Are you an “obliger”?

My coach asked me that a few years ago.

What do you mean? I asked.

And before she could answer ALL of my “obliging” came flooding back to me. Like a movie reel. I could see time and time again how I went out of my way to “oblige” other people. Never putting myself first.

It’s been a long obliging road.

Even as a young girl I would make nice and didn’t want to make waves.

After college I had a boyfriend who lived in Colorado. He was older than me. When I was traveling in Europe he cheated on me. He said he was with this girl because she had to release her Chee.

(Barf)Not kidding. This really happened.

And I obliged. “Oh that’s ok. I understand”.


I broke up with him a few months later in a letter. Telling him that he was just too much for me. That I was meant for a more simple life and he was meant for greatness. It was the only way an obliger could get out. So I obliged. God forbid I hurt his feelings.

I’ve obliged my way through partnerships that no longer served me.

Through jobs that I should have left years ago.

In relationships that had run their course.

In friendships that were clearly meant for a season not a lifetime.

Even obliging others who I’ve loaned big amounts of money but I don’t want to ask them about it for fear that it might hurt their feelings. Seriously?!

I’m an obliger. Clearly.

And what that means to me now is that I need more boundaries.

I need more self love. I need to put myself first and need to oblige ME.

When I can do that I can consciously create a life I DO want. Not one that’s dictated by other people agendas.

It’s an uphill climb. But with awareness my obliging others habit doesn’t stand a chance.

Are you an obliger? Where do you need to create more boundaries in your life?

About the Author

Leave a Reply