People always say we should set boundaries when we are dealing with other people's problems, or just dealing with other people in general. It helps make us care for ourselves, so we can help others. If we did not have these boundaries the theory goes we would probably do too much and make ourselves sick and so not be able to help others.
Boundaries seems like a good thing; the trouble is how do you set them. It seems good on paper. When advising others, I always say yes have boundaries, but in my own life it's much more difficult to do.
I think most people like me want to help everyone. If someone is in need we will want to help them. We will often go out of our way to help and sometimes put all our energy into helping them because often there is no one else willing to help.
This happened to me recently when a good friend became quite ill. For various reasons I was the person chosen to communicate with doctors and carers. I really wanted to help her and tried to look after myself but there were many demands on me daily.
It soon became apparent to my friends I was very stressed, and they said I must set a boundary, but no one told me exactly how I could do it without letting my friend and her family down
Eventually she came home, and my friend is a different person. No longer down she is now full of life, doing her crafts, cooking, going shopping and doing gardening. She has blossomed and is very creative again.
For a while I felt I was now empty because I had filled up my friends tank but left nothing for myself.
I was so happy for her of course but I was exhausted. I hear people saying you should have set boundaries but if I had she may not be back in her house.
I am ok now and pleased my friend is back in the community.
I would like some ideas.
How do you set boundaries when you want to help others and if you don't, no one may help them?
How do you give from your tank but still leave some energy for yourself?
A Moodscope member