I´m sure you’ve felt used at some point. It may even have become the norm, and you don’t know why. You sense something is wrong, but it escapes you.
Let me guess:
- You do everything you can for others, and they still betray you.
- When they need you, they make you feel special. After that, they forget about you.
- They want you to meet their needs, and when you need something, they are never there.
- Every time they ask for a favor, and you tell them no, they make you feel guilty.
I understand. The same thing used to happen to me, and you know what?
The worst part is that you are programmed to turn the other cheek and end up agreeing to their demands because of your lack of assertiveness. I know, I’ve been there. I’ve been through the same situation as you.
Years go by, and you feel let down. You helped everyone, and no one remembered you when it came down to it. No one remembers you being there for them when no one else was. You gave everything for that person who now pretends not to know you; You did the impossible to make them happy.
You ended up broken with your stomach full of anguish and your soul full of insecurities. You repeat cycles, and every person you attract into your life comes to take advantage of you. And you keep asking yourself why the same thing always happens to you. You don’t understand what is happening but know something is up.
In today’s article, we will talk about the four mistakes you are making.
Let’s dive into it.
First mistake: Thinking for others.
The first mistake you make is thinking for others: you think your view of the world is the right one. You believe that everyone feels the same way you do. You have grown up believing that we are all the same, and it’s not true. We are unique. Just as no two snowflakes are the same, no two people are the same.
We are the sum of our circumstances, experiences, knowledge, environment, and personal relationships. And each person’s view of the world is shaped by them.
That is why empathy is so necessary.
Neuroscientists define empathy as a socio-emotional capacity. A capacity that allows us to perceive, share, and understand the affective states of others. They conclude empathy “is essential for successfully navigating the social world.”
The problem is that, believe it or not, “good people” do not develop empathy as they should.
Consider it momentarily: When you are good, you think everyone else is like you, and that’s not true. If everyone were good, injustice, misery, poverty, and inequality would not exist.
That is why this is the first of the mistakes. All changes that work start with yourself. Practice empathy; open your mind to the possibility that people with different personalities exist. Understand those bad people exist. By being aware of this, you will live more alert and improve your life.
If you believe that everyone is good, you walk helplessly through life. It would help if you worked on empathy to discern between the people you want to be with and those you wish to distance from.
How to Improve Your Empathy
- Get out of your comfort zone.
- Get in touch with new people.
- Ask for feedback.
- Travel. Get to know other cultures.
- Cultivate your sense of curiosity.
- Ask questions.
Pay special attention to the last point. Harvard study affirms: “The key to having more emotional intelligence and improving our personal and professional relationships is to ask questions of others.”
Second mistake: Letting them think for you
You grew up conditioned by your environment, school, parents, friends, and everyone.
You should ask yourself if your beliefs are yours. They may be engraved in your subconscious by others.
I grew up being an Atlético de Madrid fan. My grandfather took me to the stadium as a kid. When I got older, I realized that “I didn’t like soccer.” But I still watched the games to make my grandfather feel good.
As we see in the example above, what others think of us matters to us.
When we don’t want to disappoint others, the easy way out is to behave as they expect us to be. Fulfill our role in their movie. We become the supporting actors in their films and stop being the protagonists of ours.
This lack of personality reduces our self-esteem and constantly conditions us. We do not want to be rejected by others, and consequently, we think and act the way we are supposed to.
The problem with this is living someone else’s life instead of yours. Not the life you want to live. And remember, you only live once.
Our behavioral styles and opinions — including political ones — can be influenced by the Herd mentality. You must be careful because this thinking is the same as the mafia, street gangs, coercive groups, and cults.
How to improve your thinking
- Set a time of day to think reflectively, being aware of what is going through your mind.
- Don’t take things for granted. Learn to doubt.
- Seek different opinions to assess which best fits your way of seeing things.
- Read. Reading broadens your vision of the world and its nuances.
- Go deeper. Don’t stay on the surface. Most people hear something from a reputable person and already assume it is an absolute truth. Take the time to check it out. Seek out information and do your research.
Third mistake: Losing your mind for the sake of being right.
“Diplomacy is the art of letting someone else have your way.”
If you analyze it, it doesn’t make sense to want to be right always. Our ego is the only winner when we pretend to be right about others.
The purpose of life is learning, and those who think they know everything cannot learn new things.
Moreover, he could be more efficient. Even supposing that it is in our interest that another person accepts our way of seeing things, imposition is the worst way to achieve this. Arguing is never positive. It is preferable to be considerate, listen to others, and try to explain our point afterward.
Mutual collaboration has allowed us to create well-being societies, prolong life, and improve our experience. You must leave your ego aside and look for solutions to your problems.
How many opportunities have you missed because of your pride? How many people have walked away from you because of an argument? In my case, a lot of them.
Ultimately, you realize that being right is not as important as keeping a friend.
We all seek recognition. We want to be applauded, to reaffirm our worth. We live full of insecurities and spend our lives seeking validation. We become addicted, and our drug is the approval of others.
How to improve our dealings with others
- Learn to listen before you speak.
- Try to focus on the expected benefit instead of your own.
- Take into consideration the time others spend with you.
- Do not take criticism personally but constructively.
- Keep an open mind to new suggestions.
- Think about what unites you with others rather than what separates you.
- Value people
Remember how we relate to others is very important. A recent LinkedIn study revealed that having good working relationships is synonymous with happiness for 46% of workers.
Fourth mistake: letting yourself be limited and conditioned
We see this truth in the following anecdote told by author David R. Hawkins:
A man was walking along the beach and encountered a fisherman with a bucket full of crabs. The man said to the fisherman:
-You had better cover the bucket or the crabs will come out.
-No,” said the wise old fisherman, “there is no need to cover them. Look: when a crab reaches the top of the bucket to get out, the others grab it.
David R. Hawkins. Book “Letting Go: The Pathway of Surrender.”
It’s the same in life. We are programmed to point the finger at others. When someone escapes from what is considered normal, we immediately find someone pointing the finger at that anomaly.
We are programmed to question others for questioning the natural order of things. In other words, we are all prisoners and jailers of the system.
We all want to fit in, and that is why many people do not dare to live their lives: they don’t want to be judged by their loved ones. They don’t want to feel rejected.
But if we think about it. What kind of person claims to love you and rejects you for thinking differently or trying to fulfill your dreams?
You have to understand that life is a play where everyone has their role, and every time someone wants to change it, the rest of the actors get upset because they see their position in danger.
Imagine you no longer want to play your role as husband or wife. If you do, you automatically change your partner role who stops being your partner to become your ex.
The same thing happens at work. If you change jobs, you force your co-worker to stop playing his role as a co-worker and your boss to stop being your boss.
People feel comfortable in their role; that’s why they don’t want to change and much less that you change because, in both cases, they stop being who they are to become something else.
That’s why they blackmail you emotionally, limit you, and condition you. But you will never be happy if others control your life. You will never be you if you don’t listen to your heart.
How to protect ourselves from emotional blackmail:
- Avoid feeling guilty.
- Learn to say “no.”
- Never put others’ desires before your own.
- Seek relationships based on freedom.
- Learn to distinguish a request from a demand.
Learn more about what it is, how it works, and how to learn to avoid emotional blackmail.
- First mistake: Thinking for others.
- Second mistake: Letting them think for you.
- Third mistake: Losing your mind for the sake of being right.
- Fourth mistake: Letting yourself be limited and conditioned.
There is no universal recipe for happiness. What makes one person happy doesn´t work for everybody. But whatever your life goals are, avoid these four mistakes, and they will make your life easier.
A virtual hug