It seems like it’s been forever since I’ve written — oh because it has been. And it’s because I haven’t’ been setting clear and healthy boundaries.
I did one of those famous things where my passions and goals slid off my plate because I was a busy bee doing so much for everyone else. I relapsed to my old people-pleasing ways. And it led to exhaustion, build up resentment and a bit of an empty feeling. You ever felt this way?
I am a recovering people pleaser.
I am tired of feeling that way. Like really, really tired. So like big wake up call for me — it’s time to make some changes. Again. And it’s all going to be around the practice of setting boundaries.
Sometimes the first time doesn’t stick.
I’ve been down this path before. Up and down. Up and down. Changing habits is hard. Especially habits that you have been living with for so many years. But every time I slip into old habits, I discover new patterns and learn new lessons. This is my path. This is my motivation to keep at it. And well, also because well, ugh. Who wants to feel like that?
I’m setting some new rules.
So the obvious rule is to stop. Stop people-pleasing. But that’s not a new rule and it’s not really a clear and substantial rule. Rules, in this case, can also be seen as goals. They need to be attainable and they need to be thoughtful.
Setting healthy boundaries creates a balance that is necessary between what you do for others and what you do for yourself.
If they don’t appreciate what you’re doing for them then think really hard about why you’re doing it. It is healthy and very normal to expect appreciation for your effort, your time, your energy. This is an example of expectation boundaries. You deserve to feel good.
This isn’t asking for all mighty praise and to be showered with compliments but a mear thank you is very reasonable.
There are two pieces to this. You have to respect your own time before you can expect others to respect it. I struggle with this quite a bit. I love my time but I give it away as if it will never run out.
Time does run out.
Be realistic about how much time you have in a day and what all can fit in the day. What can be truly accomplished without providing detriment to the quality? Once this is established, do not give it all away to others, reserve some for yourself.
The second part of this rule has become quite a pet peeve of mine. Expect people to respect your time. If you offer up a time slot that you are available then it is okay to withhold that time slot. In addition, if you ask for information within a certain deadline so that you can complete your task then it’s okay to withhold that expectation. And if you need to reply with a delay in your part due to their delay well then there’s that — don’t feel guilty. It’s the cause and effect rule.
Set boundaries for yourself and for others. Protect your time.
When you are a habitual people-pleaser, time for yourself is usually at the bottom of your list, if it even makes it on the list. Being an introvert, time alone to recharge is really important to me. It’s something I need. But many times I feel I don’t have the time — that needs to change.
“Me” time is important for everyone, both introverts, and extroverts. It may look different for them but it’s the downtime that is the purpose. This is the time when you get to focus on your hobbies and the things that re-energize you. If you’re new to this, start with scheduling a self-recovery day into your schedule this month.
This will take time.
Rules in place. It’s going to take some practice. Maybe even some relapses. But I’ll keep at. These are habits that need broken. And then they will be replaced with healthier habits.
Do you struggle with people-pleasing? Try putting these rules to practice and let me know how it goes. Share your thoughts below!