There has been a recurring theme in recent conversations I’ve had with family and friends: being too nice. Is there really such a thing as being too nice? Yes. I mean the push-overs and people-pleasers. Hear me out. I’m certain majority of you reading this has heard the following sayings in some form: “Do unto others as you want done to you”, “Love your neighbor as you love yourself”, “Treat others how you want to be treated” and so on. I regard those statements as blanket. If don’t consider instances where it’s alright to not abide by these statements, you’re bound to be taken advantage of.
There comes a time when we should treat people in the capacity in which they deserve, to set healthy boundaries. By nature, I am a very giving and forgiving person, almost to a fault. I struggle with the thought of being a sound reflection of God’s kingdom without being taken advantage of. It wasn’t until this year I learned to say no, to not feel bad about it or the need to explain myself. This is where the spirit of discernment comes into play. Let’s be wise in who we allow into our lives and who we are vulnerable to. Learn to discern between the genuine and the parasites- you know, those who seek to drain the very life force from you.
The toughest people to set boundaries for is family. Some will play the entitlement or “you owe me” role, but you don’t. Of course, support and protect your loved ones but you can always sense when someone is using your loving gestures for selfish gain. Listen to your gut (discerning spirit).
Discernment takes time to develop and mature. Unfortunately, you may get burned by those closest to you. But don’t allow the misfortune to harden your heart. Learn from it. Stay true to your sweet nature and don’t let those change who you are.
It is okay to have hard boundaries. Boundaries are healthy!
Something to think about…
- Do you set hard boundaries?
- Do you feel guilty for doing so?