By Dayna Mason
When we compromise what’s important to us by tolerating unsupportive people in our lives, we become resentful. We think our resentment comes from their behavior, but it actually comes from our behavior. We resent that we’ve abandoned ourselves and we want our power back.
When we compromise we abandon our needs
Negotiation is not the same as compromise. In negotiation, we each get something we want in exchange for giving up something. In compromise, we meet somewhere in the middle and neither of us gets what we truly want.
The definition of compromise we will explore in this article is “being untrue to your core values and beliefs, as in selling out to achieve some short-term goal.”
Every time we compromise on something that is vital to who we are, we deny our authentic selves. The further we get from who we are, the more unhappy we become. Whether it’s to please others or to prevent “rocking the boat,” if we ignore what we need our abandonment leaves us unfulfilled. This eventually creates resentment and is poisonous not only to our happiness, but to our relationships.
Signs of self-abandonment
Here are some signs of self-abandonment (from PsychCentral):
- Not trusting your instincts – second-guessing yourself, overthinking and ruminating, letting others make decisions for you and assuming they know more than you do.
- People-pleasing – seeking validation from others, suppressing your needs and interests in order to please others.
- Hiding parts of yourself – giving up your interests and goals, not sharing your feelings.
- Perfectionism – having unrealistically high expectations for yourself, never feeling worthy regardless of how much you do and what you accomplish.
- Self-criticism and judgment – saying hurtful and mean things to yourself when you don’t meet your own painfully high standards.
- Not honoring your needs – not recognizing that your needs are valid, failing to practice self-care, feeling unworthy of self-care.
- Suppressing your feelings – pushing away uncomfortable feelings through denial, mood-altering substances, and avoidance.
- Not acting according to your values – doing things to please others even if they go against your beliefs and values.
- Codependent relationships – focusing on someone else’s needs, wants, and problems and neglecting yourself.
- Not speaking up for yourself – not asking for what you need, not setting and enforcing boundaries, letting people take advantage of you.
If any of these signs are familiar, now is the time to stop tolerating nonsense and start making your wellbeing a priority.
Cut the nonsense and make your needs a priority
“Tolerance is the virtue of the man without convictions.” – G.K. Chesterton
Nonsense comes in many forms. It may be pointless activity, a draining relationship, or a thankless job. To alleviate the nonsense may require avoiding people and situations where nonsense is present, especially when it is in abundance.
The urban dictionary definition of “drama” is “a way of relating to the world in which a person consistently overreacts to or greatly exaggerates the importance of benign events. A pattern of irrational behavior and reactions to everyday problems.” People who thrive in the land of “drama” are especially prone to nonsense and should be avoided entirely if our wellbeing is important to us.
As we begin to identify our needs and take action to make them a priority, we may exhibit some of the following symptoms: an annoying inability to put up with nonsense and a persistent compulsion to roll our eyes when we are in the company of nonsense.
For some of us this occurs naturally as we age. After we’ve lived a while, chances are we’ve been through more than one significant life-changing event—like the unexpected and tragic death of a child, a spouse, or an entire family. When confronted with things in life that truly matter, nonsense is put into perspective. Enough of those perspective-changing events may develop into intolerance for things that don’t really matter.
The number one regret of the dying is “I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.”
Let’s take back our power, stop compromising our needs and values, and have the courage to live a life true to who we are.
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