Those of us who often feel torn between making others happy at our own cost, must look back at childhood. That’s where we learnt to obey and worry about everyone else. We learnt to people please.
Often, that is where we will find the root. It is likely that we grew up often scared of an angry parent or an overly anxious and fragile one. So, we were always the ‘good’ kid which meant that we never really learnt the right points to tell others what we needed and our vision of happiness. We never learnt confident self-assertion.
Now, decades later it shows up. For example, we cannot leave a relationship that denies us of our needs because we worry about the needs of the person. Simply because we are not used to being the person to cause another discomfort. Such people like us probably already have anxiety from asking a stranger where the bathroom is - we are paralysed by the thoughts of causing others difficulties.
We often doubt our desires, and ask ourselves is it fair to want what I want? Perhaps even having someone to tell us we’re asking for too much would make it better for us. However the reality is that we are not asking for too much at all. You know why? Because there is no objective measure of this. We want what we want.
The best way forward is to honour what you want, to honour that child within you who simply didn’t learn self-assertion but has every right to it.
Remember, people can look after themselves in the end. You are not responsible for the feelings of other people.