Opinion: you can’t please everybody


by Caleb Geer, Copy Editor

If there’s something I figured out about myself this year, it’s that I can’t please everybody while maintaining my sanity at the same time. 

Between friends, peers, professors and parents, we all have people judging our actions and placing expectations on us. Because of this, there are going to be plenty of people that aren’t happy with each and everything we do.

I hate choosing something that is good for myself and then having someone get angry at me because they are mildly inconvenienced by my decision. It really is something people sometimes have trouble understanding: the fact that I can’t set everything aside at any given moment for them. I have limitations just like they do.

 Trust me, I don’t like saying “no” and apologizing, but I must look out for myself too. I’m human.

Maybe I’m struggling enough with my own issues that I can’t do what someone wants me to do. Maybe I’m tired of a relationship that hasn’t been reciprocal and am tired of getting used.

There are many reasons I may need to choose myself over whatever else I am being faced with.

I’m just one dude, and I’m no Superman, so there’s likely a good reason I am choosing my own tasks and issues over those being brought to me. There are only 24 hours in a day and sometimes all 24 are already filled with things I need to do. 

Each and every person is only entitled to their own time. That’s life.

 I have always been someone who tries to be nice for the sake of being nice. Some may call this being a “people pleaser.” In concept, it’s such a good idea, but at the end of the day, we don’t live in a utopia. You can be nice all the time, and put on a show, but 99% of the time it will lead to you becoming someone else’s doormat. 

Don’t get me wrong: it can be rewarding to help others all the time, but too many people lose themselves uplifting others.

Sometimes I even feel like I have lost myself in the niceness that I am sure many others have as well. There’s something about always helping others and never building yourself that can stunt the growth of your identity. 

Don’t be the rung in someone else’s ladder. That’s how you lose respect and are forgotten.

 Is this issue built into our culture now? Does the long-running joke about how society has gotten so much softer ring true?

Kindness and generosity were key values I was taught as a child. I know I’m not alone in this. How much of a part do society and its institutions play?

The thing is we don’t have to lose ourselves in the kindness we express. We don’t need to give ourselves up in our pursuit of not stepping on anyone’s toes. 

You can tell people no in a nice respectful way regardless of what people try to tell you. Being able to say no in a firm and polite way is an extremely valuable skill. At the end of the day, there is always respect given to those brave enough to stand for themselves.

Putting your foot down can be difficult as I have found out, but it’s an element of self-growth. Sticking to your guns is such an important trait because if you’re wishy-washy people are going to lose their respect for you.

I can only make decisions for myself, however. Do what is best for you and I will do what I believe is best for me.

I’m putting my foot down for my sanity.