A Melting Pot Of Setting Boundaries, The Need To Please, Seeking Approval, Social Anxiety
Lately I have had a huge learning curve with setting boundaries. I have new people in my house (I rent rooms) and this lot of guys certainly have forced me to strengthen my boundaries. After all people just do what they do, it’s up to me to work out who and what behaviour I want to be around and where to draw the line.
Because of my past I never really knew where to draw the line. A controlling father, controlling exes, having kids, pets, often it doesn’t matter how you feel you still have to override your boundaries when you don’t feel like it.
And I’m a nice girl.
I like to please.
And because I felt so “different” growing up, I also was approval seeking. I just needed to know I was part of a group, and didn’t feel worthy enough to worry if the group was right for me.
I was always too scared to set boundaries, (not wanting to set boundaries with controlling and angry men) then the next best thing is to withdraw and become socially anxious, or to get sick, as a way of retreating. Then the focus becomes getting well or focusing on symptoms of anxiety and not ever really knowing how they came to be there in the first place.
I also had a nice dose of hypervigilence, having to make sure I was one step ahead of the demands and criticism. Throw in being empathic (highly sensitive person) and my nerves were wired and I wasn’t sure whose feelings where who’s, I just tended to them anyway.
But I had a session cutting the etheric cord with my father and the patterns have started to unravel.
Things I have realised:
Not everyone is in my inner circle of friends. Just because someone wants to be friends with me, doesn’t mean I want to be friends with them.
If I say “no” it doesn’t mean I will be punished and abandoned like I was when I was a child.
I am not responsible for other people’s problems; I don’t have to be involved in the solution.
Just because I work from home does not mean I am available 24/7 because someone else has a need.
I am not a container for other people to offload their excess energy.
The space I set for myself is sacred and mine.
Setting boundaries has been a long lesson for me; the fear from my past has caused me to be terrified to draw the line somewhere, because I had to take action.
But healthy boundaries really are vital for self esteem. No matter where you draw the line they are yours to maintain. And through maintaining them you raise your self esteem.