When a Friend is Draining You—Empower Yourself with Beautiful Boundaries
Mindbody Wellness Clarity Tips
Dear Awesome Woman,
Susie listened to her friend Vicky’s voicemail and felt her chest tighten. She really did not want to go out for coffee (again!) during her lunch break and listen to her friend’s marriage woes. After so many weeks of lending a compassionate ear and giving advice that wasn’t being listened to, she knew that she couldn’t do it anymore. After those conversations she would return back to work, distracted and drained with little energy. And later on when her kids came home from school and her husband from work, she was just exhausted.
She was going to say “no” to Vicky.
Susie really desired to be there for her friend and knew that Vicky would be disappointed, but she also knew that she couldn’t be everything to everyone all the time. And she knew that her energy and health mattered.
By recognizing how her health was affected by these continual conversations with her friend, Susie made a wise decision for her body. As women, nurturing and care is ingrained in our biology. We are primed for relationships, connection, and compassion with all that oxytocin in our bodies. But sometimes we need to connect less and turn that compassion towards ourselves (Boundaries—You Can Say No.). It is smart to discern where our energy goes.
Listening to a friend is important and yet, there are people who choose not to make changes or get the professional help they need—they stay stuck avoiding the ring of fire. They just prefer to vent and complain, going around and around again. As a friend, a woman can be that sounding board for the person as much as she can be but eventually she may choose—like Susie did—to not make herself as available.
Discerning when to say “yes” or “no” to situations and people has to do with staying in your own lane. Sometimes the phrase used is “staying on your own paper.” This means having your value system of being kind, yet instead of worrying about how disappointed the other person may be, you stay in your lane of the highway, noticing how your energy is doing, and what your needs are.
Staying in our lane is where our power is.
Susie recognized 4 things:
- Her chest constricted when she heard her friend’s invitation.
- Her body felt drained after her friend’s venting.
- She wanted her energy to be available for her family, herself and her job.
- She had given much of her time over the past few weeks listening to this friend and yet her friend kept looping back to the same issues. Susie had compassion, yet felt tension and frustration that her friend wasn’t doing anything different about the situation.
By staying in her own lane—noticing how her body reacted to an invite from Vicky and the previous consequences of past coffee dates—Susie was able to make a somewhat uncomfortable but wise decision. It’s never the goal of a kind person to be the cause of someone’s disappointment (please read: Don’t Lock Yourself in a Label). However, from a place of personal power, Susie made the choice to turn down going out with her friend. And though she considered that her friend may feel let down, Susie stayed in her own lane with her decision.
If she had not done this but instead veered into Vicky’s lane with the following thoughts — “Oh, but she’ll be disappointed.”; “She has no one else to speak to.”; “Vicky will be mad and hurt by me turning her down.”—Susie would not be in her place of power in her body. She would be subjecting herself to what she can’t control— her friend’s reaction.
Notice what it feels like in your body to veer into someone else’s lane with your thoughts, trying to decide how they will react or feel. Or imagine trying to lean over and write on someone else’s paper. All your power is gone.
Now, see what it feels like in your body to stay in your lane, on your own paper and respect your feelings, your energy, and your needs. That’s where your power is.
Need a helping hand? Schedule your 20-minute free Clarity Call today. As a Somatic Healer, Relationship Expert, and Clarity Coach, I help empower women to trust themselves through the wisdom of their bodies and intuition. Stress and pain relief, trauma processing, marriage magic, dating help, career shifts, Narcissist/Borderline-relationship detoxing, and goal setting can all be accomplished through Mindbody Soul sessions (by phone). Each session creates quantum energetic shifts for healing, insight, and transformation. You have so much wisdom and it’s all within you!
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