What is it about good people that compels us to become martyrs, sacrificing our peace and calm, to ensure everyone else’s happiness?
It’s a quandary we can never seem to escape.
I’m convinced that there has to be some type of deeply embedded genetic coding that maximizes our empathy.
Being called “a good friend” is a badge of honor we always want to wear — but if you find yourself around people who have depleted your emotional funds more than a few times, then you might want to re-assess a few things.
Let’s start with how you deal with people or rather how you allow people to deal with you. I’m a people pleaser by default, but I learned a while ago that if you make it okay for others to be inconsiderate and selfish, they will be … inconsiderate and selfish. (No big surprises there).
I have three new words for you that you need to incorporate into your lexicon, asap: parameters, boundaries, and reciprocity.
These are foreign terms to nice people.
A parameter, a technical term, is a “measurable factor forming one of a set that defines a system or sets the conditions of its operation,” according to Google. Do people know your system? Wait, do you even have one? Let’s move on.
Google says a boundary is a line that marks the limits of an area; a dividing line; a partition if you will. Are people rolling down your partition and crossing lines they shouldn’t cross? You need to check that.
Lastly, our good friend Google says reciprocity is the practice of exchanging things with others for mutual benefit. The term “two-way street” is more than just a common colloquialism—any person you’ve allowed into your inner circle should be giving back to you just as much as you pour into them.
I’m a work in progress when it comes to not ruining my own happiness for the sake of others, but I’ve jumped in front of enough metaphorical bullets to dish out some advice. Here’s how I’m handling it these days.
Analyze + Assess Your Circle
Does the literal visualization of a needy person’s name make you emotionally exhausted? Well, that means it’s probably time to assess their spot in your life. It may not require you to cut them off completely, but rather have limited access to you. No party in a friendship or relationship should become the other’s dumping ground. Tell them you can help them find a therapist to deal with their crap and you’d just like to do shopping and/or brunch dates.
Take the Hero Cape Off
Ok you have your shit together and you want to see the people in your circle do well, but you can’t save everyone all the time. It’s okay to take a step back and allow people to get themselves out of their own mess.
Put Yourself First
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17 comments on “Hey, Nice People. Here Are 3 Words You Need To Learn ASAP”
Very seldom can I employ these principles…my husband and I are pastors. HA! It’s like being a broke celebrity…everyone wants a piece of you, but you don’t make the money. From time to time we do get to slip away (which is a dream), but since the home we live in is only feet away from the church, we get a random drifter in the middle of the night needing help. Because of our position, we don’t have the freedom to assess. Anyone and everyone is our responsibility. It’s not without some boundaries (we do try to set those), but it makes it insanely difficult to ever put ourselves first.
Put yourself first seems like a foreign concept when you put yourself behind others. You need to set parameters as you outlined. Very good article. I will be rereading it from time to time just to remind myself of the important message.
This is really solid advice! You need to constantly assess who you are surrounding yourself with. Make sure its people who build you up and not break you down and absolutely you can not help everyone all the time. Everyone wants to be the hero but its not possible. These are truly three important words to know!
I always hope that I am a good friend, but yes, you’re right, sometimes we need to back away and put ourselves first.
Setting boundaries is crucial. You need to surround yourself with a variety of people and move the habitual users as far away from that inner circle as possible.
I find the people that are constantly having drama in their life emotionally exhausting to be around. I feel bad for them, but I also want to tell them to quit whining to me about it, and focus on getting their life put together. They definitely make me feel like I’m not a very nice person, but I also have reached the point in my life where spending time with people who drain me is not worth the effort.
Great article! I can be such a people pleaser at times and, you’re right, certian people DO take advantage of that. It can get exhausting! I love your tips about assessing the people in our lives and dealing accordingly. This was a very helpful read!
This! I recently had a fall out with a “Friend.” The relationship had become really toxic and when I finally stood up for myself and set some boundaries, she lit up. Like “scorched earth.” When people don’t respect boundaries, it’s just shows you why you need boundaries with them to begin with.
Take the Hero Cape Off!! i loved this one !! you are totally right !we cant save the world everytime
these are great principles to live by babe. i especially believe in putting yourself first – not to be selfish but to be able to fully love and help others you need to make sure you’re taken care of first 🙂
Lat statement…so important. Some people will use you up until there’s nothing left, then keep asking for more.
taking your hero cape off is the icing on the cake for me. You can’t save anyone from themselves, so let them be them and you be you.
This is one of the things I’m working on this year. Your article couldn’t have been better timing!
These are great advice. As Doc Phil says,”You teach people how to treat you…” So, knowing your self worth in any relationship is paramount to your self-esteem.
Very good reminder “you can’t save everyone”…damn if I haven’t tried; all the while, ruining myself! Those are some big words, but I’m going to try to use them!
Yes to all of this! I have a friend that I try to distance myself from and it becomes changing as a circles overlap a lot.
These are great! It took me many years and hundreds of dollars in therapy to learn these and actually implement healthy boundaries. It takes work and practice but it’s so worth it!