Some of us are sacrificing our own happiness so that we can keep other people in our lives happy. We find ourselves calling a specific friend everyday. If we do not call we know that our friend will be upset. We find ourselves year after year postponing that long deserved vacation. Week after week, we sacrifice quality time with our family so that we can work longer hours. Why do we do these things – because we know that if we don’t, our boss will be upset.
Newsflash – we were not put here on this earth to keep everyone happy. That is just NOT our responsibility! We are not here to save the world – we already have a Saviour.
Our time is way too precious to spend it being controlled by others. If you go running every time someone in your life is having a ‘crisis’, then you are only enabling the dysfunctional relationship.
Solution – put your foot down and don’t go running every single time. And yes, it is possible to still love someone even if you are not meeting their every single demand on your time.
Think of children who always throw a tantrum to get their own way. Ignored often enough, they will eventually learn that their tantrums will not get the desired reaction. The same methodology may be applied with adults. For example, when our boss throws their ‘fits’, taking us down the guilt path, ignore them often enough and they will eventually learn that the guilt trip tactic does not work on us.
A point of clarification – we must be kind, generous and show mercy.
However we know people who know which string to pull year after year to make us feel guilty. It is these persons that we need to stop enabling.
Newsflash – if someone is controlling you, it’s not their fault, it’s yours! We were not called to be unhappy so that others can be unhappy. We were not designed to not live our dreams.
How to evaluate our relationships
We are like planes; we can soar as high in the sky as we choose. For a plane to fly there must be lift, thrust, weight and drag. Most people in our lives will fall into one of these categories.
Lift: some people lift us up by brightening our days and making us feel great about ourselves.
Thrust: some people motivate us and inspire us to take action to accomplish our dreams.
Weight: some people pull us down. When we leave their presence, we feel heavy, discouraged. Sometimes we feel worse than we did before.
Drag: some people always have a sad story – the world is out to get them. They are always in the pits and they expect us to cheer them up and to solve their problems.
Solution – pay attention to who we are spending our time with. Ensure that we are spending the majority of our time with lifts and thrusts.
How to surround ourselves with the right people
The truth is we can not avoid weights and drags. We will find them is our workplace, in our home and even in our church.
What we can do is to recognise and love them for who they are and do not postpone our happiness because of them. We can also:
- listen to something that inspires us such as music and motivational talks;
- keep our guards up by always having a grateful and thankful attitude; and
- decide not to let them steal our joy. If they want to be unhappy, that’s their choice.
Some of us continue to sacrifice our own happiness so that we can keep other people in our lives happy. However, we were not put here on this earth to keep everyone happy. This is a hard lesson that we all must eventually learn.