Are you a giver? Do you give, give and give to others and feel that you don't get much in return? And later, do you feel resentful, hurt or angry at those around you?
My friends, if this is you, you are not alone! I was there for many years, giving so much to those around me that I would end up completely depleted, sad, mad, sick, you name it. Until I understood that I was giving WAY TOO MUCH, I was giving WITHOUT boundaries, and this was hurting me and my relationships. I was also hurting others, because I was setting them up for failure, expecting them to give as much as I was, and this is a completely unrealistic expectation. Each of us gives according to what we can, at that moment and time, and based on our situation. To expect others to be the same as ourselves, is to set ourselves up for disappointment and heart break.
So what are boundaries? They are invisible limits we set between us and others, limits that are there to protect us and to help us maintain a balance. Boundaries are essential in order to have healthy relationships and interactions. Boundaries are a way to show love, to ourselves and to others.
Say for example, it's Friday night and you feel completely exhausted and just want to stay home in your Pjs, but your friend hits you up and wants to turn up. What do you do? The old me would say yes, for fear of making my friend upset or hurting their feelings, but I would have been resentful and tired after. But, the new me, who shows love to myself, would say "thank you so much friend, love you and I will take a raincheck." Here's the thing... it's ok to say NO, it's ok to put yourself and your needs first, it's ok to take care of yourself. When you do, you feel better, happier, stronger, more energized and you can be a better version of yourself with those you love.
If you need help with your boundaries, I recommend a book called "Codependent No More" by Melody Beattie or feel free to contact me for a free 15-minute consultation.
Mishka Kimball, MS, CAMC, LMFT #112986