Drawing Lines In the Sand…
Continuing our discussion about stopping unhealthy situations in your life, let’s talk about what happens when you start drawing lines in the sand with dysfunctional/toxic relationships…
First, the other people often don’t like it and they get angry, belligerent, mean and/or distant…that’s OK, let them. Second, your new behavior might feel weird to you…you may feel guilty or wrong or like you are a bad person…that’s OK too…beginning to practice healthy behavior in relationships that have long been dysfunctional often feels “off”. New behavior is an ADJUSTMENT.
When we are chronic fixers, savers and rescuers finally drawing lines in the sand and saying “NO MORE” feels like putting on your clothes backwards…it just seems “wrong”—-you have to have space for that, if you can’t wade through the discomfort while standing your ground you will never be able to make a lasting behavioral change.
Change is HARD, changing behaviors that no longer serve you is even harder—-especially when it involves close or family relationships. You have got to be willing to work through the HARD.
The alternative is to continue to participate in things that are toxic to you and the price for that is your vitality and your aliveness…my lifetime best friend said to me today, “you can’t help another breathe if you suffocate first.” TRUTH. There is a reason that on an airplane they tell you to secure your oxygen mask FIRST— because you are of no use to help anyone if you cannot BREATHE.
Begin to PAY ATTENTION to what is taking your energy and if that is worth it to you. I am so over trying to help people that don’t want to help themselves—honestly if people don’t want to do the work on themselves to be functional and healthy we cannot correct that and we certainly cannot save or fix them.
The price for behaviors and habits is the amount of life that you are willing to exchange for them. If something or someone is taking your energy and not giving anything back that is too high of a price to pay. You have to learn to make yourself important and make taking time for yourself important.
You are the only one that knows what works for you. Start drawing your lines in the sand about what you will tolerate and what you will not—-you don’t have to justify that to anybody and it is OK if people don’t understand — they don’t have to.
It has taken me almost 52 years to see that I don’t have to do things to please other people, that it is OK to say NO, that it doesn’t matter what people think of me, that I can’t save people from themselves and that the only thing I can control is my own behavior. Don’t wait 52 years to stop over-doing and over-functioning— start drawing your lines now and start making yourself a priority. See you on Sunday for Coffee Chat.