Conforming to others

United States
March 21, 2007 12:25am CST
I often think that I will not be happy with my life, I felt like I have always done things and decisions based on what others will think, what my family will say, how it will affect them. I have never really done things because I will be happy that way, it has always been others first, and a lot of times I feel miserable. I feel like I have fear of making a decision based on my own happiness, I get the feeling that I will forever be miserable because I cannot get over the shadow of doing as what my family expects of me. It seems like I am living for others, for the reason that I am afraid to let them down, afraid of failing their expectations, I know that I should live for myself if I want to be happy. But then I just can't seem to be able to do it..
4 people like this
16 responses
• United States
21 Mar 07
I used to be like you. I tried to make everyone around me happy and neglected myself and how I felt. It is important to be aware of how your decisions affect other people people but don't make decisions just to please someone else, because in the end you are the one that suffers. People around you, family and friends, should want you to be yourself and be happy with who you are and the decisions that you make. If they are putting high expectations on you, you might want to take a step back and look at their motives. On the other hand, It could just be your mind set (how you think they want you to make decisions or do things). I found out that in my own life, that I was the one that expected to much of myself and other people didn't expect of me what I thought they did.
1 person likes this
• United States
28 Mar 07
You make a lot of sense... " It could just be your mind set (how you think they want you to make decisions or do things). I found out that in my own life, that I was the one that expected to much of myself and other people didn't expect of me what I thought they did." Actually sometimes I think about that too, that there is the probability that they really weren't expecting that much from me, but me being afraid to find out if it is, I just go with what I think they expect me to do, it just seem like I am the one putting the stress on myself.
@catcai (1057)
• Philippines
21 Mar 07
Yes, it is really hard to be a nonconformist indeed. I tried non conforming to the standards of my family and my mom- yes it made me happy at first, but their constant bombardment has made it difficult for me to live that happy for long! in the end- i got tired of fighting and resisting-i had to surrender to their standards... It's also hard when you have to live to please someone that you dont wanna lose in your life- like youre just living for his approval- i had that experience with the guy i loved- and love still, before i was so scared that he wouldnt like or love me back so i always agree to what he has to say- but i got tired because we really dont have that much same principle in life-- I became what i trully am- hoping that if he really loved me, he would still accept the way i am... unfortunately he didnt... so we parted ways- we became friends though, but we never really got that along always- at least i just rejoice for that brief time that i was able to express what i trully am to him. NON conforming is indeed very risky and can be painful too- not all people can be so open minded to the possibility of indifference.. but take heart- be brave enough to be yourself- there is JOY in freedom... take care!
• United States
22 Mar 07
There is certainly joy in freedom, but then sometimes as easy as it sounds, it is very hard to achieve genuine freedom. Sometimes we are just being encaptured by other's feelings, expectations, hopes. It's hard. But thank you for your very wonderful advice.
• Pakistan
21 Mar 07
Ok you have said that you want to become happy but when you try to do this your family becomes between you and your happines or what ever you want to do.So, miss please now listen me carefully in your life there are so many people all peoples have their own feelings some people likes what you do and some does not so you can't make all people happy at same time only make those happy who loves you and cares about you and just leave those who don't care about you.And yah it's right to be make your family happy but you have also yourlife you have your feelings than why you are waiting that first my family become happy then you will celeberate your happiness just leave it now now think about you first then think about your family. I hope that it is difficult but not impossible.
• United States
22 Mar 07
I know, but then, a lot of things are easier said than done. And this one counts.
@tinacaps (66)
• Philippines
21 Mar 07
I am happy for you that you are aware of this feeling but there is no need to be miserable. I used to be in the same predicament but as I grew older and as my experiences expanded I have learned to make decisions on my own and learned not to rely so much on other people's opinions and needs. You have to be aware of the fact that this is your life. It's ok to listen to them once in awhile but do not rely too much on them. Stand up for yourself. If I found the strenght to do it, you can too. There is no need to be a doormat. Be assertive. If you are having difficutly deciding on your own, then have options and then weigh the pros and cons. Do not rush things. It will all take time. And also, sooner or later this people will have to leave you some day, think of how your life will be after they are gone. You will have to learn to be independent. Live for your dreams, hopes and goals. You are only human and your are expected to fail, if you do, stand up again and try. There is no such thing as a perfect life because it will always be filled with challenges. You can do it! Just do it already!
