I stand there with the knot in my gut getting bigger and tighter as I just let her keep talking. 'Yes, I'll do it. Alright. By when? Ok."
"Shit. I did it again. I let her walk all over me." Why? WHY is it so damn hard to just say no? To just be clear about where I stand and defend my time? My energy? Can you relate?
So many of us are raised being told to be generous and our little minds took it as DO EVERYTHING FOR EVERYONE! So, we became slaves to the favors others ask. No matter who. No matter what because if we DARE to say no, they'll be mad at us.
It seems simple now. Right? I mean, who really cares if the neighbor who's cat keeps pooping in your garden get's mad at you if you let him know it's got to stop? Or, what would really happen if you tell your colleague that asking so many favors is not respecting your time?
The reason you're not comfortable setting the boundaries that you KNOW would bring you freedom in every area of your life? Because you want to be liked. You want to please. You want to make people happy.
The thing is, it's the little girl inside of you that's running the decision. She really did care. She tried VERY hard to keep people NOT mad at her. She's the one that makes it seem impossible to tell your mother that you aren't actually going to go to the 4th family dinner she's planned in the last 2 months, or your husband that his insane screen addiction is interfering with your intimacy.
Recognize this. If you say nothing and allow your invisible boundary to be crossed because you haven't painted it bright yellow or put up a neon sign, acknowledge that you will feel it in your body. You'll get annoyed, punish yourself and resentful of that person. You can make a choice.
First. Reassure your inner child that actually setting a boundary will protect you and he or she will have to cope. They'll get used to it, and they WILL eventually get over it.
Second, Paint the line. Put up the sign. Make your boundary with love and compassion, but make it and stand by it no matter what. The hardest part is starting. Once it's there, it's there.
Who knows. They may even love you more.