I have been working towards getting stronger at setting boundaries. This has been something I’ve strived towards for the past five years or so.
I still have work to do in this area. A lot.
My mother did not have good boundaries either. She was one who would do whatever was asked of her, even if she was inconvenienced. The thought seemed to be, “what would people think?” if she said no. I remember two instances vividly. One included the making of cheerleading uniforms. The other involved “carpooling” (i.e. one sided taxi service) for a child whose grandparents knew my grandparents.
I have found myself helping others in need and having that help turn into much more helping than I had planned. When asked again for more help, I relent, even when I would like to say “no”. I always assume the asker will think I am an asshole for saying “no” and this is part of the reason I agree, even when I don’t want to. Why does their opinion matter? Why does what people think about me (or what I fear they will think about me) matter more than what I need?
I’ve had two days of helping out a family whose car broke down. I’ve taken them to and from school and taken them to run errands after school and then back home. I wanted to say no two days ago. It’s cost me my time and fuel. Today, their fuel can leaked in my car and I have a ruined floor mat, a small puddle of gas and the strong odor of fuel in my car. All of this because I could not say “no”. There are Uber, Lyft and actual taxi services around this town. There are other ways for them to manage, if they absolutely had to. The thing is, I know they’re short on money. I too have been in that situation and I sympathize. However, feeling put out and angry is a red flag that I need to say “no” next time (and probably the time after that too) because I’ve over extended my comfortable limit.
I looked up “people pleasers” online and found a few articles from Psychology Today. One of the articles mentioned a people pleaser’s need to feel accepted by others. I would say lately, this is a strong, subconscious drive of mine. Unfortunately.
In school, I feel like I don’t fit in. I am not one of the “cool kids” (why does everything social situation feel like high school?!). My reasons?? My “life energy” is not as strong as everyone else’s. (Or so it seems per a few energy exercises we’ve done in class.) My intuition is not strong enough (it probably is, I’m just struggling right now). I don’t eat organic or gluten free. I use single use plastics and microwaves. I don’t do *fill in the blank* thing that someone else does (and touts said thing as the ultimate and best way to go).
I am not a good enough hippie….. I’m just a regular person.
To be honest, all of these statements probably sound absolutely ridiculous but I truly feel judged by others about these things. I hate feeling like an outcast and I absolutely feel like one right now. I don’t feel like my home (where my family lives) is my home anymore, since the separation. I don’t feel good enough at school. I don’t feel like I’m needed by my children (But they’re adults, it’s OK. That means I’ve done my job well). I don’t have my three dogs around so I’m not caring for them either. My dad is self sufficient (which is good!) so I don’t need to look after him. I feel lost. So what does one do when they feel lost and unwanted?? They allow themselves to be used up so they can feel needed again. Even at the expense of themselves.