People do not own your time and affections. People are not entitled to you, your time, your emotional labor, your desire, or your attention. Every time you give parts of yourself to someone, that is a gift you are giving them, not a requirement.
There, we got the hard stuff out of the way.
Now, here’s the why: You are the only person responsible for you. You are the one who decides how much or how little labor you’re willing to put into a situation. When you allow other people to pull your attention; whether it’s them asking for advice with little to no intentions of changing, or them telling you they need to talk, but really, they just want you to come over to drink with them and feed their ego, that is you allowing people to distract and drain you.
I am not at all suggesting that you do not help your friends. Sometimes, all your friend needs is a good cuddle, some memes, and good conversation. However, it is up to you to decide which of your friends require more of yourself than you are comfortable with giving, and to begin to hold back those parts in order to protect your energy and spirit. If you hang up with a friend or finish texting them or get home from hanging out with them and you feel drained, it is because you are allowing them to have access to parts of you, and efforts of yours that do not belong to them. Redirect your energy to something productive, like realizing you don’t have to exhaust yourself to be well liked, and you will soon see how invaluable setting boundaries is.
Oh, and one more thing: Stop feeling bad about it.
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