I’m a big fan of boundaries. Learning to say no, not right now, not that much, that’s not for me, that’s not right, that doesn’t work for me, is an ongoing struggle for me, but one that is so important. Hello, my name is Hillary, and I am a recovering people pleaser.
Figuring out what your personal boundaries are, and then implementing them and sticking with them, is a form of radical self-care. Putting ourself over others isn’t something we’ve been raised to do. We’ve been taught to share and be polite and be kind, and those are extremely important skills to master. But somewhere along the way the lines got blurred and we started putting the comfort and happiness of others ahead of our own.
So! Boundaries! Big fan. Love them. Nothing bad to say about boundaries.
But it’s difficult to love boundaries when someone says no to you. When someone decides that you’re too much, not right for them, not right right now, too strong, too weak, too something , it stings. It really hurts when someone’s personal boundaries means limiting contact, unfollowing, unfriending, pulling away, ending communication, breaking up, shutting down, etc. It’s hard and it hurts.
And there’s nothing to be done except sitting in the pain and acknowledging the hurt. Respecting boundaries the way you expect others to respect yours means you can’t try to change someone’s mind. You can’t convince someone to change how they feel. That’s not fair to them and it’s not fair to you. Because you deserve more than that. You deserve to be surrounded by people who choose to be in your life, not people you have to chase or manipulate.
Sometimes respecting someone’s boundaries means saying goodbye. It’s painful and sometimes it doesn’t make any sense but in the end, walking away from a situation that no longer works can be the best way to take care of ourselves. It doesn’t feel good when people grow in different directions and we lose people we thought could never be consciously lost to us, but the end right now doesn’t have to mean it’s the end forever.
I’m doing my best to respect my own boundaries and the boundaries of others, even when they’re confusing and uncomfortable for me. I don’t always succeed but I always try.