Setting Boundaries.. (as a people pleaser)

Updated: Nov 22, 2019

I am a people pleaser. It's annoying but I can't really help it. It’s generally served me well in lots of places and I wouldn’t really change it. I connect with people quickly and quite easily. It feels like it’s in my nature from a young age.

When I was young we would holiday in a small and very beautiful village in West Cork, down on the coast. We loved it there as kids and I cherish amazing memories from that time. Most evenings, my mum would come call me for dinner and all she did was look for a group of kids huddled into a circle. I would be bang smack in the middle. Most often, showing the other kids the lizard I had found earlier that day after hours searching through the bushes. The joy of growing up in the country. I have always had a natural ability to engage new people. It wasn’t a case of being the most popular, I always had a genuine interest in other people and a desire to include everyone. I try to make others feel safe in my space. I think maybe it's from growing up in a loving home where everyone was welcome. I know how lucky I am to have experienced that. I have a very kind and special mum and dad.

Having lived in different cities making many friends along the way can come with consequences. I struggle to say no and set boundaries. My dad has always said ‘never feel obliged’ in other words you don’t have to go to everything and be all things to everyone. When I reached my late twenties I began to put this in place and it's life changing. Now that I am 30 I am pretty relentless with who I spend my time with and it feels good. Only spend time with people who fill your cup and don't suck your energy. Be selfish with this, it's ok.

Pammy is one of my first and most precious friends in London. I always admired her ability to set boundaries and just simply say ‘sorry I have plans’ when she couldn’t come to something she was invited to. She was unapologetic about her decisions and if she made plans with you first, nothing got in the way. She knows her mind, she may also just want a night in and will be very open in stating that. This is why she has a wonderful and close group of lifelong friends and from what I can see a pretty good balance. I learned when she says she has plans, she doesn't feel the urge to quickly apologise or explain herself and I never expect this of her. She has her boundaries covered. I love this about her because she has taught me that people will not feel different about you if you can’t attend that night out/gym class/brunch or whatever you get invited to. It just means you’ll have to get them another time. You still love them the same and want to spend time with them. She has taught me that you should simply state your intention without apology and without explanation. Why should you ever have to explain yourself to someone?

I realised that you learn to know yourself and what you do and don't enjoy. I no longer want to go on boozy holiday with a large group of randoms I don't know that well. I can think of many other ways to spend my annual leave and money. Don’t get me wrong I like a drink and a boogie but the wild trips take me at least a week to recover (mostly mentally over physically) and do nothing for my chi. I’ve had plenty holidays where I got various piercings, snogged more people than I remember and danced on the bars till sunrise. Those are wonderful memories that I cherish but don’t care to relive. Holidays for me now are about exploring, getting sunshine, rest and eating amazing food. Taking a step back from real life to re-charge the batteries.

Especially in dating today, setting boundaries is hugely important. Tony Robbins (huge fan) once said, ‘you get what you tolerate’ and I think this is especially applicable in dating and so important. If you let someone treat you badly, that’s sort of your fault. If they mess you about and don’t take you seriously from the start, you need to cut them loose. Define what you want and what is important for you in a partner and don’t budge on those things. I call them the ‘non-negotiables’. Obviously it's good to be open minded about most things but do not let someone treat you or your time (this is a huge one for me) with disrespect. Is this person willing to make an effort for you and prioritise you? Because of course you are worthy of that, are you not? If not now when things are meant to be easy and fun, then imagine when you’re knee deep in a relationship, maybe even a marriage with a couple of kids hanging off you and you're fighting to get out but not knowing how the hell to do so. There’s no place more lonely in this life than in a toxic relationship. Being single and living in total independence trumps that a million times over.

Final thought, a very difficult but important boundary to set. STOP talking to your ex, stop following them on Instagram, stop checking to see if they have looked at your story and stop checking to see when they were last online. Sis we have all been there. The longer you let them live rent for free in your mind, the longer you will be pining after them. As soon as you block them and start embracing new things, they are no longer present in your thoughts. When you have a constant reminder of them you will never get over them. You are worth more than having them pick you up and drop you when your person is out there and they would never risk anything to let you out of their sight. Ask yourself 'what good is this doing for my mind or how is it positively impacting me'? If you find yourself going back there. As soon as you close the door on that chapter you will be so shocked how quickly you will feel good and what new and exciting things will come your way. The only way to get past something, is to go through it.

Focus on you and your goals. You are at the crossroads now, don’t let anyone of anything block your chosen path. You can choose your happy ending now.





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