I often hear people say "I want to be accepted for who I am". These people use this as a reason to make it acceptable to change me in order to facilitate their needs and wants. How does this work? Someone might be exceptionally nice to me by caring, sharing, and giving more than I give to them. Their self imposed expectation of what my reaction to their niceness should be causes them stress. They begin to get frustrated that I am not doing what they want - they believe that if I do what they want, they will be happier. What should I do? Should I become aware of this expectation and accommodate it? Does it matter who the expectation is generated by?
I believe that I do not have the responsibility to make anyone personally happy. This is a SELF responsibility - it belongs to you and only you. Here's what I mean in simpler terms: I have the right to be myself. If you don't like it, move on. You have the right to be you. If I don't like it, I will move on. You are responsible for your happiness. I am responsible for my happiness. Certainly we may contribute to one another's happiness but the responsibility lies with the self.
Something that can bind and restrict people is a feeling of obligation to maintain friendships and relationships particularly within their family. As children become adults, they feel pressure to continue pleasing their parents in a child-like manner and to continue propping up relationships with siblings and other extended family. Victims of abuse feel pressure to continue defending their abusers and continue prolonging a destructive relationship through this defense. They do this despite the resulting degradation of self and degradation of relationships with children, spouses, and friends.
The truth is that you cannot make everyone happy, and you cannot make everyone accept you. You also cannot expect others to bend over backwards for you and to meet your expectations. We probably all fall into both categories to an extent. To that end, we can voice two statements: 1) "I am done jumping through hoops so you will like me" and 2) "I am done asking you to jump through hoops so I will like you".
Does this mean we are all done changing and we are all going to remain stagnant? Absolutely not. Self exploration, examination, and improvement is a lifelong task. Keep moving forward but do stop trying to make others happy and burdening others by USING them as your primary source of happiness. Happiness resides within you! Happiness lives in self.
Ms. Bhakti Mary
I am an optimistic, positive, generous and driven author who is passionate about self-improvement.
The essence of who you are does not lie in the past. What matters is what you are willing to do NOW. You are the presence.