I am a people pleaser. I say yes even when the answer should be no. I make sure my loved ones are okay before asking myself if I am okay. I place others high on my list of priorities and scribble my own name on the bottom. But that is going to change.
I am allowed to make the choice I want to make instead of the choice that will keep everyone else happy. I am allowed to tell others I am too busy to make time for them. I am allowed to turn them down when they ask for money or a ride. I am allowed to disappoint them if it benefits me.
That does not mean I am going to screw everyone over and stop caring about anyone other than myself. I will still spread kindness. I will still do favors. I will still assist friends and family members as often as possible. But when being kind requires me to do something I am uncomfortable doing, something I do not actually want to do, then I have a right to say no.
I am allowed to upset you. I am allowed to look out for myself. I am allowed to make decisions based around my own happiness.
Others might get frustrated when they realize I have revoked their permission to walk over me, but they will get used to the shift in my behavior. Either that or they will leave my life, which means there is one less person around who only cares about what I can do for them.
I should not feel guilty about choosing the right option for myself. I cannot say yes to a party or event that will make me miserable just to appear polite. I might come across as selfish, or even as heartless, during those moments but it’s better than going through with something dreaded and kicking myself for not having a backbone.
Some people will respect my decisions. Other people will criticize me. They will call me a bitch. They will accuse me of only caring about myself. And that is okay. Even if my failure to allow someone to walk over me comes across as impolite, I am allowed to be rude. I am allowed to have an attitude.
There is nothing wrong with knowing what I want. Turning down a night of drinking does not mean I am a bad friend. Refusing to chase after the career my parents want for me does not mean I am a bad daughter. Saying no to an occasional favor does not make me a bad person. I am allowed to develop my own voice. I am allowed to put myself first for a change.
Choosing the best path for my future doesn’t make me selfish. Some people are going to be unhappy with the decisions I make, some people might even cut me out of their life over some of my choices, but I cannot let that deter me from doing what is best for myself.