Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Wanting to Be Liked

An obstacle in many people's decision-making processes, whether they realize it or not, is the desire to be liked. It really can be a driving force behind what a person ultimately chooses for all sorts of decisions, big and small.

The problem with this is it can cause bad, or not the wisest, choices to be made. For instance, a person asks you do something, like go to a movie with them, but you really feel that you should rest because you're feeling sick or too tired from the week. But ultimately, you decide to go because saying "no" may cause that person to be displeased. Not all people understand the need for rest might trump hanging out. But of course the healthier and better option is to say "no" in a case like this.

One way to help make better choices is to, instead of asking "What will this person think of me if I make certain choices?" ask "What is the best for me and all involved?" In the case above, saying "no" is the best overall. It'll help you feel better, and may help the relationship or the other person too. If you rest, you'll have more energy to spend quality time later with that person. If the person is offended by the "no," then it's good you said "no" because it shows indications on how to proceed in the future (like how real the friendship is—if it's only that person caring for oneself then it isn't much of a friendship).

If you ask more "What is the best for me and all involved?" when making a decision, it may more likely cause good people to truly like you compared to if you were to always ask "What will this person think of me if I make certain choices?" Truly good people most likely will respect and appreciate those who are aiming for good. You may get more resistance and questions when making decisions based on what's good for all involved—sometimes people don't see it as "good" and may disagree—but it's worth it.

The Bible tells us to do things to the glory of God (1 Corinthians 10:31), and God desires the good of his people and for his people to help others. So this falls in line with what God wants for us too. He doesn't want us to focus on worrying about the self too much (Matthew 6:25-34). "Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you" (Matthew 6:33)
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