For many years, I allowed people to use and abuse me. As I reflect back, I realize I didn't have the love that I needed to have for myself. I was always focused on trying to help any and everybody and also focused on trying to please people. However, situations rarely work out with an ending of you pleasing other people, while also pleasing yourself. Someone in the equation is not going to be happy.
...Anyway, after numerous situations, it became palpable that I just couldn't make other people happy. It didn't matter what I did. If people are unhappy individually, you can't come along and change that. Happiness is a choice. People must make the adequate changes to create their own happiness. Nevertheless, I tried and tried to please people anyway.
When I learned to divert the energy and attention from others to myself, it's like I started discovering an entire new world. I developed a new level of confidence, insight, and outlook towards myself. I learned to put myself as the number one priority. Besides, I was tired of being last.
When I became number one in my life, all of the using and abusing was put to an abrupt halt! I had fallen in love and when you love, you protect! I began to love, nurture, support, and encourage myself. I started giving myself everything I wanted, needed, and hadn't formerly realized I was missing.
Of course, I still like to help others; however, there is a line between being used and simply being of help to others. The love you have for yourself is what allots the vast difference between being used and merely helping others. In addition, I no longer attract or affiliate myself with needy people, so I no longer have the issue of being used. Now, when I help others, it is definitely my choice and it never feels like an obligation! I only do what I can and I don't worry about what I can't do.
It seems like I'm addicted to helping others. Actually, I think I'm addicted to the feeling and self-satisfaction that I receive from helping and motivating others, especially when they expect nothing from me. When people do not ask anything from you, oddly enough, it makes you want to do even more.
If anybody is going to use you, it should be God. Let Him use you and let "you" use yourself. Be there for yourself. Encourage yourself. Support yourself. Believe in yourself. Nurture yourself. Pamper yourself. Throw a party for yourself. Take care of yourself. Love yourself.
If you have to say yes to prove your love, it’s manipulation! People might be okay with you saying “no” until you have to say it to them. When you tell folks “no” and then they work hard to change your mind, they clearly don’t respect you. You should have to say “no” only one time (unless the person is special). Sometimes, people will ACT special and like they don’t understand your “no”, but it’s just a manipulation tactic to get you to change your mind. They’ll typically say things like…
Those statements are perspectives and opinions, not facts. They're MANIPULATION!
Even Jesus had boundaries. So, don’t let anybody make you feel bad for loving yourself and doing what’s best for you. We are called to love other people, but we must include ourselves.
If you don’t set boundaries and standards, you’ll be like a city with no walls… meaning anyone can run over and through you… And what good will you be then?
In any situation/relationship dynamic, when you pacify and overlook bad and unhealthy behavior, that's your pass, your green light, your permission given for it to continue. Unfortunately we can’t change ANYBODY but we can express our thoughts, feelings, opinions, perspectives and also state facts. If people choose not to change, we must make a decision to stop trying to get them to change. To stop trying to get them to understand and accept us. And we must be willing to walk away or create strong boundaries, whichever is your best choice.
You don’t have to prove who you are or what love you have to anyone (in these particular types of situations). You really don’t even have to work to prove it to God because He reads your heart. If people can’t tell who you are and “what’s in your heart”, even when you say no (and demand a favor to prove your love), perhaps you need to pray about that affiliation and establish extreme boundaries away from it. God has blessed us with discernment and we definitely need to use it to discern people and their intentions.
Boundaries are healthy: Implement them!