I like to make people happy. And especially when it comes to my family I can be a bit of a people pleaser. Ok, I admit it, I can be a total pushover when it comes to my grandkids, but life is short right? I love to spoil my grandkids. It makes me happy.
But what about when you are pleasing others at the expense of yourself? I recently worked with a client who was a people pleaser, even though she didn't want to be. She didn't want to say no to anyone for fear of creating tension in the relationship. She continued in this role because she didn't want people to think she was rude or disrespectful. What she finally came to realize is that doing this, she was giving other people permission to take advantage of her. She also realized that doing things, not because she wanted to, but because of obligation was actually being disrespectful to herself.
So how do we handle this? I'm so glad you asked. We start by setting personal boundaries. Here's how:
1. Give yourself permission to have boundaries. This can be the hardest part because it means that we have to look at the situation differently and adopt a different mindset. It feels risky, that you do this, you might be rejected or labeled as selfish. However, it is not selfish to make yourself a priority.
Think about it this way....in an airplane safety briefing you are always asked to put on your own mask before helping others. Thats because if you become incapacitated, you wont be able to help anyone, not even yourself. Same rule applies here.
2. Identify your personal limits, that is, your line in the sand that denotes who you are, and what you are willing to do. If you don't set your personal limits, then other people may be happy to set them for you. Defining your personal limits means determining what behavior you will accept from others and what you will not.
3. Communicate your needs. If you’re afraid of asking for what you need, you are not alone. However, if you don't ask, no one will know what you need. In fact, communicating your needs is one of the most important ways to care for yourself.
4. Pay attention to how you feel. By being tuned into your feelings, you'll know when your boundaries have been crossed. If you feel resentment, anxiety, or guilt, these are all good indications that your boundaries are being crossed. Pay attention to the situation and who you are around when this happens.
Remember, having good boundaries creates emotional health, self-respect and inner strength. Its ok to expect others to treat you with respect and kindness.
Until next time,
PS. Are you a women 40 and older who feels like alcohol has robbed you of the things you enjoy and care about? Are you ready to take back control of your life, like really take back control and find meaning again?
Come join our private Facebook community where you will find a highly supportive group of women just like you, who know exactly what you are going through. Click here to Join.