Making the people in your life happy: is it possible 24/7? It's a question we ask ourselves a lot. When you’ve got friends, family, and various loved ones all looking to you to make the ‘right’ decisions and do what’s best for all of you, can you always deliver?
Absolutely not! It’s impossible to be everything to everyone at once. After all, you’ve got your own life to live, and your own thoughts and opinions – sometimes they have to come first. Even when you’ve got kids to raise and parents to look in on, you don’t have to sacrifice your own personal comfort and happiness.
If that’s something you struggle with a lot, we’ve got some ideas below that could help you. No matter how much you have to deal with, there’s a lot you can change to make your life easier and much more comfortable.
Who Depends on You?
You’re going to want to be the best friend possible, a ‘good’ son or daughter, and the world’s most amazing parent. You’re also likely to want to be the most capable person in the office or the most on the ball member of the PTA.
And while you can devote some time and attention to one or two of these things, you won’t be able to pin them all down. Remember, the more people depend on you, the higher the expectations you’re going to set for yourself. Never has that been a good thing, and it would be unfair to expect someone to try and live up to it.
Why That Can Be Unfair
Because it’s an impossible standard. You’re setting yourself up to fail from the moment you adopt this attitude, and the fall can be crushing. What you promised you could do ends up becoming a bad memory and an embarrassing situation to be in – even worse if someone asks why you thought you were capable, and points out how you let them down.
Don’t force yourself into this scenario. Adopt a new attitude; one of prioritization and knowing your limits. This is your life, at the end of the day, and you shouldn’t be living it by someone else’s rules or expectations.
Setting Boundaries isn’t Bad
It doesn't make you a bad person to know, or unreliable when it comes down to the wire. It just means you’re taking a healthy approach to treating yourself right, while also doing your best to be there for other people. Setting boundaries means you draw a line in the sand; this is for your benefit, and it works for those around you as well.
It shows them what you’re willing to do, and how far you’re willing to go to help them, but makes it clear when they’re about to overstep. Not only does the use of a boundary improve the use of your own time and energy, but it improves your ability to communicate with those around you without anyone getting upset or missing signals.
You Can Ask for Help
You really can. Even when it’s terrifying. Even when you think you should be able to do it all yourself. Even when you think you’re failing someone dear to you. It will never be as disastrous as you lead yourself to believe.
Because asking for help does not come at the price of your self worth or the love of those around you. If you need help caring for an elderly or disabled parent, call on Comforting Home Care by Phoebe. Sometimes a little professional help is all we need to take the burden off our shoulders.
Don’t Let Your Emotions Overrule
Having too many people rely on you isn’t just harmful from an external point of view. It can be terrible internally too. Indeed, it can be hard to let go of the idea that you need to be everything you can to those you love.
You want to be that person’s best friend, and you want to be the one your sister calls on when they're in trouble. Finding out that you’re neither of these things can be a real blow, especially if you’ve tried hard to become that kind of person.
Focus on Yourself for Now
If you want to be as much as you can to those you love, it’s likely you’ve not focused on yourself for a long time now. Years, even. But you deserve some TLC right now, especially if you’ve had to deal with some hard truths lately.
Focus on you, focus on applying some self care, and fall in love with yourself again. It’s not a bad thing to take 5 and spend it only with yourself. You can also take a mental health day from work when you need one – the time is there to use, you’ve just got to use it right! And that’s on you.
No One Can Do it All
There is no such thing as a perfect person. We all have our own quirks and flaws, and our own lives to lead. You often have to look ahead instead of what’s going on right now, or focusing on the mistakes of the past.
And the more you realize that being everything to everyone at once is actually a bad thing, the easier it’ll be to actually become someone they can call on when they’re in need.
It’s ironic, and it can be painful, but that’s often how it all works out! You let loose, cut out stress, and start acting like the person you really are – people will appreciate that more than anything!
You can’t make everyone happy. It’s a hard thing to come to terms with, but sometimes you’re going to let people down and disappoint them. The more you try to ‘people please’, the more you’re going to tear yourself apart in the process. Take your time fixing up your boundaries, ask for help when you need it, and let that idea of perfection in your head let go.