“Happiness is a choice that requires efforts at times.”-Aeschylus.
Making choices is a hard thing to do. What could be even harder than that? Saying “no”, if you are a people-pleaser.
Some of us are hardwired with the need to say yes all the time which puts us in hard situations at times. When it is about either meeting your needs or pleasing others, you find yourself in a tricky situation.
You are afraid of being rude and you want to help because you are a kind soul. You don’t want to decline any requests you get but also you have your own needs to fulfill. The moment feels like it’s a “lose-lose” situation whichever option you choose. Finding a way out of such situations is a tough job.
Here below are some ways to meet your needs and make others happy at the same time.
1. Know the difference between self-care and selfishness
You don’t want to look selfish when you decline a request but self-care isn’t selfishness. Avoiding stressful moments isn’t selfishness – rather it is self-care. Selfishness is when you indulge too much in yourself without caring for the strings attached to you.
It isn’t healthy if you keep ignoring your own needs just because you are too good to say “no” or you have picked up a habit of saying “yes” to everything. You can’t care for others if you don’t take care of yourself first.
2. Realize that you have a choice
When you find yourself in a situation, reluctant to say “no” to a request, the first thing you should bear in mind is that you are free to make your own choice.
You don’t always have to say “yes” to propositions that conflict with your needs. You can choose to say “no” and any reasonable person will respect your choice. The choice is yours. You don’t really need to sacrifice your needs to make others happy. It’s just that you need a little self-care at the moment so that you can be of much more help to them in the future.
3. Propose something else
Now that you have made your choice to decline the request, everything else from that moment onwards depends only on the way you present your choice to the other party. Support your decision with good reasons and suggest something else to help.
This shows your willingness to help but unfortunately, you can’t take them up on their request. The notion is to keep everyone happy. If you can’t give your time to the request, perhaps suggest someone else who could tend to it. That ought to keep your nose out of it.
4. Present yourself non-aggressively
You have to make sure that you choose only the polite words as you explain yourself to the other person. Sometimes, pushy people tend to get on our nerves but presenting yourself angry and aggressive will certainly play against you in any situation. It is not different in this situation.
It would be wise to avoid dealing with such people. The wiser thing to do would be to anticipate the request and to decline it gently before they even get the opportunity to put it through to you. Anger is the worst enemy of mankind. Keep calm at all times and tackle the situation with your wit.
5. Understand that you are of equal worth to anybody else
Do not undermine yourself. You don’t have to agree to everything that other people say just because you feel that they are worth more than yourself. That’s the first step towards your peace of mind. Do not succumb to bullying or whining. If you don’t respect yourself, it opens the door for others to disrespect you as well.
We have been taught to “give” and “love” and never to expect anything from anyone, but you can always give and love and expect everything from yourself. Know your worth and don’t be afraid to reject requests at times when it matters.
6. Set priorities and clear boundaries
Ask yourself “What are the most important things to me?” – then schedule them accordingly. Knowing your priorities helps you take the right decision.
A rather clinical approach to take care of the situation would be to weight your needs against the need of the other party and decide on whichever option is likely to bring the greater value of happiness. Know your limits and set boundaries to keep yourself within your comfort zone.
7. Be assertive
Assertiveness is the character of leaders. When you voice out your thoughts with a good deal of assertion, you paint a good image of yourself in people’s mind. Then, people tend to go with whatever you say. Be firm and not very apologetic. Your strong persona does all the work for you here.
But if your statements seem to lack respect, it backfires on you. People take it for rudeness. So, make sure you are being polite and respectful. It helps a lot if you practice choosing the right words for the right scenario.
8. Understand that the happier you are, the more capable you are of making others happy
A positive energy radiates out when you are happy. Happiness is contagious.
Try and be happy with the choices you make. Happy people make other people happy. If you don’t make yourself happy first, you won’t be able to make anyone else happy. When your loved ones see you happy, it brings happiness in them as well.
9. Learn and accept the fact that sometimes making compromise is a must
Understand that sometimes compromises must be made. It’s all a matter of priorities. If for instance, you’re busy building your website, that’s clearly important. But what if your friend calls in that his home is on fire and he needs you to help? That’s not only important but also urgent. So you have to leave your job and compromise. In other words, sometimes what people are asking of you could be of higher priority to be attended to than your own needs.
You should make a compromise if the request outweighs your needs. Buddha said, “Being generous, just helping one’s relatives and being blameless in one’s actions; this is the best good luck”
10. Go easy on yourself
Realize that you can’t be everything to everyone. Acknowledge that you can’t do everything, after all, everybody has limits. Explain your reasons sincerely. Keep it simple and go easy on yourself.
Avoid the self-conflict by being sincere to yourself. Self-soothe by telling yourself that “what I did is in the best interest of everybody”. You’ll do just fine in every situation.