I was inspired to write about compliance by a client who felt weakened  by her willingness to comply with a cranky neighbour’s requests.

Compliance is not a fault….complying doesn’t mean that you are weak…. I see it as a virtue….. being willing to comply with rules or traditions or others’ needs means you are prepared to accept reality, to live with what is…. it suggests that you are practical, pragmatic, as well as personable, concerned about fitting in socially. It means that you care what happens to the people around you and also that you are prepared to choose your battles.

The concept of compliance weighs heavy for many this year as COVID 19 vaccines are being mandated.  New Hampshire’s motto “Live Free or Die” is held by so many as a mantra…. No one wants to be forced to get jabbed, so the conspiracy rumours abound. The anti-vaxxers make a case against the vaccine based on the fact that it was rushed into production, but by now millions of doses have been administered with only a few rare complications… Common sense would say that the vaccines are safe.

Compliance doesn’t mean that you are being controlled – although in some circumstances it could – it simply means that you want respect others’ needs… In the case of the vaccines, you are asked to comply to avoid getting sick yourself, but especially to avoid passing the virus to someone who may be particularly vulnerable.

It isn’t wrong to want peaceful relationships… compliance can bring harmony to your home or workplace…. I’m sure if something were important to you, you would stand up for what you really want…. It is a matter of being discerning, knowing your priorities, knowing when and how to act, react or object when you are faced with a potential conflict.

All that said, the issue here is about being too compliant, a habit that for many has become rather ingrained over the years as a way to avoid a problem.. but compliance doesn’t mean you are weak…. in fact, the opposite, it means that you are strong, strong enough to not waste your energy on useless conflicts… be a realist as opposed to being an idealist….. it would be nice if you could express your opinions no matter what the consequences or reactions might be, but that isn’t the wisest way to approach life and can lead to a much more turbulent time.

Being a “people-pleaser” is not a bad thing…. it means that you can adapt easily to different situations…. it means you are flexible… and mature.. thoughtful…..

Choosing your battles means that you want to be able to assess your true feelings around the matter in question before you react…. notice your feelings… recognize that it can be worth holding back from a conflict, depending on how important the issue is to you..

Compliance can be a useful strategy to get what you want out of life.

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