Do you ever feel bad when you’re setting a boundary?
I know that I often do.
For example I put my phone on do not disturb when I get off of work. I do this because part of my job requires me to be constantly accessible all 8 hours that I’m on shift and so when I’m off I want to really be unplugged. Folks are able to get through to me if it is an absolute emergency but otherwise I’m not available.
AND I FEEL SO BAD ABOUT IT YA’LL.
Because I know that even if it’s not an urgent message that I’m receiving and it can wait until tomorrow I know that my sense of urgency and other folk sense of urgency are very different and that it might cause people to experience some discomfort when I’m not available.
But here’s what I’ve been repeating to myself whenever I start to feel guilty about having and holding and maintaining a boundary:
I don’t feel bad I just want them to like me. I am taking personal responsibility for somebody else’s happiness.
Because that’s it, isn’t it?
As human beings we are naturally socially oriented, and especially as people pleasers social capital is gold. But what I have realized the more that I work on being able to set and maintain boundaries is social capital can sometimes be Fool’s Gold: just because you’re nice to everybody all of the time and bending over backwards to accommodate them does not make them like you. You cannot make people happy by betraying yourself. Because news flash: everybody doesn’t get along with everybody else. We are not all going to like each other. And to try to pretend and live in a fake Utopia where everybody’s nice all the time and nobody says how they really feel or takes care of themselves doesn’t sound ideal to me.
So remember the next time that you are maintaining a boundary that you know nourishes your soul-mind-spirit-body etc: your boundaries don’t exist to please other people, they exist to please YOU.