Friday, August 12, 2011

To Thine Own Self Be True

It's all too familiar: we are asked to do something and we want to say "no," but because we don't want to hurt that person's feelings or make them angry, we say "yes." Then we end up feeling hurt, sad, angry, frustrated and ultimately, resentful. We have not been true to ourselves, selling ourselves a bill of goods around wanting to please someone else. In the end, we have not pleased ourselves, so we have pleased no one.

Then there is the guilt. We may feel guilty for not doing for someone what they have asked, and we may feel guilty for not taking care of ourselves. Controlling people know this--they count on it. They might try to manipulate using words to incite in us feelings of guilt about taking care of our needs first.

It's rather easy to fall prey to this cycle if we answer a request too quickly. What I find helpful is telling someone: "Let me think about that and get back to you." I sit with the request and see if it really works for me and if I have it within me to fulfill that request. Only after taking pause, can I respond with clarity and confidence: "Yes, I would be happy to do that for you." or "No, this does not suit me to do x at this time."

We are not responsible for the reactions of others. We can only be true to ourselves. Now, how powerful is THAT?!

2 comments:

  1. That's quite deep. It is true that our actions often do not reflect who we are. There are also many who let themselves be taken advantage of because they are so desperate to be accepted.

    I think it is good to want to please others, more in the way of 'making them happy and taking care of their needs'- I call that love. Deciding to treat others the way we would like to be treated. Being concerned about their needs before ones own. Of course one must also be wise and not invest too much in those who only want to take and not give back anything. We can care for others without being stupid.

    It is all in the motivation. Are we doing something because we care for the person or is it because of fear of rejection, need of acceptance, etc. Do we do it because we freely want to or because we see no other alternative and other such unhealthy reasons.

    I finally stopped by to have a look! It looks really good!

    Sarah

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  2. Thank you, Sarah! Yes, the need to be accepted can sometimes lead us to act in certain ways that are not healthy. We have choices and exercising those choices becomes our responsibility. I really appreciate your insights and comments.

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