Do you ever have the situation where you want and need to say NO to someone but feel the difficulty of it weighing you down?
How do you handle setting boundaries so you conserve your own energy?
My friend recently said to me, Just finished a call with X. I love him, but I’m exhausted. He seems lonely. I need to protect myself from the drain next time.
I too had a call from our friend X yesterday. Yes, he was lonely. And yes, I could completely understand the drain and exhaustion my other friend was speaking about.
After years of dealing with this kind of situation in my own family, I have developed a policy I live by Set a boundary, save a life. I know all too well what happens when I allow myself to be used as a gigantic battery by other people; I get drained and have no juice left for me.
I’m not just talking about setting boundaries with downers or toxic people, that is a given…you MUST set boundaries with people like this. But, how do you set boundaries with family members? With friends you love or a spouse? Or your kids?
It’s out of love and respect for myself and love and respect for the other person that I set a boundary, save a life. I save us both when I do this.
People don’t understand how damaging it is when we allow our own boundaries to be run over in the name of keeping the peace, not rocking the boat, wanting to be a nice person, or feeling bad because we know someone is lonely.
You don’t really help anyone when you listen from the place of, “I don’t really want to be doing this but this person will be mad at me or their feelings will be hurt if I don’t or they’re so lonely, it’s only an hour out of my day.” You don’t help anyone when you do this. You teach the other person how to continue to run you over, and you reaffirm to yourself that it’s hopeless.
If you’re more of a rescuer, caretaker, people pleaser, you might appreciate a bit more advice, find it here.
So how do you handle it when you feel the NO inside you but don’t know how to carry it out? Do you blow people off? Do you ignore their request? Delete the voice mail? What about when it’s a family member, how do you handle it then?
You need to set boundaries. I need to set boundaries. We need to help others who have no boundaries see how it’s done. Handle this today with kindness toward yourself rather than resentment toward the other. Do it with kindness, kindness, kindness… but above all else, set a boundary, save a life!
Setting healthy boundaries lets you conserve your energy
Each of us is here to contribute our own unique spark to the world. We’re here to do that in order to inspire the world, and also to fulfill our mission and purpose in life. But the thing about that sacred spark is that you need to honor it! You need to own it and honor it and when you find yourself in these situations where you do not want to be on the phone for an hour getting drained, you have to make a decision to honor your spark.
Don’t expect the other person to honor your spark. That’s like asking a wave crashing on a beach to stop. You are the wave breaker! You need to be the one who sets a boundary so you can save your spark.
There is only so much gas in the tank for each day. Do we want to use it toward our passion or do we want to drain it out on the dilemma around saying no?
Sending love and a hug, you can do this!
Additional Resources for you 🙂
Robin’s archives on boundaries: