Protecting Your Personal Boundaries

 Giving myself the gift to say “no”

The holiday season tends to bring a lot of obligations. Events, family outings, extended family gatherings, friend get-togethers, gift buying, giving to the needy…{you get the idea}.  Here is the thing: I’m busy. Like really busy. Most people that know me well enough know that I am busy. If they don’t know it, they should understand that I might be, considering I work full time, have a 20 month old, am a wife, own a home, have two dogs and a cat, am part of a church, amongst other day-to-day things.

However, this doesn’t stop people from asking me for favors. I am definitely on the people-pleaser side of life. I want to ensure that I please everyone. This tends to mean that I don’t say no. If I need to say no, I will most likely find some really passive-aggressive way to say no. Those of you that have no problem saying no to people, may be scoffing at me, thinking “oh my gosh, stop trying to please everyone and just be blunt!” Here is the thing; whenever I am completely spent and I can’t possibly do one more thing, so I have to say no, people get mean. They act like I just spit in their face, stomped on their toe, and told them that I don’t want to be friends with them anymore.

So I feel stuck. I tend to get asked to do a lot of things and find myself filling our calendar and my personal to-do list with way too many tasks/favors/obligations. Whether it is planning an event, coordinating an appointment, picking a place to eat, picking up a gift, calling insurance, paying bills, coordinating a get-together – I started to sit back wondering; “Why am I the one that has to do this? Why can’t these things be planned for me and I just show up?” And the reason is, everyone knows I will say yes. Because I always do. I’m the yes-girl. And people know that I’m good at coordinating things. That if you give me a project, I get it done. I do it well, and include lots of detail. I know that they trust me and I know that they like the outcomes that I can provide. But that doesn’t mean that you should just assume that I can/should/will.

I understand that people in my life may not know that I am overwhelmed. It is not something that you tend to shout out to the world. But I know that people will continue to ask me to do things, as long as I keep saying yes. Along with learning to say no, I need to learn to feel self worth, if people do not ask me to do things. Meaning, that in a twisted way, since I am used to being the “yes-girl” I let the emotion of completing things and doing favors fill a certain “self-worth void”, and I allow this to define me.

I hope to change the way that I operate. I hope that people start to respect my time, and instead of giving me tasks, they plan things and let me show up, so that I can be present and enjoy their company, versus running around like a chicken with it’s head cut-off because I’m running the event. Don’t get me wrong, event planning is a passion of mine, but learning to say no to some things should also become a passion. Life is a constantly changing thing, and that is the beauty of it. I need to learn to protect my personal boundaries so that I can be free to truly enjoy what is surrounding me.


What gift are you giving yourself this Christmas? Comment below! 


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