My friend used to always say to me, “You don’t owe anything to anyone and they don’t owe you anything either”. This statement used to be so unsettling for me to hear. I’m a huge communication advocate, so to be told that no one is really required to give you feedback, closure, guidance, support, love, etc., always felt so bad.
It wasn’t until a few years later when I got older that I really realized the truth behind this. It wasn’t until the voices and needs of others became louder than my own that it made me understand just how much I was actually required to sacrifice for other people.
We are not required to speak if we don’t want to speak.
We are not demanded to give people the words, conversations, and responses that they want – especially if we don’t want to give them.
We do not have to reach out to people if we don’t want to.
We are not required to put ourselves in the way of bad company or bad circumstances, just because it’s the easy thing to do or because it’s more comfortable.
We do not have to give anything to anyone. However, we owe it to ourselves to honor what we actually do want. We owe it to ourselves to listen to our inner self, to hear what feels good and right for our own body, and to refuse to feel guilt or shame for that.
My point is, communication and empathy make the world go round. Sure, a lot of the time it is nice to offer our time to anyone who desires it – even when we don’t want to give it. A lot of the time it is less awkward to fake a smile rather than to just continue on. A lot of the time it is more comfortable to fake peace and love for someone, even if we don’t feel it. But that doesn’t mean we have to. We don’t have to fake a smile, to fake love and affection, or to pretend to be somewhere / feel something that we don’t.
No one is required to give us their time, energy, words, or favors. No one has to give us anything. No one owes us anything.
The truth of the matter is is that we aren’t here to make other people comfortable or to make their lives easier. If something is benefiting someone else but is making our own lives worse, we aren’t where we should be.
Remember that you aren’t here to please anyone, you do not have to give parts of yourself that you don’t want to give – or parts that you can’t give. You are here to ensure your own health, happiness, and progression. That’s it.