Monday, October 17, 2011

Setting Boundaries, Saying No, and Dealing with the Drama

Do you have trouble saying no or being upfront and honest for fear of hurting or insulting others?  Sometimes, I do. I am usually a friendly, sensitive, caring person, which is good, but sometimes it's bad. Why is it bad? There are times I put the feelings, opinions, and values of others before my own. I don''t want to ever hurt any body or give them a reason to think I am selfish.  It might be easier to keep silent about it and avoid making waves or hurting others, but it only adds to the stress and drama of my life.

The reason I am bringing this up  is because I feel really awful about something that occurred this past weekend.  I blasted two people with my big mouth and now neither of them wants to speak to me ever again. I didn't mean to lash out in such a harsh way, but I did. Blame it on stress, blame on lack of sleep, blame it on concern for a couple of my loved ones, but these two individuals frustrated me until I finally reached my breaking point and exploded.  Couple all this with the fact my dad was rushed to the hospital with chest pain on Saturday right smack in the middle of everything else he's going through. I was on edge, to say the least.  It didn't take much to push me right off the cliff.

The sad part is, this all could have been avoided had I not put their feelings ahead of mine.  My resentment and anger toward them had been brewing for a long, long time. I should have nipped it all in the bud from the very beginning. This means, the first time I realized I was irritated by them or their actions, it was my responsibility to lovingly, but firmly, say something. Because they were adding more stress and drama to my life, I needed them to give me time and space for a little while. In the end, I did get what I wanted, but not quite the way I wanted.

You have to let others know how you feel and what you need.  If there are people adding to the stress in your life rather than helping to alleviate it, you owe it to yourself (and them) to let them know. It's perfectly acceptable to tell your ex-boyfriend to lose your phone number or to stop texting you all hours of the night.  Deleting someone from your Facebook friends' list who keeps sending insulting messages because you're not on-line as often as you used to be does not mean you are heartless or selfish.  You are not a poor excuse for a friend if you decline an invitation for dinner or drinks.  It's okay to let someone know you're just not in the mood for another long, drawn-out conversation about love and relationships. And, just because someone asks for your phone number doesn't mean you have to give it. I gave my number recently to some guy whom I had absolutely no interest in and now he won't stop calling me! What was I thinking? I didn't want to hurt his feelings and say no when he asked. That's crazy! So what if he walked away thinking I am a bitch? I know I'm not a bitch. That's all that really matters. Saying no once in awhile or being totally honest about what you want (or don't want) doesn't make you a bad person.

In fact, people will like and respect you a whole lot more when you're upfront, honest and do choose to say no now and then.

If you don't say no or set some boundaries with people they will misunderstand your intentions and build false hopes concerning you, think it's okay to stalk you on Social Networking sites, suck up all your time, or harass you with constant phone calls and nasty text messages on the first free night you've had in months to go out with your girlfriends. Allowing stuff like this to continue causes resentment and anger to build inside. Mix it all together with extreme stress and when you least expect it, all hell breaks loose. That's what happened to me this past weekend. If you allow it to get that point, the damage will be so bad that you might not be able to repair it.

Speak your mind. Set boundaries, be honest.  Don't say yes to every request or invitation because you feel obligated or you're afraid if you say no, someone is going to be angry or hurt.  They'll get over it. Listen to what your body, mind and spirit are telling you. If you're stressed and agitated, identify the source and eliminate it. Walk away if you have to, even if it's only for a short season. If people do not understand or become insulted because you are taking care of YOU, it's their problem, not yours. Move on.

I am under tremendous stress and my life is crazy now but it's no excuse for the way I acted this weekend. I am ashamed of myself for hurting two people I care about, but I really have no one to blame but myself.  Yes, they are both insensitive and selfish but I allowed my hostility to fester and spread until I had enough and completely annihilated them. This is never a good thing. NEVER!  I might be a Nutritional Consultant and Lifestyle Coach, but I am not perfect. I am sharing my experience with the hope that it will keep you from making the same mistakes.

This all reminds me of an article I wrote over a year ago. It was all about saying no.  Evidently, I am not heeding my own advice lately, so I needed to read it again. Here it is, should you wish to read it, as well.

And this is my Daily Cyn............

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