You have the right to set boundaries with people and situations that make you feel like sh*t.
That doesn’t mean it’s always going to be easy. Or maybe even possible, in some cases.
But you don’t have to have any better or other reason to set limits with certain people or situations than, “it makes me feel like sh*t.”
There are certain people and situations in our lives that make us feel uncomfortable— but we choose to continue engaging with, because they have some benefit to us.
I’m not always comfortable with my diet or fitness regimen, but I keep it, because I value the benefits they give me in how I feel and look.
I’m not always comfortable with clinical psychology as a profession, but I continue to engage with it because it gives me the chance to do work I highly value with people I love.
But there’s a difference between people and situations that make us uncomfortable, but which are connected to some upside we value in our lives…and people and situations that do nothing but make us feel like sh*t.
Everybody reading this has certain people and situations in our lives that just make us feel lousy. Small. Incompetent. Unattractive. Unloved.
But we often hang on to these people and situations, for a variety of reasons.
Maybe we feel obligated to hang on to certain people or situations because of our history with them.
Often we feel obligated to engage with certain people because of our familial relationships with them.
Sometimes we feel obligated to continue engaging with certain people or situations because we fear setting limits will invite confrontations that we don’t feel ready for, or we otherwise want to avoid.
You’re not weird or silly for hanging on to a person or situation out of guilt, anxiety, or social pressure. Almost everybody in the world has been in that position at some point in their lives.
Setting limits in those situations doesn’t come naturally.
But we can learn to set those limits.
We can learn to cope with the anxiety that setting those limits will trigger.
We can learn to put ourselves, our quality of life, ahead of our fear of confrontation, our fear of backlash, and our fear of retaliation.
Reading that sentence may have scared the living sh*t out of you.
There are some people who might have read that sentence and said to themselves, “there is no way me or may quality of life is worth the hassle that would come with setting that kind of limit.”
I’m here to tell you: you ARE worth the hassle.
Confrontation is scary. Especially if we grew up with complicated, painful relationships. You’re not “crazy” for being anxious about it.
The bottom line is: you shouldn’t have to put up with situations and people in your life that make you feel like sh*t.
You shouldn’t have to live in fear of setting limits with your time and energy.
It may take some work, patience, and time to develop the skills and confidence you need to start setting limits with situations and people who make you feel like sh*t— and there’s no getting around the work and time this requires.
But you’re worth it.
You’re worth the hassle.
You’re worth the work, the patience, and the time.
Your quality of life is important enough to not spend one more second than necessary tolerating a person or a situation that makes you feel like sh*t.
No matter what that voice from your past is whispering in your ear— or screaming in your face— as you read this.