2 Minutes Read
Why People Pleasing is the Highest Form of Lying

A Guide for Ethical Sales Students

People pleasing – the urge to please someone else, at your own expense – often masquerades as a harmless attempt to keep the peace.

Yet its core, it can be a deceptive practice that actually undermines authenticity and truth.

For students at the Ethical Sales Institute, being able to recognize people pleasing in themselves and their clients and also understanding the implications of people pleasing in their business is crucial, as it is fundamentally at odds with the principles of ethical sales.

Why is people pleasing a form of lying?

Misrepresentation of True Intentions:
People pleasing involves saying or doing things to garner approval or avoid conflict, rather than expressing true feelings or beliefs. This misalignment between one’s actions and internal intentions distorts reality for both the pleaser and the recipient.

Sacrificing Honesty for Acceptance:
When you please others at the expense of your own values, you’re not being honest about who you are or what you believe. This can lead to decisions and actions that are not only unauthentic but potentially harmful, as they prioritize short-term harmony over long-term integrity.

Undermining Trust:
Authenticity builds trust – a cornerstone of any meaningful relationship – whether personal or professional. People pleasing erodes this trust, as others may begin to question whether your actions and words are genuine or merely designed to appease.

How can Ethical Sales students address people pleasing personally and professionally?

Cultivate a deep understanding of your values and ensure your actions align with them. Recognize when the desire to please is overshadowing honest expression.

Courageous Communication:
Practice expressing your true thoughts and feelings respectfully and constructively, even when they may not align with others’ expectations or desires.

Establish clear personal boundaries. This helps define what you are willing to compromise on and what is non-negotiable, reinforcing your commitment to authenticity.

For students at the Ethical Sales Institute, overcoming the tendency to people please is not just about personal growth — it’s about committing to a higher standard of ethical behavior and communication. By making a firm commitment to refrain from people pleasing, you embrace a path of honesty and integrity: essential traits for building an unshakeable reputation in business as an ethical sales professional.

    Marla Mattenson
    Founder & Creator of Ethical Sales Institute
    With a 25+ year career, Mattenson is a trailblazer in transforming sales paradigms from transactional to relational for professionals who prioritize the integrity & fulfillment of their services. She is a champion of consent-based sales.


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