How to Make People Feel Good About Themselves


We often imagine that the best way to endear ourselves to others is never to bother to them – and always to fit in with their plans. But that’s to miss out on a great yet hidden truth of social life: in certain circumstances, people quite like to be asked for help; friendship builds when we can make ourselves vulnerable enough to show our need. Sign up to our new newsletter and get 10% off your first online order of a book, product or class: For gifts and more from The School of Life, visit our online shop: Our website has classes, articles and products to help you lead a more fulfilled life: FURTHER READING You can read more on this and other subjects on our blog, here: “We tend to operate with the view that the best way to please people is not to bother them too much. We keep many of our dilemmas and confusions away from those we like, for fear of irritating or inconveniencing them and so spoiling the relationship. We may well have a voice echoing in our minds from childhood: ‘Don’t bother your mother, can’t you see she’s exhausted from her trip? Don’t bother your father, he works hard for us and he’s busy right now…’ There are powerful reasons why we equate making others happy with burdening them as little as possible. But our analysis is missing a key detail of human psychology: we like to be bothered. Not at all time and over all things, nor at the expense of our own critical needs, but fundamentally, we have a powerful urge to feel helpful. We need to be needed. All of us suffer from a fear of superfluity, which the requirements of others has a critical capacity to appease. However nice presents may be for our friends, the real gift we can offer them is an insight into our problems…” MORE SCHOOL OF LIFE Visit us in person at our London HQ: Watch more films on SELF in our playlist: You can submit translations and transcripts on all of our videos here:… Find out how more here:… SOCIAL MEDIA Feel free to follow us at the links below: Facebook:… Twitter: Instagram:… CREDITS Produced in collaboration with: Tracy Foster Title animation produced in collaboration with Vale Productions