Easy Stories in English

The podcast that will take your English from OK to Good and from Good to Great!

You Can’t Please Everyone

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Easy Stories in English is turning 100! On the first of December, we will have the 100th episode of the podcast. Wow, it’s hard to believe!

To celebrate 100 episodes, I want to put YOUR voices on the podcast. Record a message and say how Easy Stories in English has helped you to learn English. Maybe it has made you more confident, maybe it has made you read more, maybe you like listening in the car. Whatever the case, I want to hear from you!

I also want to have a special introduction with all of your voices. So make sure to record yourself saying, ‘Welcome to Easy Stories in English, the podcast that will take your English from OK to Good, and from Good to Great.’

The introduction to the episode will be made from all YOUR voices, and I will play your messages about learning English on the show!

If you want to be part of the 100th episode, email your recording to . Make sure it’s less than a minute, so that there’s time for everyone’s recording!

Thank you all so much for listening, and I look forward to hearing your voices!

[introduction music]

Welcome to Easy Stories in English, the podcast that will take your English from OK to Good, and from Good to Great.

I am Ariel Goodbody, your host for this show. Today’s story is for beginners. The name of the story is You Can’t Please Everyone. You can find a transcript of the episode at EasyStoriesInEnglish.com/Please. That’s EasyStoriesInEnglish.com/Please. This contains the full story, as well as my conversation before it.

So today’s episode is actually two stories. They have different names but the theme, the topic, of the stories is You can’t please everyone.

So first, what does it mean to “please” someone?

When you want to make someone happy, you try to please them. Usually, this means you are making a big effort and hope the person really likes something. For example, a child who has very strict parents might work hard at school to please them. They want to be good at school so that their parents are happy. We can also say something looks or tastes pleasing. For example, a new piece of clothing could please the eye, it could look very nice and make you happy.

Unfortunately, you can’t make everyone happy and that’s why we have this phrase: “You can’t please everyone”.

For example, when you are at school, maybe you want to be part of the cool kids, you want to be one of the popular group at school, but these kids all skip classes and don’t do their classes and say bad words. But also, you want to please your parents and get good grades at school, so you try to do both at once. But the cool kids don’t like you because you do your homework, and because you’re trying to be cool, you don’t do that well, you don’t get good grades. That’s a good example of how you can’t please everyone.

But some people do try to please everyone, and those people are people pleasers. People pleasers can be very fun because, obviously, they like to make everyone happy, but they can’t please everyone.

I used to be a bit of a people pleaser. I would have very different friends because I tried to be friends with everyone, and I changed myself, I changed my personality, to be friends with certain people.

This can lead to very strange situations when different groups of your friends meet and you realise they don’t like each other, they have very different personalities, and you are the only thing between them. Apart from you, they have nothing in common, they have nothing the same. This has happened to me a few times.

Anyway, don’t be a people pleaser! Just be yourself. Oh! That’s such a cliché, isn’t it? It’s a message you hear all the time in TV shows and films, but it’s kind of true.

OK, I’ll just explain some words that are in today’s stories.

A donkey

A donkey is an animal like a horse. Donkeys go HEE-HAW! Donkeys are strong, and can carry heavy things and people. Eeyore in Winnie the Pooh is a donkey. You can ride donkeys, and they often work on farms.

When you do something very wrong or very stupid, you feel shame. For example, if you steal something from someone and they see you, you might feel shame. You will go all red and say sorry. When you want someone else to feel shame, you can say ‘Shame on you!’ But this isn’t a very nice thing to say. These days, people don’t say ‘shame on you’ very often.

When you started doing something and you keep doing it, you continue it, then you are keeping on. For example, I started this podcast in January 2019, and I am still doing it. So I keep on making Easy Stories in English. Maybe you start reading in the morning, and your friend says, ‘Do you want to go for lunch?’ But you don’t want to go. You want to keep on reading and not stop.

When you complain, you only talk about how things are bad. Children usually complain a lot. For example, a child might say, ‘I don’t want to go to the supermarket! I don’t like that food! I want a horse like that girl!’ In different countries, people complain more or less. In the UK, people often complain about the weather, because it rains a lot here. Personally, I love complaining.

Your shoulder is a part of your body. Next to your neck you have two shoulders. The shoulders connect your chest to your arms. Your shoulders can move all around, but you have to be careful, because you can dislocate your shoulders, they can go pop, and it hurts a lot!

When you pull something out, you pull it and take it out of something. For example, you can pull hairs out of your skin. Many people pull out their nose hairs, because they think they look bad. Some people also pull out their leg hairs.

