It was just one day, I sat down and really began to think about it. I have tried very hard to ensure I keep every major area of my life in check. Not so easy but I chose to do the right thing and do my best to excel. I try to manage my finances well, my career effectively, my relationships effectively and my health in good condition. I just keep doing all I can to live a happy and comfortable life. But for a long while, I kept experiencing upsets and real hurt from time to time. As much as I tried to remain happy it was difficult, so that day I had to take a look at my life and deal with the root cause of my unhappiness.
After considering all the issues, I suddenly discovered the major source of my unhappiness. – People. People.
Many of us naturally want to do what will make people happy with us, love or at least like us and be kind to us. We are very sensitive to the way people see us, think of us and speak of us. We try as much as possible to be seen as good, nice and kind, we want a good reputation; we want everyone to reckon with us particularly as touching our being good. So we often go overboard in trying to register this very good impression and reputation.
Friends, family, relatives, colleagues, employees and even strangers fall within our targets when it comes to making good impressions and having them on our side. However, with time, our desire to keep doing this can entrap us in that we move away from a point of decision to be seen as good to a desperation to be seen as good.
Consequently, we begin to love ourselves less and prioritise the desires, needs, and expectations of others over ours.
You wouldn’t really know when you begin to get that way, you just begin to respect their feelings unnecessarily. You don’t want them hurt, disappointed or upset with you, so you do all you think you feel is necessary to keep them perpetually impressed with you. You want them to approve of everything you do no matter what it costs you. You keep hurting and feel so uncomfortable with the whole relationship, but somewhere at the back of your mind, you wouldn’t want to do what you’d rather prefer to do so that these people will not think or will not say something you don’t want them to think or say about you.
Now if you really analyse the relationship, you’re the one doing most of the work; you’re investing the most in the relationship in time, attention, caring and giving, they really don’t care as much and don’t give as much yet, they are the ones that really need the relationship not you.
When you become so nice and kind and considerate of some people, there is this tendency for them to begin to assume they mean so much to you and you can’t do without them. They begin to overrate their importance and relevance in your life and would begin to call the shots in the relationship.
They’d want everything done their way and in their convenience. You’d do most of the caring, checking, visiting, calling, texting and giving, they will hardly appreciate and in fact still complain about the measure or quality of your sacrifice.
The illusion they experience thinking you can’t do without them drives them further into all kinds of attitudes and misconducts. They begin to exert on you psychological and emotional pressure. They begin to oppress you, take advantage of you, cheat you and at times abuse you in the relationship.
The worst case is when you have this tendency towards every friend you make. Everyone would then want something from you, no one ever considers giving to you. They begin to assume you’re strong and on top of all your issues, that’s why you have the time and energy to care about them and their issues not knowing your issues may even be worse off than theirs, it’s just in your nature to care for others.
You keep giving and giving so very much yet they don’t see or appreciate, rather they grumble and complain and criticise your efforts. Now I’m talking about people who wouldn’t even lift a finger to help you when you’re in need.
They ask and keep asking even if it’s most inconvenient they will still ask for it and when you’re reluctant they begin to nag and complain and make you feel terrible about your reluctance to help. Even when you’re ill, they still expect you to have the answers to their issues.
They hardly see your issues, no one bothers to ask how you’re doing, they just Assume and conclude you’re fine, even if you’re dying, they believe you’re strong enough to take care of yourself and your issues.
They feign weakness and inabilities simply because they want you to do for them what they can do for themselves but don’t want to. Hmmm. My dear friend, what’s the cost of your friendships?
My dear friend, the day you liberate yourself from what others think and say about you is indeed your independence day. As long as the feelings and opinions of people about you matter so much and affect your mood, you are in their interactive colony. They will exploit your mind, exploit your resources, take advantage of your strength and still make you crave and chase after them.
Learning to love yourself enough to protect yourself from emotional and psychological manipulation and blackmail is freedom and independence indeed.
Think, consider all your friendships and relationships right now. Is there any friend directly manipulating or controlling your life simply because you really love and care about them? Is there any friend controlling and manipulating your life today simply because they helped you or bailed you out of a situation in time past? Is there any friend controlling and manipulating your life simply because you shared a secret with them and you don’t want them to tell anyone hence, the desperation to ensure they don’t betray you? Is there anyone controlling and manipulating you right now because you’re related so they’re asking for what they would never do for you should they be in your shoes?
As much as I believe it is noble and right to be kind, generous and considerate, I also believe everything must be done in moderation; modesty is the honour of any venture. When anything is overdone it backfires.
Dear friend, decide today to review all friendships and relationships and reposition yourself in good context. Liberate yourself from every manipulation and the grasp of so-called friends and relatives who are control freaks. They tell you what to do, how to do it and for whom to do it, they refuse you use your mind, will and initiative; when you reject their advice and counsel, they sulk and become cold and distant – blackmailing you emotionally. Come on its time for all these to stop. Decide to start enjoying your own freedom to choose and do what makes you happy and satisfied.
It’s time to stand up to them in gentleness and respect, argue your point without shouting at them and hey, it is okay to say no without giving any explanation, you don’t have to explain everything.
When necessary, refuse with a logical explanation, if they choose not to understand, stop talking but go ahead and do what you want. You don’t have to convince them, don’t try to make them agree with you, just do it. Learn to decline without feeling guilty and confront without being mean.
Bending always to unfair demand will always leave you bitter, upset and grumpy; you’ll be unhappy and depressed most times.
Be wary of people who always talk about themselves, their needs and are never interested in yours. Don’t let anyone make you feel bad about taking care of yourself and buying good and expensive things for yourself. It is your money, feel free to enjoy it, it is not your fault they can’t afford what you can afford. If they can’t handle your happiness and your pleasure, they’re not good for you.
Buy what you want to buy and wear what you want to wear without guilt; it’s your life. Don’t let anyone make you feel selfish and don’t give away anything you still love if it’s going to make you unhappy giving it away, simply say no and keep a straight face. Let no one make you feel guilty about taking care of yourself well, if you do, they’ll make you feel selfish and make you give them everything they want.
They’ll insist, blackmail, put up acts, exaggerate and make you feel rigid and inflexible; ignore them. Go through the motion with them without the emotions and at the end of every drama still do what you have to do.
Dear friend, feeling bad after every sacrifice and gift giving is not worth it, if you don’t want to give it out, don’t give it out.
Don’t keep yourself in a self-constructed prison of manipulative relationships. You’re so unhappy about the friendship yet, you don’t want them to know – you don’t want them to know how their demands affect you, you admit it was your choice after all. Hmmm
Dear friend not wanting to appear unkind can make you very unhappy because most of this so-called friends really don’t care how you feel –you’re just a tool to them, when they’re done with you, they’ll move on. Get smart. Be careful with people.
Enjoy your day.