It’s taken 33 years for me to realise that I’m a pushover.
I seriously dislike confrontation and I’ve always been happy to let other people choose what we should do or be flexible about my plans to suit other people.
But over the last six months I’ve realised just how much damage it’s done to me. If you think about lessons you get taught in school, when do you ever get taught how to stop people trampling all over you? And some people are more than comfortable push, push, pushing so that they get their way. And because I don’t like confrontation, that’s just perfect for them because eventually I would just back down.
But the damage this has done over the course of my life is immense. Every time I’ve had a heartbreak to deal with, I’ve always ended up blaming myself and trying to understand what I could have done differently. Punishing myself for doing something wrong. At work, exactly the same. If anyone was ever rude to me, when it was completely unjustified, I would find a way to blame myself and let them off the hook.
Why? Because I wasn’t strong enough to stand up for myself.
Deep down, this inability to stand up for myself came from a deep rooted fear that I didn’t want anyone to not like me. I wanted everyone to like me. But over the course of a year of dealing with separation, divorce, family illness and death, I’m tired and I don’t give a fuck anymore. And you know what? It’s helping me to finally set the boundaries I should have done a long time ago.
- I’m saying no to playing with my children when I really don’t want to.
- I’m putting barriers up, actual real barriers, whereby if people let me down more than once – we’re done.
- I got rid of a client whose casual sexism I refused to put up with.
- I’ve unfollowed people on Facebook who were causing me stress.
- I’ve stopped being a person who says yes to everything.
It’s very liberating. But, as with everything, there’s a downside. When you step back, and stop doing everything, it becomes clear how few people are willing to step up and go the extra mile. When you call people out for bad behaviour, don’t expect an apology – most people just deny it and find a way to turn it around and blame you. Or they’ll say sorry but be shitty with you afterwards.
It takes a real strength to build boundaries and stick to them. If you are someone who struggles with boundary setting then consider this. Think about someone you know who ALWAYS manages to get their own way? They push, they whine, they bully, they control and they think it makes them great.
They don’t care. And you need some of that. You need to care, of course, but you need to care about yourself too. If you don’t have boundaries, you’re basically saying to people “Hey, you can do whatever you like to me because I’ll let you.” And that is how you’ll end up in seriously terrible relationships, either work, family or personal. It’s no surprise that it’s these relationships that often end up with some kind of abuse – either physical or emotional.
Do yourself a favour and care MORE for yourself. You are worth it xxx