May 31, 2011
Setting Boundaries with People
A person can get so used to caretaking that they feel they are supposed to do it. I believe it is a violation of another person’s rights to even try to pick up information or sense things about them unless you first ask their permission. It’s like reading their mail or rummaging through their closet! If you are an empath with the typical codependency pattern, your idea of where the line is between you and another person might be a bit blurred. Once you get to know where the line is, it will make all your relationships clearer and cleaner. In my book, Whose Stuff Is This? Finding Freedom from the Thoughts, Feelings, and Energy of Those Around You, I teach how to sense your own energy and listen to your inner guidance.
Empaths are kind and caring. At times, we are almost saintly because we tend to care for others more than we care for ourselves. However, you are not doing yourself or anyone else any favors by being a martyr. Co-dependency is common in our relationships because we want to please others. Doing or saying something that will make someone else angry or sad is uncomfortable for us, so we often avoid confrontation. After all, if we make someone angry or upset, we will probably pick up that feeling and make us even more uncomfortable. This is not self-care; this is self-sabotage!
Caretaking does not serve or protect another person; it keeps them from growing up and accepting responsibility for their own actions and feelings. You have to be the bad guy from time to time just to maintain your own health and sanity. People may get mad at you if you don't do what they want you to do, but their feelings are not your feelings, and your well-being is not dependent on theirs. Part of maturing as an empath is to stop taking on responsibilities that aren't yours. There are times when we must have the courage to say "no," when called upon to give away our valuable time or emotional resources. It's okay to let others take care of themselves as much as possible. It's fine to ask others to help you! A healthy relationship is a two-way venture where receiving is equal to giving. Let your friends pamper you from time to time.
Extend patient, loving attention to yourself by setting aside time for spiritual renewal, to read, or do a craft or project you enjoy. Find some place where you can be alone in nature to refresh your own batteries. Do some type of physical exercise to keep the energy flowing in your body. Care for yourself the way you do others.
When you treat yourself with compassion, you offer yourself a supportive emotional environment that allows you to overcome past patterns and challenges to step into the positive change that you are seeking and deserve!
PURCHASE paperback book, Whose Stuff Is This? Finding Freedom from the Thoughts, Feelings,and Energy of Those Around You at http://tinyurl.com/EmpathAmazon. The e-book version is now available for Kindle, iPhone, iPad, and other digital reading devices.