I chanced upon this article "Don't Keep Saying Yes: Why you need to stop being so nice" and decided to take a look at it because so many people have been telling me the same thing. (but you see, I generally doubt articles of this "self-help" genre because many of them are based on very pragmatic / self-serving grounds) While unsurprisingly, I disagree with the article to a large extent, a small part of it speaks to me.
"Be it in my career or my relationships, I am a perpetual people pleaser, and always have been. I am so anxious to be liked that I will do or say almost anything to seek approval and avoid confrontation."
This is very true for me. I would often go all out to avoid conflicts. I remain silent even if it is evidently the wrong thing to do, or laugh off comments that I find completely inappropriate, or say "yes" to things when I actually mean a thousand "no"s in my head. I guess this has a lot to do with my family background / upbringing - an environment that deprecates differing opinions. It'll probably take a while more before I grow out of this habit.
"... the next time I am asked to do something, I should pause and ask myself if I have the time, and if I will feel upset if I do it – either at myself, or the person asking. Dr Boag gives me another pep talk, ‘Be realistic about what you can achieve, learn to say no and prioritise what’s important. Remind yourself of what you have to offer, so you’re not reliant on others for praise."
Well, not too sure if this advice will work for me but I guess the least I could do is to stand by my principles and learn to speak up for what I believe in. (Oh, and being nice is not something I will give up on - so the aim / title of the post itself goes against my principle)
Update: it's Valentine's Day tomorrow! I just had a sudden realisation that today's sharing at fellowship might have come because of V Day haha. Today's sharing wasn't exactly enlightening because they were messages that I've heard before, but it served as a reminder for me all the same - in what I am seeking in my other half, how I should treat this issue of bgr etc. Anyway, I'm spending it single and unavailable this year, and happily so! :) It's been a learning journey from my past relationships and I'm slowly able to say and trust that "God, I'll leave all this in Your hands because You have an awesome plan for me".