Thank you so much for sharing this. It’s inspiring.

  2. Hi Eilat.

    Your post reminded me of my own journey regarding my people pleasing behaviour and how my need to change it allowed my to discover not only the conditioning behind it but also the primal fears and beliefs that fed it like you have mentioned in your post. Mine is a belief that I am not okay on my own which is enhanced by my fear of loss of attachment or attachment figures. I only recently started learning that it is a part of who I am, it’s primal or at least its how my Ego mind has been conditioned to think. I have discovered though that it is not all of who I am and so therefore when I am triggered again I have what we human’s have been blessed with..Choice. I can choice to challenge the belief and the context that I feel triggered by it, thereby freeing and empowering myself to think clearly instead of acting instinctively and allow myself to be ruled by my conditioning. The truth is that I find that I am not alone and that I am supported and loved by people who I hold dear and love and support. So am I left to believe that sometimes in my emotionally intoxicated state, I do not see the truth and therefore have to continually challenge myself when my mind tries to tell me differently.

    I revealed that because I belief that you have the information, the creativity and the skills at your disposal for this platform to share with your followers, pertaining to the different levels of topics that you so wish to integrate into your new way of sharing or teaching that can empower people like myself, in how we can shift from our conditioned minds to connect with our true-selves.

    Eilat this is your platform to do what your want to with, within certain norms of course. 😉 It might seem like I am idealizing you but how can I if you pour your humanness all over this blog most of the time. And now for all the old cliches…If you are able to accept yourself, everybody else will. Sometimes we are more afraid of our greatness and success than our failures.

    You seem on track and of course you are. I believe your title will be exactly what you want it to be, as it will be an expression of you are now in your transitional phase and your process. And the people who appreciate it and identify with will stay and those who do not will move on to a place that resonates with them as that is their process. Any if anybody is looking for perfection this in not the place as you never promised that and they would have completely lost what you have been trying to teach.

    Enjoy the process and continue to have fun with it.

    1. Eilat Aviram says:

      Whew Zubeida you sure do know how to make a point. First of all thank you for your rich comment, your honest sharing and your support. Two phrases stand out for me most.

      “So am I left to believe that sometimes in my emotionally intoxicated state, I do not see the truth and therefore have to continually challenge myself when my mind tries to tell me differently.” So nicely put and so much what graceful blundering through life is all about.

      “I believe your title will be exactly what you want it to be, as it will be an expression of you are now in your transitional phase and your process.” Yikes! Being seen big time. 🙂

      Lucky me to have someone like you journeying alongside.

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Eilat Aviram is a Daring-Decisions Teacher.

She's worked with people for 25 years as a clinical psychologist, hypnotherapist, best-selling author, speaker and energy-healing teacher and she is passionate about helping people dare to love themselves in their moments of decision and find the courage to live their truth.

Eilat Aviram