As we begin to become more selfish with our time, efforts, and energy, it’s essential for us to practice establishing those boundaries verbally before we move on to creating actual, physical distance from those who drain us.
Something I have been working on is becoming the kind of person who is slow to speak. Being a conscious communicator means developing the ability to step back from a situation, regain control of yourself, and allow your emotions to get in check before you respond, ifyou respond. The beautiful thing about this process is realizing that not every situation requires a response, and that is completely okay. Especially if responding or not responding is
I started practicing this a few months ago with social media— instead of responding to every troll or feeling like I had to prove myself every time someone responded to me, I decided that I simply was going to fall back and preserve my energy. Realizing that every person who is being contrarian or willfully obtuse does not require my immediate and extended time and attention is something I only wish I’d learned sooner.
Now that I’ve crossed over to practicing this in my personal life, I admit that it has been way more difficult than I expected it to be. I’m someone who typically selflessly does labor for friends and family to a point where it was beyond draining. Sometimes it was based in anxiety over whether or not I was likable enough to have people keep me around without me straining myself. Sometimes it was because I threw myself into what others needed from me because I was too depressed to tend to myself.
Keeping people around who make you feel like you have to actively do something or behave a certain way to be your friend is not the kind of friendship you need or deserve. Not allowing yourself time and distance from these people is self-harming and detrimental to your mental health. Becoming a conscious communicator to me meant mentally establishing boundaries and then actively enforcing them as I navigated my life. Meaning, if I made a boundary where I decided that being around a person somehow triggered or drained me, I owed it to myself to follow through and actively create distance.
Paying attention to my mental health and spiritual body made it impossible for me to think it was suitable to put someone else before myself, and that overextending myself was not sustainable in the long run.
Many empaths and empathetic people tend to think that doing things like this will result in no one liking us, or the loss of friends in mass, however, I like to think of it as a good way to see who will stick around once you’ve drawn a line. If they stick around, great. If they don’t, even better.
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