(This post is an answer to a written request from one of my readers, thank you for reading and requesting.)
Balancing being kind and not being walked over.
If you are anything like me you are kindhearted but don’t like people to know and walk all over you. Maybe you even feel a little guilty for wanting to hide it but you really shouldn’t. Don’t feel guilty and don’t hide it, instead cultivate the ability to say ‘No’ and be okay with not pleasing everyone.
One of the hardest things to do is bear the burden and gift of a heart that perpetually feels. Yes, every heart feels, but for some the “feels” are deeper and that makes the individual more inclined to do for others—even go the extra mile. Sadly, the downside about expressed goodness of heart is that it is very public and not every person appreciates it, instead they look to exploit or abuse it. I’ve been there Lovie and it hurts because it is a form of abuse. The good thing though, I have learned, is that you hold the ability to shut it down!
By the grace of God my pain can be used for your benefit, so for me it was worth it. I will share with you what I have learned and what I have begun to put in to practice personally:
1. Saying “No” is therapeutic— There was a time where I was terrified to say no for fear of people being disappointed, mad or not liking me but now… No is becoming a fast favorite of mine. Not every request should be granted a ‘Yes’. Your ‘yes’ is valuable. Why? When you say yes to someone you bond yourself to the task or mission, you have pledged your time and your resources whether it be financial, emotional or physical abilities or property. There is value in all of these things and you should not take it lightly, your yes is heavy. Remember that. Saying no helps you conserve energy, keep stress at bay and allows you the opportunity to learn that you do not exist to please others. Pleasing others is an added benefit to both parties but it is not a requirement (believing that it is a requirement enslaves you to the fear of saying no).
2. When saying ‘Yes’ be sure to have boundaries— Boundaries can save your emotional and mental health! Like I said before, do not let past hurts change your good hearted nature but you do need to develop boundaries. Like any relationship (saying yes definitely puts you in a type of relationship, however brief) you need to know what you will and will not do nor accept. Be upfront and clear, I cannot tell you how many times communication error has landed me doing something I had not originally agreed to do but still did because I did not want to ruffle feathers. So go ahead and say yes but read the situation, know the circumstances and set those boundaries.
3. Read the situation/circumstance— There are split decision yes actions that are relatively simple but those are not the ones that require introspection or the need to read an article like this one. I’m talking about the ones that require you to think about it first. “Can I borrow your car?” sounds simple enough but how well do you know the person asking? Are they responsible? Why do they need your car or couldn't you just drop them off instead? This may seem funny but I guarantee your insurance company would not be laughing if something happened, worse yet if police were to get involved. Read the situation and know the circumstances.
4. Not everyone will be happy with your decision and it is okay— I cannot repeat this enough, you will not be able to please everyone even after you have said yes. People by their very nature are hard to please, while someone will be happy that you said yes another will be upset that you did not say no. Life goes on, how do you feel about your decision? Are you happy with it and its results or consequences? Remember that pleasing everyone is not your life’s requirement. On this beautiful globe we have One to please and that is God Almighty, please Him with obedience and goodness and leave the rest to Him. Do that and you will begin to see, as I have, that the rest is inconsequential.
I hope this helps Lovies.