- Do you eat it anyway to be kind, despite the fact that it goes against your values or current commitment to yourself and your health? (It was homemade cake, afterall.)
- Do you say “No, thank you,” and risk being rude? (They did invite you, remember?)
- Sometimes we do nice things because it is kind. (True kindness)
- Sometimes we do nice things because we don’t want to look bad in front of others. (People-pleasing)
Kindness comes from the heart.
People-pleasing comes from the ego.
In the situation described above, with the homemade cakes, it seems to me to be a people-pleasing moment driven by the ego.
You don’t want to eat the cake--flat out. You eat the cake anyway because you don’t want to be rude, but in reality it's because you don’t want people to judge you and think you are rude.
People-pleasing all the way.
Being nice or kind isn’t really a part of the picture.
If you were nice or kind, you would, in your heart, feel grateful for the cake and want to eagerly partake in eating it. Instead, you feeling resentful of your friend for making it in the first place, and putting you in this position.
It’s okay to say “no”, especially when it goes against your values and commitments to yourself.
Your intention in showing up is to be a good friend and connect with others. You aren’t trying to by malicious by not eating cake.
If your friend receives it poorly, and doesn’t understand your values and commitments, then I would wonder if she/he is truly a friend in the first place.
So, next time you find yourself in a position like this ask yourself:
- What is my motivation for saying “yes”?
- Am I doing this out of kindness, or is my ego driving the bus?
- How can I communicate my values and commitments ahead of time?
- If you intend to say, “No, thank you,” how can you do so with kindness?
- How can you let go of the other person’s reception (if it is negative)?
Sometimes being bold means not eating cake.