Someone who is mature is like an adult. So usually, children are not mature and adults are mature. But if a child acts like an adult, for example, they eat slowly and say nice things and don’t fight other children, then they are mature. Some adults act like children, and eat sweets and play video games and complain a lot, so they are not mature. We can also say someone looks mature, which means they look old, but they look good.

A bald man (Shinya Suzuki CC BY 2.0)

Someone who is bald has no hair on their head. Usually, men go bald. Most people start going bald around 40 or 50, and many men lose all their hair by 70. When people have cancer, they can get a therapy called chemotherapy, but this makes them go bald.

If you enjoy the podcast and want more, you can support us on Patreon. For just $2 a month you can get exercises with each episode, and for $5, you get an extra story every month, as well as Elevenses with Ariel, a daily conversational podcast for intermediate learners. Last week I talked about lockdown, burning out, The Sims 2, book covers and the culture of reading. You can support the show and get all the extra content at Patreon.com/EasyStoriesInEnglish. That’s Patreon.com/EasyStoriesInEnglish.

A big thank-you to our new patrons: Raffaella Gregori, Jakub Urban, Stefanie Kraft, Claudia Piccolo and Marek. Thank you so much. Your support really means a lot to me.

OK, so listen and enjoy!

The Man, the Boy and the Donkey

Once, a man and his son were going into town. They wanted to sell some potatoes. They went with their donkey, and the donkey carried the potatoes.

While they walked, another man came past on a horse.

‘Shame on you!’ he said. ‘Why do you have a donkey, but you don’t ride it? Donkeys should be ridden.’

So the man said to his son, ‘Get on the donkey and ride it.’

They kept on going. A few hours later, a group of old women walked past.

‘Look at that lazy young boy,’ said one of the women. ‘Shame on him! He makes his father walk while he rides. His father should ride on the horse.’

So the man said to his son, ‘Get off the donkey. I will ride.’

They kept on going. An hour later, an old man walked past them.

‘Shame on that man!’ he said. ‘He sits and rides the donkey, while his son must walk and walk. His son should ride on the donkey.’

The man didn’t know what to do. Some people said that he should ride, and some people said that his son should ride. So he picked up the boy and put him on the donkey’s shoulders.

They kept on going, and they came to a house. There, people pointed at them and said things.

‘What is it this time?!’ said the man. ‘What have we done wrong?’

‘Shame on you both!’ they said. ‘That donkey is old, and you and your fat son are sitting on his back. He will die soon, we think!’

The man and his son got off the donkey and thought about what to do. If the man rode on it, people complained. If his son rode on it, people complained. If they both rode on it, people complained. Finally, the man said, ‘We will carry the donkey.’

So the man and his son carried the donkey on their shoulders. Now people pointed and laughed at them. The donkey did not like being carried. He was afraid. The man and his son also did not like carrying the donkey, because he was heavy.

They came to a bridge, and the man could not carry the donkey anymore. The donkey fell off the bridge and into the river.

‘Oh no!’ said the son.

‘Quick!’ said the man.

They ran and took the donkey out of the water, but now he was all wet. The potatoes had all fallen into the water, and now they could not sell them.

So you see, you cannot please everyone.


The Man and His Two Wives

Once, there was a man who had two wives. One wife was young, and had long, black hair. One wife was old, and had short, grey hair. The man was not young or old. He had short, black hair, but his hair was turning grey.

The young wife did not like this. When people saw them, they said, ‘Look, that old man has such a young wife! He could be her father!’

So every night, she brushed his hair and said, ‘Dear husband, I see a grey hair. Grey hairs make you look old. Can I pull it out?’

The husband loved his wife, so he said, ‘Of course,’ and she pulled the grey hair out.

‘Now you look more young!’ she said.

But the older wife did not like her husband’s black hairs. When people saw them, they said, ‘Look, that old woman has such a young husband! She could be his grandmother!’

So if he had grey hair, people would not think that she was his grandmother. She could wait for the grey hairs to grow, but she did not like waiting.

So every morning, she brushed his hair and said, ‘Dear husband, your grey hairs make you look so mature. But your black hairs make you look young. Shall I pull out this black hair?’

The husband loved his wife, so he said, ‘Of course,’ and she pulled the black hair out.

‘Now you look more mature!’ she said.

Well, this kept on for many months. First, the wives pulled out one hair, then two hairs, then three hairs. Soon, they were pulling out twenty hairs a day.

One day, the older wife went to brush her husband’s hair, but there was no hair to brush.

‘What has happened?!’ she said. ‘My dear husband, you are bald!’

