What someone may find is that they have a strong need to please others, making it hard for them to live their own life. Or to be more accurate – this can stop them from being able to live their own life.

So by having the need to do what other people want as opposed to what they themselves want, their life is not going to be very fulfilling. And the only way that this is going to change is if they change their behaviour.

The Challenge

However, although living in this way is not going to allow them to lead a fulfilling life, it can be what feels the most comfortable. Therefore, part of them is going to want to experience life differently but another part of them won’t want their life to change.

It might be hard for them to understand why part of them would be comfortable with experiencing life in this way, especially as it is causing them to suffer. Furthermore, it might be hard for them to understand how they can have more than one self.


For so long, they may have believed that there was just one part of them; in the same way that they only have one physical self. What will have become clear is that even though they will look like one person from the inside, there will have many different parts inside them.

This is not to say that they have ‘multiple personality disorder’ as this is something that is very different. Ultimately, there is a strong chance that just about everyone on this planet has many different selves inside them, meaning that it is just part of the human experience.

Another Route

Taking this into account, simply changing their behaviour is not necessarily going to be the answer. It would make more sense for them to get in touch with the self that is causing them problems and to see what is going on.

Once this part of them changes, it will be possible for them to pay attention to their own needs and to do what they can to fulfil them. This is not to say that this is something that will happen overnight, though.

Being Realistic

Yet, if someone has done just about everything that they can to please others, and this has been going on for as long as they can remember, this is to be expected. One way of looking at it would be to say that their true-self will have been in hiding for all of this time and it will take a while for it to appear.

One won’t be coming out in the same way that someone who is gay will be coming out, but it can still be an incredibly tough process. With this in mind, one will need to be patient and persistent.

Point of Focus

When one has identified with the part of themselves that has the need to please others, they will most likely lose touch with their inner world. One will then be aware of what other people want, along with what they think they want, but they won’t be aware of what they themselves want.

This is what will feel comfortable when they are around others, but when they are by themselves, they are likely to feel confused and to be frustrated and angry about what is taking place. What this is likely to illustrate is that even though this part is just one part of them, it is an incredibly powerful part.

Mind and Body

Not only will this part take over their mind, it will also take over their body. This part is then going to define the thoughts that they have, how they feel, and how their physical body responds.

Trying to change this part is going to create resistance and this is not going to help – as the saying goes, ‘what is resisted is what will persist.’ Another approach would be for one to detach from this part of them and to ask themselves if this part of them relates to a certain stage of their life.


By doing this, what they may find is that this part of them relates to how they felt during their younger years, with this being a time when it wasn’t safe for them to listen to themselves. Perhaps their early years were a time when they experienced some kind of abuse and/or neglect.

Focusing on their caregivers needs and overlooking their own needs would then have been a matter of survival. Doing this wouldn’t have stopped them from being harmed but it may have minimized the amount of harm that they did experience.

On The Surface

Through living in a dangerous environment, it wouldn’t have been safe for them to be in their body and to relax; they would have had to be on alert. Living in their head and being hyper aware of the needs of their caregivers would then have been something that just happened.

The years will have passed but the trauma that they experienced during this time will still be inside them. There will be a self that is not in a good way – there could be many selves that are not in a good way actually – and their whole being will be in a traumatised state.


If one can relate to this, and they want to change their life, they may need to reach out for external support. This is something that can be provided by the assistance of a therapist or a healer.

Author's Bio: 

Teacher, prolific writer, author, and consultant, Oliver JR Cooper, hails from England. His insightful commentary and analysis covers all aspects of human transformation, including love, partnership, self-love, and inner awareness. With over two thousand, two hundred in-depth articles highlighting human psychology and behaviour, Oliver offers hope along with his sound advice.