A lot of times, we have trouble using this phrase or those like it. Many times people feel guilty, useless, unhelpful, rude or like they will be perceived that they don’t care. I’m not sure about other people, but this is how I’ve felt in times.
Did you ever notice that you can say “Sorry, I’m busy” to some people, but not others? Did you also ever notice that it’s the same people asking you for things over and over again? And those people asking for help/favors seem to NEVER return them?
Now this idea applies to all areas. It applies to help at work, school, home and even with friends. It also applies to making plans with friends and dropping them. I think we can all relate to those times when we carve out time in our schedules and it seems nobody else can do the same! Or, they carve it out only to cancel at the last minute – constantly!
This is the story of my life, and I’m sure I’m not alone out there.
So often people ask for favors or help and I will be very quick to say, “sure, no problem” when it really is a problem; I just feel guilty saying “no” because it’s expected of me. I have recently stopped to think, “what am I doing? I do for others and it seems nobody does for me!”
Since I am in this “life overhaul” period I figured, why not look at all of this…. Why not just observe and see what happens. Things change when you’re no longer the one doing for others.
When you stop calling and contacting – suddenly, communication with those people is lost.
When you stop saying “yes” to everything – suddenly, communication with those people is lost.
When you stop offering to get together – suddenly communication with those people is lost.
When you stop being overly accommodating – suddenly communication with those people is lost.
Or – it goes the other way – suddenly those people are very upset with you and your new-found “no”.
I am not going to sit here and state anything like I know the answers, because I don’t. I only know from my experience that when they are upset, frustrated or disappointed in you, that will pass. After it passes, you are no longer the door mat. I also know that once you stop doing so much for others and pleasing them, you will start to feel more fulfilled. You will feel like you are living in your own experience and not just serving others.
If you aren’t “happy” to do it, then don’t do it.
* “happy” for people pleasers is a loose term. You fake yourself out an think you are happy, but deep down you feel a bit of anxiety that if you don’t get it done they will be upset with you. This does not mean “happy to do it”…. Happy to do it means you have a true smile on your face and you feel joy out of doing it. If you’re still unclear about this idea – google the definition of “happy” and “joy” and see if that fits. Don’t lie to yourself.
Think about it…. where does this idea fit in your life?