‘Bald?’ said the man. He put his hand on his head. ‘Oh, I am bald!’

The older wife did not like this. Now he had no black hairs and no grey hairs. He did not look young or old, and she wanted him to look mature.

The younger wife also did not like it, because now the man looked older than her.

The man had just wanted his wives to be happy. But he had just made them both sad.

So again you see, you cannot please everyone.


If you enjoyed the stories, please consider supporting us on Patreon. Go to Patreon.com/EasyStoriesInEnglish. That’s Patreon.com/EasyStoriesInEnglish. For just a few dollars a month you can get extra episodes, conversational podcasts, exercises, and much more. Thank you for listening, and until next week.


18 responses to “You Can’t Please Everyone”

  1. hina avatar

    woo, such great stories I very like these stories. these are wondrous stories and that’s true we can not please everyone. thanks for these amazing stories.

    thanks for these amazing stories.

    1. Ariel Goodbody avatar
      Ariel Goodbody

      You’re very welcome, Hina! 🙂

  2. Radwa Samir avatar
    Radwa Samir

    these two stories are popular in Egypt, my teachers were told it to us many time in my childhood, story number one calles ( goha and his donkey ) or ( جحا وحماره ) ” in arabic ”
    thank you for this nostalgia.

    1. Ariel Goodbody avatar
      Ariel Goodbody

      You’re very welcome, Radwa! Yes, these fables are quite universal 🙂

  3. William avatar

    Good job

    1. Ariel Goodbody avatar
      Ariel Goodbody

      Thanks, William!

  4. Artem avatar


    1. Ariel Goodbody avatar
      Ariel Goodbody

      Thank you, Artem! <3

  5. when ı understand your stories ıts make my happy because one year ago my english was so bad and ı didnt care ıt . but right now ı wanna my english is good because ı wanna live ın the london . many people say that london has a good education .and ı wanna to talking wıth englısh people but they are speak so fast and ı dont understand them because of this .

    1. Ariel Goodbody avatar
      Ariel Goodbody

      Keep on trying! You can focus on listening and reading until you’re really comfortable, and then start talking to people. I actually made a video with advice on what to do when you don’t understand someone.

  6. Artem avatar

    My darling Ariel Goodbody, thank-you for your efforts for teaching with exciting method particularly a poor and silly human body like me!!!!!! please keep to write!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! thanks a lot !

    1. Ariel Goodbody avatar
      Ariel Goodbody

      Don’t worry, I don’t plan on stopping!

  7. Vanessa avatar

    Oi Ariel,

    Adoro sua narrativas.
    Obrigada por nos ajudar tanto.
    Sou brasileira, mas moro em U.K. e suas histórias me ajudam a aprender inglês.


    1. Ariel Goodbody avatar
      Ariel Goodbody

      You’re very welcome, Vanessa! I’m glad the stories are helping you 🙂

      1. Cindy avatar

        A warm hi to my amazing Ariel! I am Cindy from Ecuador 🇪🇨

        I can’t say thank you enough for sharing your knowledge with us. I love your beautiful voice and style.🤩

        Your beautiful stories putting a smile on my face.😄

        We can’t please everyone, it’s a waste of time and energy. Our own family can even be our worst enemy sometimes.

        In the past, I was foolish to think that if I was a kind person nobody was going to hurt me and unfortunately life doesn’t work that way, and I had to learn that in the most painful way.

        People told me “just be yourself” but the last thing they want to hear is what we actually feel like when someone asks “how are you?” You have to respond with “I’m fine” when you actually want to say that you’re depressed and a few people had made fun of you when you were trying to practice another language.

        Many believe that just because they had an amazing experience learning languages that it’s universal and that everyone else also had that same experience.

        I learned that we don’t have to please everyone.

        I love this beautiful song called “Just Be You”.


        Did you know this song?

        A huge thank you to my amazing Ariel for helping us with our English.🙇

        Wishing you continued success.

        1. Ariel Goodbody avatar
          Ariel Goodbody

          Thank you for the lovely and thoughtful comment, Cindy! I’m so glad you’re enjoying the stories and finding that it resonates with you 🙂

          You’re absolutely right about being asked “how are you?”. Honesty is rarely what people are looking for! But it’s good to speak our truth and not be ashamed of who we are.

          I hadn’t heard that song before, to be honest. It’s a bit too ‘soft’ for my tastes, but I like the message.

  8. Mansoor Ahmed avatar
    Mansoor Ahmed

    really nice stories!
    Keep up

    1. Ariel Goodbody avatar
      Ariel Goodbody

      Thanks, Mansoor! 🙂

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