What's best for me
"I can't tell you the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everyone."
Life can send us on emotional rollercoaster rides when we make choices that will not always win the favor of even our strongest allies. Everyone shares different views and values. Some people own their decisions and take the path that will most likely benefit them. Other people will consider who may become upset over their actions. They play out worst-case scenarios in their head, hoping to avoid conflict with others, even if it means sacrificing their own wellbeing. I know this because I did this to my own detriment in the past.
Even when I was depressed, I used to be a people pleaser (Go figure 🤷♀️). I did not like seeing people upset, so at times I would go great lengths to please friends, family and coworkers. My need to please others became an issue when I would not set personal boundaries. I had also become a serial friender. I eventually started feeling like a doormat with some people in my life. I did not feel appreciated. I felt used. There were only a handful who made me feel this way, but it was enough to address the issue.
I realized I was more concerned about people liking me than I was about them respecting me and my choices. I also realized people mostly respected my choices. I was allowing the few sour grapes in my life to ruin how I assessed the intentions of my loved ones and trusted coworkers. Now it's easier to see who has my back and who would rather turn their back on me. I consider my personal wellbeing first, in place of needing to meet people's expectations for the role I play in their life. I no longer feel the need to people-please so much. I'm kind, but please don't mistake that for weakness.
I stopped feeling bad turning down invitations to grab coffee or attend a gathering. What a relief to not have to feel so bad for possibly disappointing others. We should not have to take on the burden of guilt if others feel hurt because of a choice we made about our own life, especially if it does not affect them. That's their choice. It's also their choice to allow it to affect the relationship. Now I interact more with people who do not get so offended or turn cold on me. It has vastly improved the quality of my relationships. I also stopped getting so upset with myself when I started doing more of what's best for me instead.