Finding the Peace

Striving to please others does not lead to inner peace

Many of us have been conditioned to worry about what other people think. This may come from a desire to make others happy, from a desire to be loved, or it may even be to control the environment in a way to avoid conflict. The reasons we dance this dance go on and on. The difficulty with the desire to please others is that we ultimately can’t make anyone else happy. True happiness, peace, is found within ourselves, not outside ourselves. As we over-extend ourselves to please others, we often neglect to listen to ourselves and our own needs. We push ourselves to do one more thing for someone else. We end up unhappy and feeling unappreciated (because we aren’t appreciating and taking care of ourselves). And the other person isn’t any happier either. This can build resentment as we then expect the other person to fulfill some of our needs (appreciating and thanking us). Even if they do appreciate our acts, it isn’t fulfilling because it really isn’t what will fulfill our needs. We have to do it for ourselves. Take the time to check in with yourself before you over-extend yourself in order to please someone else. Make sure that you are pleasing yourself by listening to your own inner voice. Setting boundaries shows self-care. Those that love you will appreciate seeing the boundaries even if, at first, they aren’t accustom to having you say no.



  • Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker
    Licensed Independent Mental Health Practitioner

  • Janie Pfeifer Watson, LICSW, is the founder and director of Wholeness Healing Center, a mental health practice in Grand Island, Nebraska with remote sites in Broken Bow and Kearney. Her expertise encompasses a broad range of areas, including depression, anxiety, attachment and bonding, coaching, couples work, mindfulness, trauma, and grief. She views therapy as an opportunity to learn more about yourself as you step more into being your authentic self. From her perspective this is part of the spiritual journey; on this journey, she serves as a mirror for her clients as they get to know themselves—and, ultimately, to love themselves.


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