Because I want to
I used to suffer from the problem known as being a people-pleaser. I’d say yes to almost anything someone asked me to do because I never wanted to let anyone down. Part of it was unselfish, caring about other people and wanting to provide whatever they needed. But part of it was also selfish, not wanting anyone to be unhappy with me and always looking like the go-to guy who comes through whenever needed.
A few year ago when my life changed drastically, I realized that I was doing this a lot. It hadn’t always been obvious to me that it was a problem. But as I took the time to assess myself and my life up to that point, I realized that being a people-pleaser wasn’t really working out. Some people would still be disappointed, no matter how hard I tried. Some people were never going to like me. And some people where going to throw away every good thing I had ever done for them because of one time I said no or didn’t come through. So I began to question why I should continue that way of life. What was the point? Was it worth it?
Obviously, because I’m writing this, you can guess that I did not conclude that it was worth it to keep living that way. I started a new way of thinking, training my brain to ask “Do I want to do this?” before giving a yes answer to anything. I still find myself doing lots of things for other people, but now it’s not because I’m afraid they’ll be let down if I don’t. It’s because I want to. If I truly don’t want to do something, I don’t commit. You know what the funny thing is? No one has stopped liking me simply because I’ve given them a no answer. No one has thrown away our friendship because I’m not always the go-to person for anything and everything. My relationships are in tact. And they’re better, because now I’m doing things because I honestly want to. It feels good to do things for others, but not out of fear or guilt. It feels good when you’re doing something because you want to.
It’s all just a shift in mentality. I’m a lot less overwhelmed, I am happier, and I don’t resent people for asking me to do things even though I’m the one who said yes to them.