Most people would say they feel obligated as a result of someone else’s expectation(s) of them. That’s no surprise when you look at the dictionary definition:
an act or course of action to which a person is morally or legally bound; a duty or commitment: [ with infinitive ] : I have an obligation to look after her.
• [ mass noun ] the condition of being morally or legally bound to do something: they are under no obligation to stick to the scheme.
• a debt of gratitude for a service or favour: she didn’t want to be under an obligation to him.
• [ Law ] a binding agreement committing a person to a payment or other action.
Morality, legal binding, that’s pretty weighty stuff. Here’s another way of thinking about obligation that, for me, feels easier to swallow: Read More…