As humans, there is the unspoken (and sometimes spoken) expectation of us to be ‘selfless’. Now, selflessness isn’t a bad trait in itself. In fact, one could argue that selflessness is one of the traits that make us human and that stops the world from being a constant war zone.
Part of this act of selflessness is being expected to do things that we quite frankly, don’t want to do. To attend functions that bore us to death, to wear uncomfortable clothing because it is ‘appropriate attire’, to socialize with certain people because it’s the right things to do. To a certain extent, some of these things are an avoidable part of the human experience. Some of those things, however, are just things others and ourselves mentally bully us into doing. Most times, there isn’t any actual reason behind them and they cause more discomfort than any actual good.
Someone on twitter once said that the happiest people are those who don’t give a damn. This is beyond true. One of the most relatable Nigerian phrases is ‘I cannot come and kill myself’. It’s time to incorporate that philosophy into your life. Don’t feel like going for that event you aren’t required to? Don’t go. As long as there are no dire consequences, there’s no need. If you don’t feel like wearing heels to work, don’t. As long as you are not breaking any dress code, you should be fine.
The lengths people go to please others is astounding. If you really think about some of the things we do, you’ll find that we take on a lot of unnecessary stress on ourselves. Before you embark on certain things, ask yourself if you’re doing it because you actually want it, or because you’re doing it to please someone else. Life is short and constantly displeasing yourself yo please others isn’t a way to live.
There is a great deal of freedom in doing what you want to do. At first, there will be some odd looks and egging tongues, but overall, people have more respect for people who play by their own rules and don’t care about what others think.
Before you put yourself through soul-sucking stress to please others (who would likely not do the same for you), step back, breathe and let go.