The People Pleasing Tree

April 6, 2016


For as long as I remember
I’ve eaten from a tree
It’s called a ‘People Pleasing Tree’
And the apples were just for me.

The apples always looked good
They were shiny, nice and bright
But when I took a bite
I got a terrible fright!

The apples gave me powers
To please all those around
Yet while I gained approval
I kept stumbling to the ground.

I never stopped to think
That the apples made me ill
Because I was pleasing others
And this was a deceitful skill!

It was very reinforcing
To win approval from my friends
From people who are important
The list it never ends.

So all through my childhood
I continued to eat
From the people pleasing tree
Pleasing all whom I’d meet.

Then when I was a teenager
The apples made me sick
Cause I was confronted by some bullies
And was battered by their tricks.

No-one showed me how to eat
Of any other fruit
So I kept on being nice
To the bully- the nasty brute.

Suddenly from nowhere
I got a strange sensation
Although I was still saying ‘yes’
The word came with such hesitation.

Inside of my belly
Anxiety was brewing
But I kept eating the apples
Much to my undoing.
And then as an adult
uncertain what to say
When I needed to say ‘nay’
I still quivered in my ‘yea.’

Conflict would arise
and my stress would worsen
I started to hate the apples
And slowly started to curse them.

And as the years passed by
I started to choke upon these apples
I hated pleasing others
Pleasing me was now my battle.

Then painfully and slowly
I learnt that the tree
Had caused me to suffer
From saying ‘yes’ repeatedly.

I no longer eat the apples
I no longer try to please
I have to please myself
By saying ‘NO’ it sets me free.

Today the apples tempt me
But I will not take a bite
I’ve planted a new orchard
With the apples that I like.



Natalie Alexander is passionate about human rights issues, matters of the mind and interfaith insights. When not in deep thought, Natalie loves to travel, drink good coffee and keep fit where she resides on the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia.


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