Would you consider yourself a people-pleaser? Cara Delevingne just shared her own experiences of people-pleasing on the The goop Podcast, and anyone who relates needs to listen to it.
In our new podcast series, There’s A Podcast For That, we’ve already found the perfect podcast episodes for issues including egg freezing, healing from a controlling relationship, talking to friends about grief, dealing with romantic rejection, facing up to credit card debt and understanding your period cycle.
The aim is to find and share the best podcast episode to provide some reassurance, helpful information and relatable experiences for each life issue.
This week, we’re looking at the idea of ‘people-pleasing’ – something that a lot of women would describe themselves as constantly doing. We’ve not had to dig too deep in the podcast archives, as the episode we think you need to listen to was actually released on Tuesday 16 March.
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The goop podcast – Gwyneth Paltrow x Cara Delevingne: Being A Recovering People-pleaser
On the surface, actor, model and activist Cara Delevingne might not seem like the kind of person who has lived a life of people-pleasing. Aside from forging such a successful career, Delevingne has also become a confident and key public figure who speaks out about depression, LGBTQ+ rights and #MeToo.
That’s perhaps precisely why the fact that she talks about being a people-pleaser during her interview with Gwyneth Paltrow on The goop Podcast is so interesting – anyone can find themselves growing up with people-pleasing habits.
“I was just trying to make someone happy or trying to prove people wrong”
Paltrow starts the conversation by admitting that she spent her 20s trying to “be good, be nice and do everything everybody said to do”.
When she says she admires how much change Delevingne has already created by being herself, Delevingne responds: “In my mind, I was the kind of person who was trying to be really nice and trying to do the right thing and prove myself to someone, or make someone proud – not necessarily myself, because I was just trying to make someone happy or trying to prove people wrong, or gain love from people I don’t necessarily think I needed to gain love from.
“It came from quite a sad thing, almost, in a way. Or a place of feeling quite lost and confused and alone and trying to find a sense of belonging.”
“I was pleasing people but I was deeply unhappy”
When Paltrow asks how she stopped being a “pleaser”, Delevingne answers: “I am still a pleaser though. I’m still learning and growing so much when it comes to saying yes to people and everything, or trying to please people. I think there also comes a point where I will, even when I’m doing a movie role, or something, I will push myself so far and don’t really see the limits.”
She added: “There came a point where I was pleasing people but I was deeply unhappy. I was so unhappy and I wasn’t following my truth.”
“I began to believe that my own instincts were right”
Delevingne describes how she felt she had to breakaway from what was expected of her in the modelling industry and start pleasing herself: “You talk about ‘fraud syndrome’, everyone has that – but the more I began to believe that my own instincts were right, that actually you can kind of take a step back from certain situations and really follow your heart, your gut… The more I was able to have faith in the decisions I was making.
“But, again, I don’t know what I’m doing. No one does most of the time!”
In the rest of the interview, Delevingne also talks about learning from her childhood and how she has always felt she has something to prove to herself. One particularly powerful thread of conversation centres on how she suffered from “massive depression” while grappling with her sexuality. It’s a fascinating and important listen – you can hear the whole conversation on The goop Podcast via all podcast streaming platforms.
Hollie is a digital writer at Stylist.co.uk, mainly covering the daily news on women’s issues, politics, celebrities and entertainment. She also keeps an ear out for the best podcast episodes to share with readers. Oh, and don’t even get her started on Outlander…