When you realize that what you need to change is not the people themselves you have in your life or how they treat you, but how you yourself allows them to treat you or make you feel, it’s life changing.
The subject of friendships and how we interact with each other these days has been on my mind a lot lately. I am commonly refereed to as “the doormat,” I am the person who is willing to literally be there for any of the people I care about WHENEVER they need it. Even if it inconveniences me, i will still make sure I can do whatever they need to make their lives easier. The guilt that I feel when I have to tell someone no or that I cant, is crushing. I’m embarrassed to admit this but, I literally had someone once tell me when i approached them about why they were mistreating me as their friend, that they did it because ” I allowed them to do it.” That will make you think a minute and it did make me consider how I was letting certain people treat me and make me feel about myself and the interaction with those I was letting in my life.
Now there is nothing wrong with helping people or being there for people, but there is a problem when you are doing it to a point of it affecting your own mental well being. When you are starting to dread interactions with the world and the people in it, then you need to address this and make some changes. When you are doing all the giving and they are doing all the taking, that’s not a friendship. When you are the one reaching out first with every interaction, boundaries need to be set. When they are never there for you the way you are there for them. It’s definitely time to reconsider how you are allowing them to treat you and why you feel like the way they are treating you equals friendship, even when it leaves you upset and hurt most of the time. Ideally, you would like for the people taking advantage of you and your kindness to realize the errors of their ways and adjust their behaviors. However, that’s not realistically how the world works. So, if once you have addressed your feelings with them, they still maintain the same behavior, then you really only have two options, you can just remove them from your life OR you can set boundaries and learn to tell people “no,” cut off constantly being at their disposal when they need it.
Although I have allowed some people who took advantage of my kindness and were harmful to my mental well being to be in my life in the past, I am lucky enough to now have friends who love and respect me for me. I am willing to admit that I am not the easiest person to be friends with, with my anxiety and depression I don’t really like to go out that much. I prefer communicating through text message rather than phone calls and constantly over think interactions with my friends that allows me to believe they are no longer interested in being my friends, when simply its just the fact that they themselves are busy or dealing with things and cant respond or interact with me at that moment. Despite my insecurities and inner insanity, they all hang in there and love me regardless and for that I feel very lucky. You are all an important part of my ability to continue to exist and so thank you, all of you!
The simple message in a really long and drawn out way is this, YOU AND YOU ALONE, have the power and control to determine how people in your life treat you. If you aren’t being treated the way deserve, if the people in your life aren’t matching the effort you are making, then its definitely time to make some changes.