When things are done out of obligation, there is a lack of sincerity in it. If you act from a sense of being obligated, you will lose your respect. Many of us behave differently at home than we do in public. Attorneys and Politicians are prime examples. Many of them are far from being sincere. Many of them act one way and deep inside feel differently. Some act obligatory out of selfishness and greed. When you are doing something for the right reasons and right intentions, it makes it easier to say no when you can’t.

The word ‘no’ seems to be considered negative in a situation where someone is always making you feel guilty about spending time with them. However, if you allow this to happen every time, you will become burnt out, which won’t be good for anyone in the end.

Giving balance to your life

We all need to live a balanced life. That means living a life free of obligation to people. You need to do what makes you happy and what pleases you. Here are tips to stick by:

Take time out for yourself. This is important. Spend time alone to clear your mind. What is the sense of feeling obligated to spend time with someone and you don’t feel like it? You won’t be able to function well. In fact, you will feel as if you have to pretend – pretty much be a hypocrite.

Scheduling your time

Schedule your time. Rather than rushing to your aging parent’s home to sit with them after a hard day at work, why not hire someone to take care of them during the day and schedule an appropriate time when you can go over and visit; preferably on the weekends when you are not working? You will be of more value and help to them then.

When a crisis arises at home, don’t let it interrupt your schedule. Stop, think and make an emergency plan. You may not even be needed on the scene. You can delegate responsibilities to others. Remain calm in every situation. You don’t have to be the ‘do it all’ for everyone else.

Before you make any promises to spend time with someone out of obligation, let the person know that you will have to first check your schedule. That is what I do. This will give the person the impression and knowledge that you have a life and that you have other things on your agenda. If you make a promise without checking your schedule, then you run the risk of disappointing someone. If you cannot meet your obligation, you may offend someone and a long-lasting friendship may end. So be careful and never feel guilty if you have to re-schedule something or cancel it entirely.


Your aim is to always be sincere in everything you do. If you force yourself to do something you don’t want to do, it ends up being not good for anyone involved. Have you ever felt obligated to spend time with a family member or friend? Explain how and if you have gotten past that yet? Let us hear from you.