Don’t we all just want to be happy and get along? Most of us search for connection and understanding with others, desiring for life to be peaceful. We avoid conflict as much as possible.
Unfortunately, we also spend a lot of time doing things out of obligation, because we feel bad, because our family said so, or because we come from a culture of keeping people happy at the expense of our own peace. Self-defeating right? Well it doesn’t have to be….
I’m finally coming to understand that it’s ok to say NO, to put myself first and walk away from people who no longer support me and my vision for the future. It’s so hard to be honest with yourself and question why certain people are still your friends, or walk away from an interaction with someone, knowing they just suck the life out of you. The worst part? You agree to do it all again the same time next week, just to keep THEM happy and avoid that awkward conversation.
There are so many signs to show us how much people pleasing we actually do on a daily basis, but I’m going to share with you my experiences:
1) I don’t mind, whatever you feel like/want to do/want to go:
If you are always the one who is compromising your choices, tastes and preferences, you need to STOP. Share your opinions and what you would like to do with people and if they are not respecting that, it’s a clear sign they don’t respect you.
2) Blah blah blah blah, ok thanks for the chat – BYE!
If you have someone who always calls to dump their shit on you and doesn’t even ask how you are or bother to listen to what is happening in your world, move on. This person is self-absorbed and does not see the value in you, so why waste your energy.
3) Downplaying your own happiness and success:
There will always be people triggered by your happiness and ability to create the life you want. Clear signs are when that person makes passive aggressive comments or questions your choices with a smirk on their face, as if to catch you out and expose something sinister to their friends about what’s ‘really going on’. The sad thing is, that person is probably just really depressed in their own life and feeling jealous. Don’t shrink who you are to make them feel better. Have empathy but don’t waste too much time on them.
4) Ah, yeah, sure, ok, I can do that, um….:
The language of NO can be really tough, especially if it’s being said to our family and friends. Often, we say yes to things and days later we regret committing! Be honest with yourself and those around you. Phrases like, ‘I need to be at home this weekend’ or ‘thanks for asking me but I need some time out at the moment’ are not offensive, it’s just putting your needs first. Wouldn’t you rather be honest, than show up as a half-arsed version of yourself when you just aren’t feeling it?
5) 50 First Dates syndrome:
Do you have someone in your life where your friendship feels a bit like each time you meet, you need to warm them up like a car engine on a cold winter’s day? It’s always you accommodating for their social awkwardness or lack of connection. These friendships need to slowly die or end quickly – the choice is yours.
Life is way too short to waste time with the wrong people. Ending friendships and distancing yourself can be painful at first, but your future self will thank you one day I promise!