The Price People Pay For Pleasing Others

Episode #603

Be honest with yourself…

Do you please others to avoid conflict?

In this episode, we’re sharing the consequences of being a people-pleaser and what to do to stay true to yourself so you can build the life you want.

Hungry for more?

Head over to our BONUS page for special access to some of the deeper tactics and techniques we’ve developed at The Powerful Man. 

Also listen on:



Doug Holt: Hello, gentlemen, welcome back to another episode of the TPM show. Once again, I am joined with the man himself. Mr. Tim Matthews. How are you doing, brother?

Tim Matthews: Doing well, Mr. Dougie Fresh. How are you?

Doug Holt: Okay, man. I’ve got a couple of nagging injuries. I’ve got a chronic injury. My shoulder hurts and I think it’s a nerve impingement. So I’m gonna go see somebody later today. And then, as you know, I had surgery recently. So dealing with a couple of things. No big deal. Everybody in my house is sick right now. But other than that, doing great.

Tim Matthews: Awesome. Yeah, frustrating, those little niggling injuries. I’ve got tennis elbow and a golfer’s elbow. Which subsided when I rested, and as soon as I start lifting again and doing martial arts- and weirdly enough, the rehab I’ve been given when I do it works really well. I just gotta be more consistent.

Doug Holt: On the previous podcast, we talked about that. So you had something on the table you wanted to talk about? I’m curious, what is it?

Tim Matthews: Yeah. So I went up to Leeds recently, actually, on the way back from the TAR a couple of weeks ago. So I was able to stop by and visit some friends, which was very enjoyable. These are friends that I haven’t seen or haven’t spoken with, in years. To give some context, when TPM began, part of the way that it got going was by me becoming aware of how I was living and how I would refuse to live a certain way anymore. And the way that I, I guess, dealt with that was by coming clean on social media. Which was kind of strange for a lot of people, because I never used to post on social media.

To go from posting nothing to all these very honest posts about what was going on for me – and at that point, there were things going on between my father and me, there were various masks that had been hiding behind – just all sorts, right?

So anyway, what happened in response to that, there were three responses. One was messages from people asking me whether I’d gone insane, literally. Two, people asking me if I joined a cult, and three, people resonated with it, and resonated with the idea that they had also been wearing a mask too, and hiding behind money, and business, and sports, and various other things.

Now, at that time, the friends I went to see a few weeks ago, they were the ones that I used to hang around with the most at that point in time, several years ago. So, this must have been eight years ago. And there’s a reason why I haven’t spoken to them, some of them, for years. And the way they responded, God- this brings so much up inside of me, as I think about this. I’m glad I stayed true to what I felt called to do, which was just to be honest, really.

There wasn’t a business or anything like that. So I wasn’t standing by something. I was just being truthful and honest. But it was greeted with a lot of ridicule, shaming, you know, going to the pub- I didn’t really drink much then either, which also would trigger them a lot. So I’d go to the pub, I’d drive. And I wouldn’t need a drink. I had started to learn how to have fun without needing to have a lot of alcohol and so on. So that in itself often caused a lot of retaliation from certain people that would be there, which usually died down after an hour or two, within which time I either left, or if not, I’d stayed around and then we could get into having a good night because they’d be drunk and they’d be over it. And then the truth had come out. Oh, I wish I could do that. And it just made them reflect upon, well, why can’t I do that, and so on and so forth. Right?

Equally, the same is true when I was being honest. In hindsight, I think it triggered them and triggered them to act in various ways that just weren’t friendly, helpful, or nice, which led to the point of me just cutting them out, frankly. So I arrived in Leeds last week. I’m still friends with one of the guys in particular. I was one of the best men at his wedding. An amazing man. The kind of guy that everybody loves. I think he’s been the best man at probably five people’s weddings by this point. He’s always practicing the best man’s speech. But rightly so; he’s an amazing guy. And I’ve been able to keep in touch with him and stay connected to him.

