Often times we strive to please. Humans, by nature, strive to please others. But when looking into the reasons for which we strive to satisfy others there seem to be only two paths of reason. The first is that we genuinely desire to see the person we are engaged with be fulfilled by whatever action we perform, and the second is we simply do not desire to deal with the repercussions that come with other people’s discontentment. Opinions grow, swarm, and can overwhelm. While it is important to not intentionally take efforts to upset others, we need to remember to prioritize which opinions we put weight on.
Throughout our time we try to leave the best impact we can on those around us, but trying to act in a manner that causes each and every person we encounter to have a perfect opinion of us is impossible, not to mention exhausting. It is simply too difficult to please others, as everyone sets their standards and expectations differently. While we may perfectly please one person by a set of actions, another individual is likely irritated or annoyed by the same thing.
Prioritization has proven to ease the struggles of all things that are overwhelming. When prioritizing our goals we know what area to focus on first; when prioritizing our tasks we know what order we should accomplish our objectives. Prioritizing our relationships is undoubtedly essential to our success, but much harder to actually bring ourselves to do. The selection of the former two is easier because they just deal with what we personally are doing; the latter proves more difficult due to the fact that we are likely going to upset someone. Despite the difficulty, such a thing needs to be done for us to better function socially.
"To be truly positive in the eyes of some, you have to risk appearing negative in the eyes of others."–Criss Jami
It’s not that we should not value someone’s opinion simply because we don’t care to, but rather we may need to place their opinion aside if it conflicts with that of someone of more importance in our life. We shouldn’t miss work just to upset our boss. But if we must miss work to attend our sister’s play, who cares what the boss thinks? Our sister’s opinion matters more. We shouldn’t neglect our job to irritate our coworkers. But if we were helping our best friend or significant other through a life problem and therefore didn’t get the job done quite right, why does it matter what they think? We shouldn’t tell people that you are choosing someone else above them. But if you do something that allows them to deduct such a truth on their own, why stress about it?
We all must make our choices as we feel are best for us and those we value. We and the few we choose are the primary characters in our lives. Everyone else is just on a secondary, tertiary, or maybe an even lower tier. Dynamic people, those who could cause a change in our lives, should always carry precedence over static people, those who are just present. Don’t be scared of a static character discovering his/her status, and don’t be offended if you come to realize you are in that position in someone else’s life. To best function in our society we all need to evaluate our relationships and put the proper weight of importance on them based on how we personally see them. At that point, things become much easier for everyone.
-Austin B. Berenda