I have a difficult time
- Saying no to people when I need to
- Creating space and time for myself
- Drawing lines where lines need to be drawn
- Standing up for myself
- Making my voice heard
When it comes down to it, fear and anxiety are the factors making these things so difficult for me. I know I’ve talked about making space for myself and mentioned how important self-care is but I have a few other related things I want to address. I’ve learned that setting boundaries is important to self-care. Setting the right boundaries allows me to take care of myself the way I should. Setting boundaries allows me to draw the lines needing to be drawn to receive the respect I need and deserve. I think a lot of the things on my bullet list are very similar and usually go hand in hand. I also think there is a distinct difference between each one.
I have always had a hard time saying no to people even if I want to or should. There were so many times I would find myself saying yes to things such as working for other co-workers even though I didn’t have the time. I would say yes to going out with boyfriends even though I had homework to do. I would say yes to going somewhere I didn’t want to go because I would let people guilt or peer pressure me. I now know that it’s okay for me to say no. Saying yes all the time gets tiring and it starts to wear on you mentally and emotionally. I think learning to say no was the first step for me in creating space and time for myself.
I also now know there are certain lines I need to draw, and I think part of that involves standing up for myself and making my voice heard. For instance, I have recently created some new boundaries for myself with different people in my life. I am setting these boundaries by standing up for myself and making sure they are listening to what I have to say. There are certain things from my past relationship I have no intention of carrying over into the next one, and I see that as setting a boundary. I have also dealt with “playful name-calling” in past relationships. Although I knew it wasn’t serious, hearing those things over and over again took a toll on me and my self esteem. I stood up for myself and said: “Hey, this needs to stop.” What I would like for others to take away from this is that just because you don’t find something hurtful or offensive doesn’t mean the other person doesn’t. It’s okay if it bothers you in a way it doesn’t bother them. If it leaves you feeling as though they don’t respect you, I think you should speak up and say something. You draw that line there and let them know it’s not okay to cross it.
It is challenging for me to do all of the things I’ve talked about and I’m not perfect, so sometimes it takes me a while to get to that point. It also took me a long time to realize that its okay for me to do what I feel I should. I shouldn’t let the fear of them getting mad at me or leaving me affect how or when I put myself first. Sometimes people become upset or confused when I stand up for myself and set boundaries. I simply take the time to explain to them why I want that boundary set and how the current lack of it makes me feel. Not everyone understands my reasons and feelings, but that’s okay. I’m merely looking for them to respect those reasons and feelings. Whether or not they do will show a lot about who they are and how much they care for me.
So stand up for yourself, say no when you need to, set your boundaries and draw your lines, make sure they HEAR you! I think this is all key to making sure you have the right amount of time and space for yourself. Make sure you’re getting the respect you deserve and need to function well emotionally and mentally.