I’ll start today’s first post with a quote from the Dalai Lama:-

“Though sometimes people laugh when I say it, I myself always want more friends. I love smiles. Because of this I have the problem of knowing how to make more friends and how to get more smiles, in particular, genuine smiles. For there are many kinds of smile, such as sarcastic, artificial or diplomatic smiles. Many smiles produce no feeling of satisfaction, and sometimes they can even create suspicion or fear, can’t they? But a genuine smile really gives us a feeling of freshness and is, I believe, unique to human beings. If these are the smiles we want, then we ourselves must create the reasons for them to appear.”

Friends are incredibly important to me – not acquaintances, but genuinely good friends, those who are always there for you whatever you need. As a good friend of mine once put it, a true friend is someone you can pick up the phone to in the middle of the night when you are in trouble and you know they will help in any way they can. In fact this quote was sent to me by one such friend in response to comments I have put on my blog about wanting to ‘please’ people. Of course it entirely depends on your point of view whether you think the Dalai Lama is right in what he says, I for one 100% resonate with what he says, as this is exactly what I do.

Is this selfish? Yes, I believe it is. But as I was discussing Judgement as being a negative connotation but a positive action, I apply this same premise to selfishness too. Are we to be expected to live our lives in complete servitude to others in order to gain a meager happiness and fulfillment even if this means we do things we don’t want to just because others require them? I don’t think so. There is balance in everything – whilst we’re quoting comments and adages, I’ll bring this one up – ‘You can have too much of a good thing’, and in fact ‘everything in moderation’. Essentially they’re both saying look for a balance.

I am lucky, I have many good friends, and i’d like to think I make them smile on a regular basis, but there are also acquaintances that I have tried hard to please, and well, they just don’t respond. So, at those points, it’s definitely best to cut your losses. You can extend the hand of friendship to everyone you meet, but if they don’t take it there really isn’t any point in flogging a dead horse. People are hugely different and diverse and have different thoughts and opinions, you cannot in all good conscience expect to please everyone all of the time. It is not possible to do this and also be true to yourself. For example – would you compromise your own principles just to see another smile? Maybe you could, I have in the past, but at this stage in my life I would not do this.

Doing something to please another which harms you is wrong. And if this so called friend has asked you or allowed you to do this, then I would seriously question their true friendship. Would you ask a friend to do something which would upset or harm them? Then why would a true friend ask the same of you? Even still, such situations could be resolved by talking to your friends – they may just not realise that certain actions are beyond what you feel comfortable doing, communication is the key. However, in all situations, using your judgement is imperative. Be selfish. Ensure that whatever it is you want to go ahead and do will not turn you into a martyr to the cause. There is a time to be selfless, but it is your life to control, and there is nothing worse than looking back and thinking ‘if only…’