Have you ever felt obligated to do something, but deep down you know you actually Don’t have to do anything at all?  Yep, happened to me this week.  There was a circumstance where I felt I HAD to visit someone, but I really didn’t want to.  My Mum gave me a funny look. “You don’t have to go at all.  Its not them that gets wound up or feels let down if you go.”

And she’s right.

So why do we feel obligation when we shouldn’t?  Perhaps it is something you have promised, yet you knew you couldn’t in your right mind do it, or visit someone that you know you should see, but don’t feel like it.  Sometimes the obligation is put onto you by yourself, not the other person.  YOU feel the need to put yourself in a situation that would stress you out because you feel you HAVE to do it, as a duty – whether as a friend, workmate or family member.

You don’t.  That’s the thing.  If you feel stressed out about having to carry out on a promise, then you have a problem.  And its your problem.  You put it on yourself, you put yourself under that stress, not the other person.

 In fact they may be completely unaware of how you truly feel.

Look at the situation objectively.  Do you have to do the task or visit the person?  Who has asked you to do it?  Do you feel you HAVE to do it as a duty, or because you want to.  Will carrying out the task or visiting the person stress you out more?  Or will you feel better once you have done it? Question your motives for doing or going.

If you look at it, and realise that the whole idea is upsetting you, then the simple answer is: DON’T DO IT.  If its not the other person making you feel pressured or stressed, then you don’t have to go.  You are only stressing yourself out.

Take a breath in, and blow it out slowly.  If you decide you don’t want to do the task / visit the person, how do you feel?  Relief?  There’s your answer.

I was putting myself under unnecessary strain and stress because I felt it was my duty to visit someone, when in actual fact, it isn’t.  I don’t have to do anything I don’t want to do.  And you don’t either.

Why didn’t I think of that?
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