You don’t owe anyone anything. Nobody is entitled to your time, body, or money. Yet I watch a lot of people give everything they have to others, but leave little for themselves. It is a sign of insecurity and weakness,
I would like to assume that most women want to be independent and strong. So why do they let others dictate how they spend their time? I used to be the rather passive at one point. I was in a string of physically and emotionally abusive relationships, which left me too afraid to stand up for myself. I didn’t see myself as deserving of any joy or independence I could earn myself. Then something changed in me. I wish I could say exactly what changed, but I began not to put up with anything I didn’t like. However, I do it tactfully.
You can be assertive without being demanding and mean. Instead of making accusations or demanding respect from others, you can express how you feel and respectfully ask them to change their behavior. The classic example is “I feel ___ when you do ___. Could you please try doing ___ instead?” If this doesn’t work, then you can be stronger about pushing your agenda.
It is not about thinking you’re a “goddess” or a “queen” who deserves the world. At the end of the day your life doesn’t affect the seven billion people on this Earth. You are insignificant to the world. However, just by the fact you are a human being you deserve to be happy and have the best life possible. Part of this is being assertive, strong, and independent.
So let’s get clear about what you don’t owe anyone.
- You don’t owe anyone your body.
This is key for girls. Whether you are single or in a relationship, your body is yours alone. Social media teaches women that the world revolves around sex and sexuality. It suggests that is part of a person’s self-worth. Men are encouraged to sleep with as many partners as possible even when they don’t want to, because it is just “what men do.” Women are given the double-standard of either being a prude or being promiscuous. While I am not a feminist, I can see this is a problem. The truth is is that your body is yours. If you don’t want to share it with someone, then it is your right to say no. If others don’t respect that, the blame falls on them.
- You don’t owe a good appearance to others.
Society and social media teaches men and women they must always look put together. If they don’t, they are either a slob or downright lazy. I used to be trapped in this out of insecurity. Everyday I would have to do my hair and makeup, no matter if I was sick or tired. People became so used to me being done-up that on the rare occasions I went without makeup they asked if I was sick or tired. I’d joke, “No, I’m just ugly.” That is quite sad. Now I realize it is utter garbage. If I don’t want to put full effort in my appearance no one should really care. Of course people may judge me, but it is their problem if they prioritize physical appearance over who you are as a person.
- You don’t owe others your time.
So many people feel pressured into investing time into people or activities. They are generally worried if they don’t they are being selfish, rude, and that the other person’s feelings would be hurt. Honestly, most people don’t care. Although it took time, I learned how to tell people “no.” The other person would just say “ok” and leave it that. The majority of the time they don’t ask why you are unable to spend time with them or do an activity. Time is precious and can never be taken back. Spend your time doing what makes you happy.
- You don’t owe others perfection.
Men and women alike are pressured to be perfect in every way. If they are not successful in one area, then it must mean they are a failure at life. This black-and-white thinking is what tears a person down. You don’t have to be perfect. What matters the most is if you strive for self-improvement and try to make progress everyday. If others do expect you to be perfect, then you should set them down and explain you can’t always be super-human. I understand this issue very well. I am a very successful person that others look up to and rely on. However, they don’t know my troubled past, how I take pills just to emotionally function, and how I am very jaded. Sometimes I let people in to show them a bit of vulnerability. Often times they respect and admire me more. It shows them that even those who struggled can be great.
Overall, you don’t owe anyone anything. Your life is yours, and you are the master of it. Your freedom should never be sacrificed, as it is the greatest treasure a person could have.