There can be truly nothing more satisfying than helping people in need. We should all take steps to help others. But there are times we feel compelled to do things for people not because we want to, but because it’s being demanded. These are 8 things you don’t owe anyone.

1. Anything that doesn’t make you feel good.

Right off the bat, here we are. You don’t owe anyone anything that doesn’t make you feel good on the inside.

If you’re being asked to do something that goes against your core values, simply decline!

But of course, do it in a polite, positive, and productive way that doesn’t hurt the person asking.

2. You don’t owe anyone your therapy.

Is it good to give out advice when it’s needed? Absolutely.

But you don’t owe anyone a therapy service. If someone repeatedly comes to you with their problems, and you find it sucks the energy out of you, don’t be afraid to gently put some distance between the two of you.

All people respond to boundaries, so don’t hesitate to establish them.

3. You don’t have to try anything new if you don’t want to.

At some point, you have to recognize that you know what it is that you want to do in life, and also what you don’t want to do.

There’s nothing wrong with politely declining to do something new that you don’t want to do. If you don’t like it or don’t feel safe, don’t do it.

4. You don’t owe anyone your time.

Your time belongs to you. If you’d like to spend it helping others, being with others, and doing things with others, that’s great!

But you don’t owe anyone your time. If you’re comfortable with giving it, then fine, but if not, you aren’t required to.

5. You don’t have to change for them.

You should never feel pressured to change your appearance or personality around other people just for them.

You are who you are and that is, without a doubt, good enough. If you don’t want to change, don’t change.

6. You don’t have to apologize.

If you’ve made a decision for yourself for which you are not sorry and you intend to make that decision for yourself again and again, you don’t have to apologize to people you may have inconvenienced with your beliefs and convictions.

Do you, don’t worry about them.

7. You don’t have to say “yes.”

You never ever ever owe anyone a yes when the answer is a no. You may temporarily hurt their feelings just a tiny but, but they’ll get over it.

Never say yes to a date you don’t want to go on. Never say yes to a couch surfer you don’t want to house. Never say yes when the answer you know is no.

8. You don’t owe an explanation for who you love.

There’s a lot of judgment in this world about who you love and who you want to be with. You may meet social friction for who you love.

Some look down on interracial relationships. Some look down on LGBT relationships. Some just won’t like the person you’re with just because. They don’t matter.

You don’t owe them an explanation for who you love and why you love them.

There are things you may owe to the people around you, like your love, your thoughtfulness, and your care. Just be aware of what you might not actually owe them.

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