“No. Is a Complete Sentence.” – Elizabeth Olsen

On a clubhouse last night, we were discussing boundaries. Something I’m learning slowly to implement not just in my personal life but with work and my ghost-writing clients.

I am a chronic people pleaser, which is something I am working on. As we were discussing part of me knew that it was due to my conditioning as the eldest daughter in a South Asian family. We automatically get placed in the third parent role and this never changes. I’m in my late 30’s and constantly feel like I should always be available to my siblings and parents, even if it’s not always reciprocated.

This has filtered into all aspects of my life and relationships, friends, social media contacts, clients and even into my dating life. A lot of it comes from fear of rejection, that if I don’t do these things people will stop talking to me.

I have put boundaries in place, particularly when it comes to attending events. I have backed out of them because I don’t want to go. Simple as. Yet I’m still questioned as to why and justify my reasons for not attending. It is not my responsibility or job to explain my decision NOT to attend something. What we shouldn’t do is guilt trip people who do say ‘no’.

As actress Elizabeth Olsen says in an interview recently, her father taught her that “No. Is a complete sentence.” I love this quote and will be using more of it. We don’t owe anyone a justification to our own boundaries.

For me to start this journey to setting boundaries, I’ve put a wager on with my sister. That if I can stop being so available to my family for the next two months, she owes me a tenner.

I’m already spending it in my head (may have to up the amount!).

How do you set boundaries?

 

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