Are you like me? Do you tie yourself into so many knots over upsetting people that a group of Boy Scouts could not unravel you? Well, fear (k)not. I have had a realisation that may be able to help you.
Time to fess up. It was not a realisation as such. When those close to me and the universe have spent so much time slapping me in the face and saying ‘I am trying to tell you something’ it seems unfair of me to take the credit for realising something so bloody obvious.
So, let me rephrase. I was led slowly and patiently to realise that my thoughts on upsetting other people have been ever so slightly skewed. Not wanting to upset others is no bad thing. Not wanting to upset others to the point where it is a detriment to yourself might want some evaluation.
Let me clarify what I mean about upsetting others. I am not talking about you walking down the street and knocking an ice-cream out of a child’s hand for no good reason and for the sheer lark of it. That would be a douchebag move. I am referring to when you think you are going to upset someone for saying that you do not want to do something.
So why is this? I think there are various factors. One issues that I have (and maybe you do as well?) is with being selfish. I would rather feel bad than make others (or suppose that I have made others) feel bad. The question I ask is this – is it a negative to listen to what you want to do and do not want to do?
I would argue that it is not. Life is hard. There are a lot of things that can make it more difficult and simply being able to say you can’t face that thing someone wants you to do is a great first step in listening to yourself. It is about being honest. Do not make your life harder by doing more than you feel comfortable with.
Another thing to think about is that you may not actually upset a person by saying you don’t want to do something. Chances are, if someone you know is a decent and understanding person, they will not give you a hard time for saying no to something. Thinking you will annoy someone else before you even know that you will is giving yourself a hiding for nothing.
Also, if you know someone and they do you give you a hard time for not wanting to do something because you are having a hard time, then it is likely that they are not that helpful a person to have around anyway. That does sound harsh I know, but is it harsher than you being swayed by someone who does not have your best interest at heart?
In the end, I think it is fine for you to be kind to yourself. Take it easy when you need to. Do not do more than you feel fine with doing. It is your life. It is completely ok for you to say no.
I am only giving thoughts on things I have noticed in my own life and I am by no means an expert. If you have ever felt like this or similar, then please let me know and share your thoughts too.