Because I learned growing up to get along, go with the flow, and not make any trouble, I’ve had difficulties establishing boundaries in my relationships. Driven to please others and keep the peace, I’ve often suffered in silence as well-intentioned people showered me with unsolicited advice. I have a hard time standing up for myself, especially in the moment. I don't want to respond in a defensive manner, or worse, in anger. I often feel like a "deer in the headlights" when someone gives me advice I didn't ask for - and I usually mumble something like, "well, thanks, you might have a point," I feel as though I lose a little piece of myself every time I do not speak my mind, stand my ground, or share my thoughts honestly. Advice just feels like another layer of shoulds, while I struggle to come up for air.
More than advice, what I want is someone who believes in me.
I want to feel seen and heard. This is what I need to figure out my own best way – to have someone be a witness for me.
I believe rather than advice, what can change the world is empathy, compassion and kindness. And the best way to do this is by honoring boundaries.
You’re doing a great job, and I see so much possibility and promise in you. Don’t we all want to hear these words?