I’ve been told this before, but now find myself more than simply contemplating it. I am earnestly trying to apply this to my life. Today, there are three thoughts in my mind:
First of all, what is the point if people like me if I don’t like myself? While I like being liked very much, it won’t change my inner state no matter how many people like me. It’s not going to change the fact that my own strength and ability will have been effectively halved and I live more miserably than I would other wise. Self-confidence cannot come from there. For my own sake, I’d like to like and care for myself in a healthy and wholesome sort of way. Not the fake kind where people puff themselves up like roosters and strut around while secretly carrying an open wound in their hearts. That is not how I want to live.
This leads into my second point. I have heard this before many times, but it never stood out to me like it does now. It’s true that I can be a bit nosy and always try to help others to the point I carry too much responsibility. This has caused me to be taken advantage of a lot. Sometimes, it’s better to be a bit rude and protect yourself than to be polite and hurt yourself. That’s my second thought. Politeness has its limits and when the other side is being outrageous or otherwise unreasonable, then you’re not being rude in saying no. People like that will often demand more and more so it’s better for you and the other party (since being unreasonable creates a different sort of monster in oneself). There is nothing wrong with having boundaries and enforcing them. The other party may not even realize they’re being unreasonable so isn’t it better that they realize now that not everyone will reward or otherwise give in to that sort of behavior? There are a lot more reasons to say no then yes.
Third, everyone has their own story and it’s enough that you yourself are virtuous and good, doing all you can to serve others and fulfill your obligations. Life is hard enough as it is sk don’t add more hardship than you need. It’s not your duty to make sure others do what they should in their minds and hearts. It’s not like you even know everything in there anyway. That’s their problem. Taking that much responsibility is more than any of us can handle. Better to do your best and know that it’s enough. Don’t take more than you can handle.
Anyways, these are the thoughts swirling about in my head today. I really want to learn these lessons more fully and apply them to my life. True understanding and real life application of these three seems to me as lessons that are important to remember when trying to gain more confidence and decrease stress.
Everyone is different so not everyone needs to learn these lessons or to even learn them in this way, but for me, these are valuable. Lessons like these can’t be bought and must be earned. There are very few things that can outrank them in value to me.