So, I meet with him. First, we have a beer and have a great chat. Then we go to his to watch the football. So it was the World Cup, and England was playing Senegal. And there were three or four guys there, some of their partners as well. But three or four guys were there who were from this crowd back in the day. I can’t say anything has changed for them. A lot has changed for them, but not in the way that you’d want it to change. And this isn’t about me talking bad about them. They don’t understand what we do. I don’t try and explain what we do. They just group it under life coaching, which is fine. Bearing in mind I had just come off the back of a TAR.

You know what kind of shifts we have there. Didn’t try and explain what happens there. Didn’t try and explain the kind of guys. And there’s always posturing going on with them. Right? ‘Are you still doing that thing?’ But they’ve softened in their approach now over these past eight years, I think partly because they can see various ways in which I get to live and enjoy life. So, I guess there’s some proof to some degree for them of something. But equally, I think because what’s happening now, one of the guys has gone on to- he’s not had any alcohol for the past two years, because he became riddled with anxiety from drinking and drugs. But he’s also put on a ton of weight, and he’s not really got to the root of what has caused the anxiety and the upset in his life. He’s just took out one of the triggers, which was alcohol. So he’s not in a good way. putting on a brave face, putting on a good weight.

Another guy, an amazing man, I tell the story about him at the AR, as you’re aware – again, drunk, on drugs, and just… How can I say it? Just complaining about his wife, and his life, and all the things that go with it. And then another guy just saying, hey, remember eight years ago? Remember eight years ago? ‘Remember when friends, as you like to call them. Yeah. And as the TV camera pans and picks out pretty English women in the crowd, they’re nudging me. ‘Look, look, look.’ I’m just like, yeah, I get it. And clearly there’s something lacking or missing right for them. And that isn’t to judge them.

So, anyway, I was listening to something today and it reminded me of that memory. This is why I wanted to share. Obviously, we’ve heard that you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with. And this thing I was listening to was diving deeper into that, and talking about a study that Harvard has been doing, following people over a very long prolonged period of time, like decades, looking into this, and looking at how many people you can actually have in your life and maintain a very close meaningful relationship with. And the importance of the type of those people, as we all know. And as I was listening to this, something that they spoke about was the idea of – are you avoiding temporary disappointment just to experience long-term resentment.

The idea is – are you willing to please the people around you- so, for example, my friends eight years ago, kind of like a crab in the bucket scenario, right? As the crab tries to escape, all the crabs pull it back down. That was the kind of scenario. So, if I would have wanted to avoid temporary disappointment back then just to save friends and have a feeling of belonging and so on, I would more than likely experience long-term resentment because eight years on, instead of me walking into that room, I would have probably been sat in that room along with them, complaining about everything else going on in my life. Experience the resentment and the fact that I hadn’t changed and followed my own truth and followed what I wanted to do, and so on, and so forth. I think it’s very true for a lot of the men we work with, the guys that come into us in the AM.

I think that’s the philosophy through which they’ve lived. And it’s got them into trouble. They’ve avoided temporary disappointment, be it of the wife, parents, friends, whoever it may be, to avoid long-term resentment only to end up at a point where they haven’t a clue who they are, they have a level of success and look around, it doesn’t mean anything, they think: ‘is this it?’. And they resent the fact that working so hard to be able to provide in a way that they’re not really getting any level of appreciation, and they’re just going along and people-pleasing, and saying yes to avoid the disappointment of saying no, and really taking a stand for themselves. So, I wanted to just dive into that. I know you’ve got some amazing insights around this. Talk about your experience with it, and what advice you’d give to some of the guys, if they’re resonating with this and find themselves in this position.

Doug Holt: Yeah, you know, gosh, there’s so many things to expand here. So, recently, I had skin cancer removed from my neck, right? Just last week. And I remember, I was sitting in there, and the doctor told me, ‘Yeah, you know, unfortunately, I think you’re gonna have a scar leftover.’ And I looked at the doctor, and I said, you know what? A scar is a small price to pay for removing cancer from my body. And I think about that and your story, right?

