Hey there, Thank you so much for taking the time to read my article. It’s already Monday. And I hope you had a relaxing and restful weekend!
“Setting boundaries is your responsibility. People will continue to do what you allow. You get to decide what is and what isn’t allowed in your life.”
Now that is a pretty direct statement, isn’t it? So have you ever been in a situation where you found it extremely hard to say NO? Keeping in mind that you will become one of the reasons for other person’s helpless situations? And you found yourself feeling guilty and irresponsible for not being there?
Now that’s complicated to describe how you feel about it. To be honest, it is not an easy thing. And you can’t change that quality of yours overnight. It requires a lot of your energy to reflect on yourself. Before that, you need to understand what boundary is.
Boundary is the limit we set with ourselves around what we will or will not tolerate. That’s an essential skill that you need to learn to have any degree of focus on your well being. And it is totally fine not to explain yourself to others. The minute you start to say YES and agree, people are going to a set trap for you which going to drain your energy and you’re going to lose yourself.
You need to set a clear healthy emotional boundary that helps you separate your feelings and other’s feelings, articulating what is you and what is not you. It helps you to consider your thoughts, feelings and needs. Through this process, you will understand your behavioural conduct based on what you will accept and what you will not from others.
I have lost myself by saying yes to many people. Last year, while I was in my first year of college, due to the pandemic the classes were scheduled online. So I didn’t have a chance to meet anybody and I decided not to make any friends. Out of blue, one day, a classmate of mine who joined four months later reached out to me seeking my help with notes and updates on the classes she had missed for those whole four months.
I was being very empathetic, so I helped her in every possible way so that she can catch up with classes and made sure that she didn’t struggle with her semester exams. Everything was fine. A few months later, the college decided to swap back to offline classes, that’s when I met her for the first time and she put me in all possible uncomfortable situations every single day that made me go hard on myself.
Wherein one day she would ask me to lend her some money and the next day she would ping me out of nowhere to carry extra earplugs because she was in a hurry and forgot hers at home. I found her invading my private space when she would scroll through my Twitter feeds and read any random messages on Instagram. (If you are wondering, why I gave my phone in the first place, she would be so manipulative at times, I wouldn’t even realise it).
In addition, my other classmates noticed her snatching my hairband from my hand. She knew I wouldn’t say anything and that was an advantage for her. I felt very uncomfortable hanging out with her.
Every time she asked me something, I was very clear of her vision. She was using me. To become less accessible to her I decided to confront her. On a weekend, I saw myself struggling and that made me feel bad about myself so I texted her. Briefing her about my situation, she immediately apologized for that and agreed to tone down herself.
And the next day, I met her at my language class. And she made it even more awkward by returning the money that she had borrowed before the confrontation, I didn’t mind taking it back. But I noticed her playing the victim card of the confrontation and tried to emotionally manipulate me by trying to hurt my pride. She said, “Very well, this is the same note of money that you lent me and I didn’t use it.”
That made me realise, wow this person is trying to play fool with me. In the coming weeks, I found a good friend, who supported me and I got off from her clutches. So I didn’t bother to talk to her.
Now this could be anyone in your life. Even if it is your parents, friends, partner, co-worker etc. You need to essentially set a boundary. Become aware of what is unacceptable and try speaking about it. We need to consider few things that are best for us. And it’s not our responsibility to sacrifice ourselves for others.
‘No’ is a boundary and not a rejection, there are chances where you can lose yourself by winning people’s heart. But trust me, you are more important and you matter. Your boundaries are important so is your worth of respect. It’s better to say no than be resentful about it. And don’t apologize by laying out reasons and offering alternatives that are going to make you look weaker and guilty.
You should start practising to say no, you need to learn to tolerate the discomfort if you need to see a healthy change in your lifestyle. It’s like the medicines that taste bitter. Acknowledge your priorities at the time of request and make use of your value system to disagree and take decisions.
You know that everyone is going to find one or the other way to get things done. So you need to stop overextending yourself and please them by being there for everyone.
Last night I read a message that said you can be a good person and still say no. That summed up all the answers. You can have a disagreement and still love and respect that individual except for certain toxic people;
Here are few simples to say no:
- I appreciate you asking me, but at this moment I can’t.
- This sounds great, but I can’t commit to anything else right now.
- I need to focus on myself, at the moment.
- I am glad you thought of me, but this doesn’t align with my priorities today.
- Let me think about this and get back to you.
PS: Let me know if you were knocked down by somebody like my classmate or you had a different experience with a similar feeling? Comment below, and thank you for reading this article. I hope you have a great week ahead. Cheers and lots of love.
Lately, I have been observing a lot of you commenting on my timeline. Thank you for those sweet words. And I appreciate you for taking the time to read and leave a comment. If you want me to write on any particular topic, please feel free to comment below. Have a great day ahead!