Sunday, April 2, 2017

Mama's Muse: Being Strong Enough to Draw the Line

I was always the type of person to give in, even when I was against what I was giving in to. People who do this are vulnerable to continuously being taken for granted as there are many vulturous people out there looking to take advantage of those not confident enough to stand up for themselves.

The ironic thing is that those being used (because that is what's happening) just want to keep the waters calm and make people happy, while those using aren't always consciously aware that their actions effect others in a negative way.

Don't get me wrong. There are users out there who absolutely know what they are doing, and are very aware of the people they can treat in this way. They know who will always give in and say, 'Yes', no matter how many times they've asked. And they have no real concern of how draining and, sometimes, upsetting it can be to be to the person being constantly asked. In this case, it gets to the point where the user comes to expect that the asked will allow whatever the request is to happen, and only contacts the person when they want something.

On the flip side, the person being taken advantage of is quite aware of what is happening. It's not difficult to realize one is being used, but it is very difficult to end it. Usually when an attempt is made to try to reject the request, they are bombarded with guilt, manipulation and pushed buttons that cause the used to give in. And the cycle continues.

It gets to the point where the requests become more and more demanding, impeding on the used person's convictions, and rather than standing up, they simply avoid the user which can cause even more problems. Users don't like being ignored and tend to get aggressive when they are as they get used to being able to depend on others to take care of them and their dealings without question or worry. And it is at this point the used simply must stop it from continuing.

It isn't an easy task. I know, I've had to do it a few times. What starts off as a belief that you're truly helping another person slowly turns into being leeched on and it can have extremely negative effects. In my case, not only did it cause a tremendous amount of stress, it drained me of my already poor health. Another person's inability, or unwillingness, to take care of themselves is not worth losing one's self over.

Helping is one thing. I certainly don't mind helping others when need be, as I've had to reach out too. We all go through hard times when we simply can't do it all on our own and need a bit of assistance. But there is a difference between that and a person just not doing what needs to be done or is expected of them thinking someone else will always come in and clean up their messes.

It is an upsetting, frustrating and seemingly never-ending situation that gets deeper with each favor extended. But the person who allows it to go on needs to be strong enough to stop the process.

~ Remember what your responsibilities and priorities are and don't allow another person to impede on these or redirect you to putting theirs before your own.

~ Extend help when it doesn't interfere with the above, and be sure to clarify what you will and won't assist with.

~ Understand that it's okay to say, 'No', even if the asker gets upset.

~ It is not okay to be guilted, manipulated or otherwise coerced into giving into someone else's wants, and you have the right to say so.

~ Make strong boundaries that you will not allow to be crossed, outlining terms of what you will and won't tolerate, and make consequences when they are.

~ Don't ever feel compelled to have a person in your life that brings chaos, stress and negativity with them, no matter how they are connected to you. People who truly care about you don't use, hurt or take advantage of you.

It can be difficult, I know. But when it gets to the point where you are stressing more about someone else's problems than your own, it's time to erase that Welcome Mat print off your forehead and be strong enough to draw the line.

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