Happiness Tip: Don’t let the fear of offending someone trap you in a draining situation.

Tips-Illus-Movies2

Third entry in an ongoing series in which movie scenes are used to illustrate happiness concepts and tips.

One tip in How to Be Happy NOW is Don’t let the fear of offending someone trap you in a draining situation, excerpted here:  If someone is dumping all over you, you don’t need to stick around because you feel like you will hurt that person’s feelings by leaving quickly. This may seem incredibly obvious, yet many people will allow a coworker to dump all their garbage on them, or allow a creepy man to hit on them because they don’t want to hurt his feelings. It’s okay to hurt the feelings of someone who is draining you or dumping on you! If you want to be graceful in your escape, you can have a few good excuses in your back pocket, such as “I was just on my way to the restroom” or “I have a meeting that I need to get to,” but don’t take on someone’s bad energy because you think it is the polite or compassionate thing to do.

the-girl-with-the-dragon-tattoo-2011-poster2In the movie The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, the reporter Mikael Blomkvist has figured out that Martin Vanger is a serial killer. Mikael goes to Martin’s house to snoop around and find more evidence. Martin sees him outside his house and asks him in for a drink. Mikael goes into the house and then is forced into the room where Martin kills his victims.  As he plans to kill him, Martin says:

Can I ask you something?….You knew something was wrong – you even knew what it was – but you came back into the house. Did I force you? Did I grab you and drag you in? I just offered you a drink. (pause)

You’d never think the fear of offending could be stronger than the fear of pain – but you know what? It is. They always come willingly.

Of course, this is an extreme example—most of us would not go into a serial killer’s house for the sake of not offending him! Far more “threatening” are coworkers, salespeople and certain friends or relatives who just want to dump their garbage on us, and we let them because we don’t want to offend them. Each of us knows the difference between a friend who needs our support and a kind ear and a person who is ranting, complaining and dumping their toxicity on us. It is okay to offend someone who is using us or draining us. Get out of there.

Happiness tip excerpted from the new book How to Be Happy NOW…Even if Things Aren’t Going Your Way available on Amazon and Amazon UK. © 2013 Sara Weston