I consider myself a natural born giver and quite resourceful. I used to enjoy giving advice and providing information to friends and family but as of late, the pace of my life has picked up and free time to myself is at a premium. I’m now noticing just how much others rely or have come dependent on me doing things for them they could easily do for themselves. An example is; I will get a text from someone asking how much a service cost at a business…(not owned by me.) I become aggravated because that person could easily go to Google for the same info. I could tell them I don’t know, and they’ll follow up with “do you have the number?” It has gotten so bad that my ringer is turned off while at home. All of my friends and family know I’m not at home or work twiddling my thumbs so I feel like they just don’t respect my time. I’m also an introvert so how do I set boundaries without alienating myself?
Ask B. response: Paraphrasing Luke 6:38 by stating: The more you give the more you receive, even though it may sound cliché and false. God is pleased and does take great care of his givers. But remember the takers will always abuse our good deeds. It’s sounding a lot like your cup isn’t running over at all. It’s looking mighty empty instead of full.
B-random: sometimes the ties that bind, will tie you up and tie you down. Know when its time to cut the ties loose.
In other words, don’t allow your friends and family to get in your way. School them on how to be resourceful for themselves. Ask them “did you try yourself yet?” “What exactly have you done so far?” You follow up with “Well after you figure that part out call me back and I’ll handle the rest.” Going forward, anyone who comes to you for any kind of favor needs to make sure they’ve completed their part first. Point! Blank! Exclamation POINT! Understand that they can only rely on you as much as you allow them to. Unless, you’ve become content with being the “rock” or “go to” person in your the family? It just might have become the badge you wear, and you’ve become blind to the fact that you’re wearing it. It’s very easy to fall into that role. Many in their families take on that role, and many get stuck there looking for a way out. Or they simply come to the conclusion that’s their appointed role, along with the biggest misconception that “it’s family, I have to do it.” No the hell you don’t! Unless it’s your child, or there are some legal papers leaving you in charge of providing in some way shape or form. Then by no means feel obligated. You can’t bare the weight of an entire family. You’ll crumble. Force your family and friends to figure it out and do for themselves.
It sounds as though your family and friends have lack of respect for your time and work. Need I say they sound a little unappreciative. They need to be just as supportive to you as you are to them. Support can only work best when reciprocated. (Tweet or FB it and quote me LOL) It’s kind of sad that it’s gotten to that point, but kudos to you for turning off your phone when at home. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with doing that, and we all should shut our phones off after a certain hour. If you decide not to shut it off, at least stop taking calls or text replying once a particular hour strikes in your home. That helps with setting the tone for your home life, but also creating the necessary boundary without alienating yourself. Boundaries are necessary for EVERYTHING and EVERYONE! Equate it to someone entering your personal space. It’s an automatic understanding of what one is and isn’t allowed to do. When proper boundaries aren’t set, it leaves room for alienation to occur. In the pursuit of peace you’ll soon find yourself distancing yourself from your family and friends. If the proper boundaries aren’t set.
I’ll also suggest holding a family meeting and setting them straight. Make them aware of how you feel. To be honest, they might be oblivious of their behavior. To them, this could all be second nature. If that doesn’t help, learn when to say “no.” That’s super important, along with unplugging and recharging. Erykah Badu said it best with her song “Window Seat.” If it’s not a plane ride to peace, then simply have a staycation. Unplug and recharge in the comfort of your home.
God created the giver with purpose. Remain aware when its become too much. Time management it key. Manage home life, work life, and time with your friends and family. More importantly, make time for Yourself always! Don’t allow that time for yourself to be taken away from you. Iyanla Vanzant said: “how you treat yourself is how you treat God.” You’re a representation of him! Putting yourself last is putting God last.
Do you have a question for B? Email question to firstname.lastname@example.org