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Saturday, April 30, 2016

Are You Compromising Yourself?

Lately I've found myself struggling to understand the boundary between taking other people into consideration and compromising yourself for other people.

No matter what you do in life we're constantly seeking a balance between being a doormat or a dictator. From learning how to be assertive yet approachable at work, to being yourself yet open-minded in relationships, you may not notice when you've found a balance, but you definitely notice when you've lost it.

In the age of technology where 'likes' and 'followers' are desirable, you may find yourself doing things to get a reaction from others, instead of a eliciting a reaction from yourself. When I first started writing it wasn't for other people, it was a way for me to laugh and engage with myself. That being said, when it took off and gained some popularity, people couldn't wait to see what I'd write next. I felt myself become unbalanced almost immediately. 

There are a variety of reasons that can cause someone to become unbalanced; 
  • Attention - trying to get attention from an ex, a crush, your boss
  • Comparison - comparing your life, or elements of it, to someone elses 
  • Confusion - not understanding what you want, so getting influenced by others
  • Hesitation - acting against your gut to satisfy others
It's important to lead a life your proud of. A life that is uniquely yours. When you put your life on a spectrum between Selfish and Compromising you begin to see how difficult maintaining a balance of 'consideration' can be. 

Selfish - You do things for yourself without taking into consideration other people

Considerate - You do things for yourself with consideration for other people

Compromising - You do things for other people without consideration for yourself

To use this spectrum to generalize your entire life may be too broad, but acknowledging elements of your life where you've become unbalanced can help. There's a quote in Bridget Jones' Diary where she states: 
It is a truth universally acknowledged that when one part of your life starts going okay, another falls spectacularly to pieces.
Let's say that your job, family and friends are all going amazing. Yet your love life... is lacking. The 'type' of guys you're into are the ones that are unavailable. They either already have a significant other or they are forever bachelors. To keep these people in your life you may rather compromise yourself than not have them at all. For men with significant others you'd opt to be their friend. For men that are forever bachelors you'd opt to never get 'too' serious.
By doing this you're pushing away your feelings for their benefit, not your own. You can catch yourself posting photo's simply to get their attention, flirting with their friends to show you're desirable, listening to their feelings and lying about your own.

When it's all said and done, it's extremely unhealthy. Not only are you compromising yourself, but you perceive them as selfish for not taking your feelings into consideration. In your desire to elicit a 'grand gesture' promised to you through decades of chick flicks, you lose who you are and what you want.

But let's not despair. If I've learned anything in my twenties it's that there is always a lesson to be learned. New jobs, friends, family, ex-lovers, boyfriends; these are all things worthy of becoming unbalanced over. It's about being able to recognize that imbalance, and finding a way to get back to your true self, that matters.

- georgeelizabeth

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