1 person likes this
• United States
22 Mar 07
It is not that I cannot make a decision, but that I always take into consideration what my family wants and basically their opinion comes first.
@clod0327 (817)
• Philippines
22 Mar 07
It is good to be a good daughter and follow and live your life as to what your family expects you to be. But it becomes a bad thing if you’re not happy about it and is already feeling miserable by doing it. You own your life so you have the full ability to take control of it. You should make decisions according to what will make you happy. I know if your family loves you so much, they will understand whatever decisions you make with your life. I think you need to talk to them about it. They might not even know that you’re already feeling miserable with what you’re doing or you find found out also that they’re only expecting you to be like that because they thought you’re happy with it. Just be open with them and I know they will understand you.
• United States
22 Mar 07
I try to not conform to the world. Jesus said we are to be of the world and in it, not be like the world. But its easy to get into the stuff the world does and people. Its easy to get caught up watching bad movies, reading bad books and swearing. Its easy but I try to not do this. I was never popular in high school. I had a small group of friends but even at our private christian school there was the popular group. That wasnt me. I dont know why I was never popular. I always saw them as mean people or people who didnt care as much for others as we did. Its okay it wasnt mean. It didnt help all the guys I saw as cute were in the group by *L* thats high school! I would say this much for you. DONT LIVE FOR OTHERS LIVE FOR YOU! Dont sit around trying to be like others to be liked. And dont think you need to be a certain way to be who you are. Be yourself, your unique self. Outside of high school I can now see that it was all a joke. Real people dont get in popular groups. And outside of high school I saw it didnt matter. And you look back now and realize you need to recall this quote. I loved it from Never Been Kissed. "Find out who you are, and try to not be afraid of it!"
1 person likes this
• India
22 Mar 07
Living for others is a good idea u will be the most loved one for others....... For each help u do to others dont for get u will get it back in some other way in ur life...... but remember one thing "Dont live completely for others" u shud live for urself also.... "only one life" enjoy to its best..... :-)
1 person likes this
• United States
21 Mar 07
i was like that for a long time, always trying to live up to the expectations and standards of others, until i realized that expectations and standards are nothing but personal opinions, and that one persons opinion of me shouldn't govern my entire life. i started doing things to make me happy, that i thought would better me most as a human being, rather than would elevate me to the pedastal my parents wanted me to be on. its possible to respect peoples standards without strivng for them yourself. try just doing little thing to make yourself happy. little things that people haven't told you is good or bad or anything at all. factor in your happiness and how it will be affected when trying to make a decision, and if the choice someone else wants you to make will decrease your personal happiness level, try to find a happy medium, so you can still please others and please yourself.
1 person likes this
@dfinster (3537)
• United States
21 Mar 07
I used to do that a lot when I was younger. I always thought if I made everybody around me happy I would be happy. I was wrong. Don't get me wrong, it's nice to do some things that make other people happy, but when it's something that you have to do for yourself you need to do just that. Do it for yourself. You're the one who has to look at yourself in the mirror ever morning and fall asleep with hat's on your mind every night. Then if you're happy it will rub off on others. That made a big difference for me with a lot of things in my life. I still catch myself feeling that way or trying to put others before myself in situations where I shouldn't. It takes time and practice I guess.
