Tell me if you’ve ever felt like this. You bend over backwards to try to please people, thinking that it’s a two-way street. When you’ve finally reached the end of your rope and need to say no or ask for help, or put a boundary in place like “please, wait until x time in the morning before you call me,” you discover that the other person is upset, angry, annoyed, etc. And on some level you’re not surprised, but on another level you’re angry because you know you have a right to set boundaries and have them respected.
The universe has been presenting this pattern in my life to me a lot lately. Clearly, there’s a lesson I need to learn here. I know I’m allowed to set boundaries and to have said boundaries respected, so I must be going about it poorly.
As I’ve been processing, talking with my guides, friends, professionals, etc., I’m beginning to understand the problem, I think. Instead of setting boundaries at the start, I wait until I’m ready to lose my mind and then try to force boundaries down the other person’s throat. No wonder they respond the way they do! I probably would react that way too if the roles were reversed.
I know I need to say something right off the bat, the very first time something happens that I can tell is going to be an issue if it continues. Instead of waiting until I’ve had enough, the first time something happens, I need to say “hey, in the future, can you wait until this time to contact me unless it’s an emergency,” or “hey, I use the first several hours of the day for ‘me time’. I’d appreciate it if you could wait until x hour before trying to talk to me.” I KNOW they’d respond better and be more likely to respect my needs without it being a big blow out…
BUT the problem I keep running into is this… I give people the benefit of the doubt. I trust that they understand how much I’m doing for them and will do the same for me in return. I believe that everything balances out (and it does! I just might not see it…) So instead of setting boundaries like a professional, grown adult, I get upset and things don’t go well.
I’m blessed to have amazingly understanding people in my life, but at some point everyone runs out of patience. And when I’m the one not setting boundaries properly, it’s my fault if the conversation becomes a fight rather than a discussion.
If you struggle with setting boundaries too, I invite you this week to take this challenge on with me. Pick a situation or person where you know the boundary conversation needs to happen in a healthier way. Then meditate, walk, whatever you need to do to get yourself in a good mental space and have the conversation in an appropriate moment. One where they have time to listen and you’re not upset. I think you’ll be surprised at how willing they are to respect your needs. Let me know how it goes! And I’ll keep you posted too. 🙂