Standing strong and not letting people manipulate you or make you feel guilty is so empowering. For some people, the ability to say a healthy NO is easier said than done. We might suck it up and say yes because we want to be good people or not hurt others or it’s just easier and avoids conflict. Sure, it might be easier to say yes now but you are just going to get resentful and burn out. At worst you are going to have to cop someone else’s Karma and whilst that seems unfair, we really have no one else to blame but ourselves for our actions. Today I’m drawing on the wisdom of Dr Henry Cloud and Dr John Townsend in their book Boundaries: When to Say Yes, How to Say No to Take Control of Your Life.
Being an Enabler
An Enabler is someone who lets other’s get away with their bad behavior or enables bad habits. Often people will manipulate others to get their way, or they are filled with guilt or their values of
being a good person can misguide their efforts. You can have the best of intentions, but not letting someone face the consequences of their behavior by helping them will stop them from learning a valuable life lesson. Who is the biggest loser here? You.
An example of this a husband who comes home from work late every night and expects his wife to get up and cook him a fresh separate meal after the family has eaten hours ago. A good boundary here would be to tell him that if he chooses to work late then he must either cook his own meal or have what’s left in the microwave. That is a healthier compromise for a long term situation – unless you are happy with doing that of course.
We all need to face Karma to learn
One of the bigger problems with not letting someone “reap what they sow” as they say, is that they can escalate their behavior. They are getting away with that, why not do more? When they do finally get in trouble it’s in a big way which can be a rude shock. Better to let them learn earlier.
What you give needs to come from a place of love, not guilt
It makes you feel absolutely miserable feeling like you have to do something because you are obligated. Some people develop victim mentalities or that martyr complex where they give so much and they don’t feel appreciated. It’s not a gift if it’s attached with an obligation, and the ability to give someone your time or do something for them because you cherish them or you want to help is so much more empowering then just being guilted into something. If something doesn’t feel right inside, take a moment to ask yourself why.
I don’t want to hurt their feelings
You are not being selfish by having appropriate boundaries and saying no. You can’t be super woman and it’s not up to you to fix the world. People who accuse you of being selfish and controlling probably have some form of boundary issue themselves (maybe!). If they can’t respect your “no” do you really want them in your life using you as a door mat anyway? There is a big difference between hurting and harming someone as well as our daily load, and big problems (which we need support for). We each have to carry our own day to day struggles to be strong in life.
Respect other’s boundaries
Do unto others as you wish done unto you. Pretty simple. Sometimes when we need help we are just going to have to be resourceful. And you don’t have to say no completely too, you can just say “Not Now”.
Not letting yourself be a door mat and letting your actions be motivated by love and positivity is so empowering and allows you to give from a place of goodness. You are not being selfish by taking care of yourself and allowing yourself to not being overloaded. It’s not your job to solve other people’s problems. You want to have the energy and resources to be there for people when they truly need you and be able to give to causes that need real attention.
I have been learning about boundaries, good habits and successful thinking by surrounding myself with like-minded people in a community online. I am being mentored to create an online business and a life I can feel passionate about, and you can too.
Love yourself and Take Care.