Wanting to Please Everyone Is an Unnecessary Waste
When we try to please everybody we end up not liking ourselves. Because, how many times have we said yes to others, and no to ourselves? How many times have we sacrificed our will, our desires, and our feelings to make someone else happy?
We have probably done this many times throughout our life, because the line between “yielding” in a healthy way and “yielding” too much to others is very blurry. We can say without a doubt that it is dangerous and unnecessary.
In this sense sometimes we find it hard to put on a good show when we have to say no to something that destroys us. It can also happen that our voice shakes and we avoid eye contact. However, it is essential to learn how to assertively protect our core.
Do not say YES when you want to say NO
One of the definitions of “assertiveness” that is closer to everyday language we can find is by psychologist Walter Riso who states it like this:
“Assertiveness is the ability a person has to say NO, to express disagreement, to offer an opposing opinion when facing conflict situations and doing so not submissively, which is negotiating one’s own principles, nor aggressively, which is violating the principles of others.”
The assertive person is one who can express their negative feelings without violating or trying to violate others’ rights.”
When we manipulate our will, we make ourselves incapable of refusing something despite its negative consequences for us. To do this is poisonous; it’s to drink water from the well of eternal unhappiness and to become unsatisfied individuals, very angry at ourselves and with an enormous frustration for not having our opinions and beliefs valued.
Do not lose your essence when somebody does you wrong, just be cautious.
An Asian teacher saw a drowning scorpion and decided to take it out of the water, but when he did, the scorpion stung him. Because of the pain, the teacher dropped it and the animal went back into the water and was about to drown again. The teacher tried to pick it up, and once more the animal stung him. Someone who was watching asked the teacher:
–Excuse me, but you are so stubborn! Can’t you see that every time you try to pick it up it will sting you?
The teacher answered:
-It is in the scorpion’s nature to sting and that will not change mine, which is to help.
So with the help of some leaves, the teacher picked up the scorpion and saved its life. “Do not change your nature if somebody hurts you; just be cautious.” Whatever others think about you is not your problem; it’s theirs.
We should not change who we are just because somebody did us wrong or hurt us once. We have to learn to handle our will and re-assess the circumstances in order to to adapt our strategies to them.
At the same time, to re-assess our feelings intuitively towards others is not a solution either. We must make an effort and manage our expectations in such a way to stand by our principles with no bad feelings.
Although we must also say that being assertive and protecting ourselves does not mean not feeling badly, because it usually goes hand in hand with undesired rejections and loss of people and things we need (for example, refusing to give out personal information that is not relevant to the position we are applying for during a job interview).
So as we were saying, wanting to please everyone in the world has a great personal cost which is avoidable, because our self-esteem weakens as does our dignity and determination. That is why we must protect ourselves and take precautions to protect our essence and not suffer uselessly. The key is to say NO when necessary.