1 person likes this
• Philippines
21 Mar 07
I started living away from home when I started college. It was through years of painful and happy experiences that I have found myself and became the kind of persn that I am now. I want to share with you a text message which a friend sent me just a few minutes ago: It doesn't matter what other people think or say. I DON'T LIVE TO PLEASE THEM. What matters s that I've made the most of what I have. I had fun, I learned from what I've done & lived through it all despite the gossips & intrigues. Just live life fearless of other people's shadow because that's what makes a meaningful existence. This message practically speaks about me. I SO don't care what others will think of me. But, like everything else, there is a limitation. Someday you will find yourself and know yourself better. Someday you will be able to make your own decisions. Someday you will live for yourself and not for others. Don't rush, enjoy life. And like what they say, "be careful what you ask for, you might get it"
1 person likes this
• India
21 Mar 07
u should live for urself...i used to be in the same position quite often,but slowly i realized...no its enough better start living for self...i always tired to make others happy by sacrificing mine...what i got is nothing,infact i got taken for granted.. today i feel ihave nothing left for me..but its not too late..u too realized this mistake,good..go ahead...better start thinking about urself without hurting others feelings..better understand this...plzz dont make people use u.u got to have ur identity...all the best
• United States
22 Mar 07
It's not really the feeling that I am being used, it is more like, living up to people's expectations of me. And sometimes, I just box myself within that constraints, sometimes I feel like I can never do things that I like unless people agree.
• China
21 Mar 07
Honestly, i think, you might be wearing different masks too. Ex: To make your friend happy, you wear Mask A. To make your mother happy, you wear Mask B. You are too afraid to show your own face -maybe, you are not confident enough-. You may have misinterpreted FLEXIBILITY. Being flexible doesnt mean you lose yourself in making decision. Being flexible is making decisioin that considers others as well as yourself. Everything happens for a reason. You become someone that wants to make everybody else happy even if it means not having your own happiness. Search for the reason why you act like that. The answer is already in u. Once you find the reason, it will be easier to change your action. People might see you askind-hearted, but how do you see yourself? You HAVE TO have your own IDENTITY that makes you different from any other person. You wont change instantly. Everything needs process. You CAN change, but do you WANT to change? Its just my opinion. I dun really know your condition and i may be wrong. Pliz, dun feel offended if i said anything that may hurt u. Good Luck
• United States
22 Mar 07
Thanks for your opinion but my point is not based on being two-faced or something, it was more on always putting my family's opinion first even if sometimes I don't agree anymore, I find it hard to turn against them. It isn't a question of being flexible, because in terms of personality, I am who I am, and I do not act differently around other people. My issue is more on not being able to stick up to what I want rather than what they think is right.
• India
21 Mar 07
Hello dear, well you should start thinking twice before doing anyyhing, the first time is te general stuff and the second time for you as how are you going to be affected or what will be the result's impact on you, etc, You are doing what others say, even they are thinking for you they don't want you to loose. Whatall they are doing is also for your benifit only it's only that you are not satisfied that too at times, fine so think yourself first and then go to others for their comments and recommendations. By the way you are following the same thing here as well taht you are asking us to help you out, no problems dear, it's for your benifit and you just helpout yourself, set your own aims, goals and ambitions and go ahead ,conqure the world, we are waiting.
@NatureBoy (493)
• Singapore
21 Mar 07
I think you feel that way, because you have not found anything that you really like to do. If you have found something that you would really like and enjoy doing, I don't think you can be influenced by others anymore. Some thing that you really must do, will also make you more resolute.
@ipodbaby (53)
• Philippines
21 Mar 07
Just like you, i also lived that way. 'til i grew tired of doing all the things for other's sake, even if it meant killing my own happiness. I tell you, if you continue living like this, you'll miss the happiness and contentment that you really deserve. Right now i am living with my own decisions, and tho' i sometimes make mistakes, i am not ruing over that. At least i have no one to blame but myself. Start building that confidence and be courageous enough to start the change =)
@pbc2007 (10)
• India
21 Mar 07
Living for others is good.I wonder to learn that there are people on this earth who live for others.But if this not make you happy then whats it importance.I suggest you to live for others but at the same time it will please you too.Try to make your own decision.Listen to your conscience.Be dare enough to be a decision maker.I am sure in this way neither you nor others will be hurted.Bcoz there is not a single chance that your decision will be wrong since you think always for others.Try it, atleast once.