As Featured on News Cult: How to Get Over Being a People Pleaser

Even though we hate people, we still feel the need to please them. Because we are painfully self-aware, self-conscious, and apologetic, for no good reason. Except oh wait I can think of one—we live in a society that condemns assertiveness, save for self-important, over-compensational, egomaniacal men (although don’t get me wrong—P’s OS come in all genders). But just because we’re decent, humble human beings, doesn’t mean we have to sacrifice our own well-being or sense of self. I, for one, am sick of giving people preferential treatment ahead of myself, especially because most of them don’t deserve it and wouldn’t do the same for me. So if you’re with me, here’s how to get over being a people pleaser.

Nip it in the bud

The next time you find yourself about to bend over backwards for someone, just shut. it. down. I don’t care if you’re literally bending over backwards—pick that shit up—or if you’re mid-sentence: “Sure, I guess we could go to that restaurant…” Just stop talking and turn it around: “… Actually no. That place is really expensive, awful, and I’m not going there at 10 PM on a Monday because they didn’t have any other reservations. That’s three hours past my bedtime and frankly anywhere that ‘trendy’ can blow me. And the horse I rode in on.” If it helps, carry around a spray bottle and spritz yourself in the face every time you start pleasing people (that sounds uncomfortably sexual but you know what I mean)—use pepper spray if you have to. Breaking yourself of this habit is going to take discipline, and if that means severe measures, so be it.

Use rage as your fuel

What I find particularly backwards is that, often, the people we feel the need to placate or appease the most are the people least deserving. For example, when someone is blowing their secondhand smoke in our face, we feel like we would be rude to ask them to stop, so we just breathe it in, even though they’re the rude ones for spreading their fumes. Or when someone is tailing us in traffic, we feel pressure to speed up and accommodate them, even though they can kiss our bumpers. So just let the rage that the intimidating person incites in you fuel your refusal to bow down, and, further, your insistence on standing up to them, telling them what’s what, and pulling the cigarette straight outta their ugly fucking mouth and sticking it right into their big fucking forehead. #WE’RENOTREADYTOMAKENICE #WE’RENOTREADYTOBACKDOWN #NEITHERARETHEDIXIECHICKS

Remember most people aren’t as accommodating

While you’re out there busting your ass to make everyone happy, they’re just looking out for #1. I mean really, how many people go out of their way to make sure all of your needs are met on a regular basis? What’s that, your loving boyfriend/girlfriend/life partner/mom does? Well how nice for you. But the rest of us are faced with constant disappointment in others on an unrelenting basis. So why bother? Quid pro quo, bro.

Know that people aren’t paying attention

As much as you think. You’re worried they’re as wrapped up in what’s going on as you, and that they’ll notice if you don’t go above and beyond to make their every wish come true, when, really, they’re thinking about how fat they do or do not (but do) look in that skirt. They probably wouldn’t even think twice if you didn’t add in that extra exclamation point at the end of your text message, or only had 3 instead of 4 gluten-free snack options for movie night, or decided to sit out clubbing because your pajamas sound more appealing. Trust that people are much more narcissistic than you give them credit for.

Know your worth

You are worthy, and are not obligated to chip away at yourself in order to make others happy or satisfied. You deserve your own attention, too. Now don’t go crazy, here—I’m not saying you should take care of your health by going to the gym or eating vegetables or anything ridiculous like that. I’m just saying that you shouldn’t put others before yourself. Unless they’re like your kid or something, in which case, it’s your fault they exist so don’t be an asshole.

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As Featured on News Cult: How to Manage Anger

Anger is our primary experience. Because there’s just so much to be angry about—people, injustice (because of people), corruption (because of people), stupidity (of the people)… I mean we really need more hours in the day to be able to accomplish all of our anger, which is completely justified, but also requires management so that it doesn’t take over our lives. But not “anger management” in the traditional sense—fuck thatliterally nothing makes me angrier. I’m talking about ways to deal with anger that won’t discount its validity, but will prevent it from consuming you, instead serving to channel it and make you feel better. And, as the angriest person I know, I feel I am uniquely qualified to provide you with ideas for such coping mechanisms. Here they are.

Let it out

If you feel stifled, or slighted, or wronged, don’t just let the anger boil in you. Release it. Explain and express your feelings. There’s no reason you should have to shoulder the burden of your anger alone, letting it fester and poison you internally, especially when it’s usually related to someone else. Now, I’m not saying you should just scream and throw a fit, but if you can give an articulate speech outlining the bases for your anger, you’ll feel a lot better than if you cage the beast (because at some point it’ll inevitably come out anyways, and it won’t be pretty). #oratory #it’swhatwedo #elegantAF.


And then scream and throw a fit. Sometimes it just needs to happen. Sometimes screaming is just as effective as talking at library-level. Because the person or entity you’re angry at is dumb as shit, immune to rationale, and needs to be stopped, so whispering soft pleas into their ear isn’t going to quite get the point across clearly enough

Channel it

Figure out if there’s something concrete you can do to fix or change what you’re angry about. For example, if you’re angry that your insurance company is fucking you, file grievance after grievance until you’ve taken their internal complaints process all the way up the chain and you’re cleared to sue their ass. Or if you’re angry that there is rampant injustice plaguing our society, volunteer with or donate to a cause that’s aimed at righting those wrongs, raise awareness by taking the time to inform yourself and others of the facts, email, call, and ask to meet with your local, state, and federal representatives, start a petition, get out and protest. If you’re angry that you were treated poorly by a business, write your rage into a scathing Yelp review, and dial those buttons extra hard as you call their customer service line. Or if you’re angry that you just got kicked to the curb by your boyfriend, send him anthrax. #it’sjustthateasy


Your right to free speech, grab a megaphone, and turn up the volume on #’s 1-3^^. Go recite a lecture to the institution or person that hath earned your wrath. Stand outside their office, perform some slam poetry about how they crossed the wrong person, and pitch a tent, because you’re not going anywhere until justice is served. #filibusteringisn’tjustfortheSenate #monologuingisourspecialty


About what’s angering you, at what’s angering you, at your anger, whatever—just get yourself laughing and so will come relief. Not necessarily because anything is funny, but just because you need to catch a break from the anger intensity. Or because something actually is funny, like how you’re going to take your anger at your co-worker for throwing you under the bus and use it as fuel to put them on blast via an office-wide memo, which you’re also going to wallpaper your cubicle with. #oh,whatwasthat? #thelastlaugh #andwejustgotit

Count to 10

And then punch someone/something. Hey, maybe it’s not our first choice, if only because we don’t want to deal with any potential legal repercussions (we don’t have time to be charged with assault, we have a lot of righteous causes to fight for). But sometimes, a motherfucker just needs to get hit. If that motherfucker is your pillow, so be it. If it’s the piece of shit who slashed your tire, then also so be that.

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