There are many times – and we talked about this with our men – that I’ve taken inventory of my life and removed other cancers. Now, those cancers can be bad habits, toxic people, as you’re talking about. You can remove them. It doesn’t mean you don’t love them; it doesn’t mean you don’t care. I still like my neck. It’s gonna have a scar. It might hurt a little bit, might sting. But removing cancer that can kill you, it’s a much worse effect, right? You want to think about this.

When we take inventory of the people in our lives, the places, our environment, and our thought patterns, we want to look at what are those things that are toxic, and that are holding us back. And we identify something toxic for you, if you’re sure it’s toxic, then what you want to do is immediately do what you can, as I did with cancer – I have a big bandage right now – is have it removed, or remove it yourself, I should say. And this could be as simple as sitting down right now, pausing this, and writing down the 10 people in your life that you’re around the most. Which one of those are energy vampires versus energy givers?

You know, when you think about that person, do you feel light and free, or do you feel heavy? These are the kinds of ways you guys can assess this. And again, it could be family members, and you’re like, oh, Doug, I can’t get rid of Uncle Bob or whoever. Okay, I get it. But you can limit your interaction with Uncle Bob. You can limit the way that Uncle Bob affects you. You might not be able to avoid Uncle Bob during the holidays, or whatever else that may be, or whoever your uncle Bob is. But there are ways that you can set boundaries for yourself to limit those interactions so you can be the best version of yourself.

And when you’re caught, stuck in the past, past friendships, and all they have is history – and I call them ‘remember when’ friends. We’ve all got them, by the way. All they talk about are those things you did 10-20 years ago. And that’s all you really have in common except for maybe the local sports team. It’s time to move on; it’s time to find another group of men that are out there for you. And this is why we have the Brotherhood, frankly, and the IC and the other groups that we have with TPM, of men that are playing at a higher level, that are bettering themselves not only for themselves, but for their families, for their communities, and for their business.

These are guys, just like you listening to this, they’re on a journey of growth. Right? They’re on a journey of growth. And this is a lifestyle where the average isn’t good enough. For these guys you’re talking about, Tim, the average is something they’re striving for. They’re hoping to get to average. Hence playing the victim card. And when you’re in the victim role, what do you do? You complain. Because that’s how you get sympathy, and that’s how you get acknowledgment and connection with people, by having them feel sorry for you, or complaining about your wife, or complaining about your job, complaining about the things that have happened to you, the weight gain or whatever it is, right? And it’s okay. I’m not saying never complain. But guys, you want to pull yourself out of this. And if you have a cancer in your life, cut it out. Cut it out as soon as possible. You don’t want it to metastasize.

Tim Matthews: Well said. And I agree. Again, nothing against these people. they’re good people, they really are. And I think you hit the nail on the head. They’re striving for average. And if I would have wanted to avoid the temporary disappointment of… Let’s say I walk into the pub, and everybody in there giving me shit, quite frankly, and just laughing. I laughed about it because I knew where it came from. If I needed to avoid that and sacrifice my own desires, just like, if you want to avoid the discomfort of going for surgery or whatever it may be, then you are going to be left with long-term resentments. Ah, I wish I would have done that sooner, I shoulda, coulda woulda,. But it’s too late at that point.

And you know, the most successful people, the guys who we see in our program get the biggest results the fastest, are the ones that become the least tolerant to the people, places and situations that are out of alignment with the level that they’re committed to playing at. Now, I know that might sound ruthless. I think, at the same time, there needs to be a level of ruthlessness that you take towards being committed to what it is you want to experience in your life for yourself, for your kids, for your family. And that doesn’t mean becoming harsh or hard. It just means being committed to something.

