I easily set boundaries.
Hmmm…setting boundaries. How many of us struggle with this one? Why is it so tough to do it? Is it about fitting in and being liked? Is it about childhood conditioning? Is it something else?
I struggle with setting boundaries. I envy the people who easily say “NO”. They just come out and say it without blinking or flinching. Not me. My first inclination is to say “YES”. Later on I realize what I am getting myself into and then I regret it.
Recently I am struggling with setting boundaries with someone who has befriended me who lives very near me. She seems like a nice person but now she is becoming a bit of a nuisance. She wants more of my time and effort than I want to give. So, here I am trying to figure out how to nicely create space between us without upsetting her feelings. This is a lesson to learn. Do not jump into friendships with people, especially if they live in your neighborhood.
To answer the above questions that I began this post with would take some research. Maybe, another day I will address that. My gut tells me that a lot of boundary setting difficulty or ease has to do with childhood conditioning. The people who want to please their parents as children have a difficult time setting boundaries as adults. The question is this, “Are these people naturally predisposed in their personalities to want to please their parents or is it just that their parents are so forceful that they are trained to want to please them?” I do wonder.
It would be really cool if we could go back to the first moment when we made the decision to react to our parents in a way to please them. In that moment, if we could be an observer, we could discover if we naturally wanted to please them from our own inborn personality. Of course, there is no way to really do that or study that. I believe this to be true because that first moment has to be at such a young age that it would be next to impossible to study.
As to my own struggle with people-pleasing, I am going to have to remind myself to say “NO” to this person who is in my life right now and know that it is okay. I don’t have to let her have what she wants all the time. My wants and needs are important too. And I will remind myself that each time I set a boundary I respect myself and that it will get easier every time that I practice this skill.
Here’s to the freedom to set boundaries without guilt.