Boundaries. I don’t think we talk about them enough; what do they look like for us, how to set them, how to respect them?
Boundaries are something I struggle with. Like terribly! I am a natural people pleaser. I want everyone to love me and be my friend. Having someone not like me used to feel like the worse thing in the world. HOW COULD YOU NOT LOVE ME? I’M FREAKING AWESOME! It was like their approval of me was validating.
I don’t know if it’s been the therapy or just getting wiser with age but I’ve learned that I could really give two shits if someone didn’t like me. It’s an uphill battle but the more I fall in love with myself and seek validation from within, the more I realize I don’t really NEED everyone to like me. That’s the first boundary I’ve learned to set for myself.
I’m not going to be everyone’s cup of tea. Hell, I don’t like everyone I come into contact with so why have I set this ridiculous expectation to be liked by everyone I meet? If I found out someone didn’t like me, I used to try so hard to win their “love” back, even going to lengths of losing myself or doing things I knew I wasn’t comfortable with just to “fit in.” Nah sis.
I know how amazingly awesome I am and what a privilege it is to get to know and love me. Not in an arrogant way but I know what I am capable of doing for the people who CHOOSE to be in my life and setting a BOUNDARY to only extend myself who want to be here helps protect my peace.
Another boundary I am terrible at setting is extending myself to my friends and family. Like I said, if you choose to be in my life, I’m all in for you. I like to think my friends are super comfortable with confiding in me and seeking advice when needed. This happens in all friendships but at times I feel so bogged down with their problems that my own meter can run out. I don’t do a good job at communicating with my friends when I need a break from solving their problems so that I can solve my own. It’s that people pleaser in me that says, “If you turn them away, they’ll never come back.” It’s a crazy sentiment and I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m definitely overreacting but I have to get to the point where I set that boundary to, again, protect my peace and my energy.
I had a friend recently set a boundary with me. I was taken aback by it because I initially took it as they didn’t enjoy my company but I had to reframe the thought. Although I may not like or agree with the boundary, I have to respect it. If I don’t, it will be a detriment to our friendship and I’d definitely lose out. No matter how much time we spend with someone, we are not entitled to their space or energy. We feel like we’re so entitled to people’s lives that we don’t see when we are disrupting it. Just like I need my days to take a break from people, people need to take a break from me.
I get so fearful of setting my own boundaries because I’m afraid that people will perceive it as me closing myself off to them and they’ll in turn become upset with me. Setting boundaries doesn’t mean you’ll lose a relationship; it should strengthen it. It’s like learning a person’s love language; learning what is too much or even too little for a person makes things easier for both parties.
Protecting one’s energy, peace and mind is key because if we aren’t put together for ourselves, we can’t do anything for anyone else.
The Nomadic Blogger is The Blog About Nothing. Created on the idea of networking and promotion through sisterhood, The Nomadic Blogger makes her home on the platforms of other established bloggers. Through guest blogging, The Nomadic Blogger hopes to spread her world views and messages while bringing attention to her #SisterBloggers. Follow #TheNomadicBlogger’s journey on Facebook and Instagram.