Does it drain you?
My new favorite litmus test for boundaries is: “Does it drain you?” It works on so many fronts! I’ve always just sort of accepted that uneasy feeling after I’ve been with someone who makes me anxious or tired or puts me in a bad mood.
“Did I do something wrong?” I thought to myself.
Well I’m happy to say no. Most of the time anyway. I’ve just been weak on boundaries for much of my life and the time has come to take them back. From my children and family members to coworkers and accounts to friends and particularly with the men in my life.
Gee, I wonder where that came from???
I can thank my divorce for giving me the strength to stand up for myself. It’s not easy to give up and walk away, especially when you’ve been working on trying to fix it for what seems forever. But the pain of my marriage was too much and I needed to get my life back. I succeeded. And my children are better for it too.
Now I know when I’ve met a guy that after a few dates if I snap at someone or start polling my friends on their opinion of him or just don’t feel happy with myself, he’s probably not the one for me. It’s becoming much simpler to move on.
How’d I miss that lesson growing up? I could have saved a lot of time!
And I take a break from friends who vent without permission. I don’t answer my phone when when I’m not ready for the next family crisis. My children don’t walk all over me. I found that I listen better when I don’t let myself get involved. There’s a lot of that at work.
And just yesterday, when the chatter, dry air, and general distraction of the office started to get to me, I got up and left and worked from home. I was twice as productive and much happier.