Doug Holt: Well, also, the thing you have to remember is, you can’t lift somebody up by going to their level, right? You pull somebody up by going higher. It’s like the idea of, you know, is the best way to solve the homeless population by becoming homeless yourself? No, it’s by becoming wealthy and contributing ideas. You want to be the lighthouse. We have a guy that we call The Animal. Right? I talked to him at his AR about never, you know- he’s like, I don’t post in the community because I don’t want people to think I’m bragging about how great things are in my life right now. I looked at him, I said, dude, never dim your light. Right? You don’t know how many people are going to be inspired by how many cool things you got going on, they’re gonna love to see it. And he’s been posting and sharing, and guys are inspired.

And what I’m saying is like for you, Tim, when you go see these guys, I guarantee those guys go home, and they’re like, man, I want something like what Tim has. I want The energy he has, the ability not to get hammered all the time, or whatever else it may be. They want some of that. And when you let your light shine, people notice. It’s being the lighthouse. You do it in your marriage, you do it with your kids, you do it with your employees and your staff at work. You do it in your church, or synagogue or, or temple, or wherever else it is. The men that listen to this show are leaders.

You wouldn’t be attracted to a show like this if you weren’t naturally a leader, or on your way to becoming a leader. And as a leader, you get to shine your light brightly. And people will test you, people will test you. And that’s so fun. To me, that’s so fun. When you start actually to enjoy the tests, and you feel that you’re anchored like an oak tree, your roots are solid, in the ground, people can’t bend you, they can’t move you. And that’s a very attractive thing to women, but also guys, quite frankly. They want some of that. And that’s where you become that old adage, you know, the man that men want to be and women want to be with.

And most of us men, we want to be that first and foremost in our houses, with our families, and then also our friends. So guys, I’m going to encourage you to take inventory. Take inventory on these three things, the people you spend the most time with , work or at home and otherwise, the environments you spend the most time with, whether you spend too much time in the pub or someplace else. And then also, the thoughts and conversations you have with yourself. Which one of those are toxic for you? What is it that needs to be removed? What do you need to go in with a scalpel-like precision and cut it out, so it doesn’t spread and bring you down?

Look, I didn’t want to have surgery on my neck. Right? I don’t want to have somebody cut open my neck and cut out part of my skin. But the idea of cancer spreading was much worse. Much worse. So I did it. I had that surgery. And years and years ago, 20 years ago, more than 20 years ago, I had that surgery with a group of friends who I love dearly. I still love these guys. And I’m still in contact with them periodically. But they were kind of like sandbags to my balloon, my hot air balloon, if you could imagine. I was in my 20s and I wanted that balloon to go.

And unfortunately, those guys checked all three boxes, right? They were energy vampires for me. The environments when I would see them wasn’t conducive- it was a bar. It wasn’t conducive for me at that time, growing business. And they always complained. So, I had to go my separate way. And I did it lovingly. And some of us, we just grow apart, right? That just happens. It’s just natural. And it doesn’t mean I don’t love and care for these guys. I would be there for them if they needed me, all the time. However, they’re dragging me down. They weren’t lifting me up. I’m always there to reach a hand out to them. One guy in particular that I’ve mentioned to you and told you stories about, you know, he’s coming back around, I’m helping them out. Great guy. Always has been a great guy. But at that time of his life, he wasn’t the right fit for me, and I had to cut him out. And it’s a hard thing to do, guys, you might end up with some scars. But scars are a lot better than cancer.

Tim Matthews: Very well said.

Doug Holt: Gentlemen, are you going to take action, or are you just going to do what I call educational masturbation, going from one podcast to another, one show on YouTube to another, etc.? I would love for you guys to share, post what you’re cutting out. Go to the free Facebook group. Let us know. Start that conversation there. If you have any questions on how to do it, how to break free, put them there. Our coaches and advisors are in the group and in the community. And they’ll be there to answer your questions. As we always say, in the moment of insight, take massive action, guys. We’ll see you next time.