Setting boundaries when we really aren’t in a position to help can feel like this double edged sword of betrayal. Sometimes, our love ones will attempt to make us accountable for what should be their own stuff. It can be easy to identify with that projection and some of us become paralyzed by those projections that are imposed on us. Consequently, we find ourselves saying yes to things we really cannot afford to say yes to.
Is it a savior complex? Maybe, saviors historically have boundary issues. People will often say “boundaries are self serving and I don’t want to be that”. Boundaries are absolutely self serving and they should be. Boundaries are also your way of being more efficient and present in your relationships. A boundary isn’t a punishment. It helps you to ward off emotions that is harmful to your soul and relate even better to your love ones. Boundary allows your love, your gifts and talents to be abundant. Having no boundary leads to you walking through giving off a being deficient vibe, not your best self.
Watching yourself on the sideline while you deplete yourself is far more hurtful than saying no or your version of no. Even with the massive guilt you may feel for saying no to things you can not physically, emotionally and spiritually commit to , say no anyway. The only way to effectively help someone in need is to first be in a position to help and sometimes that only means moving toward this very moment unapologetically.
Deliver the message with empathy without compromising clarity.
Marjorie Jean, LCSW-C, LICSW