Friday, 20 June 2014

Boundaries and Soft Centres - The Wisdom Of Woodlouse

Woodlouse woodlice
Anyone who has spent a lot of time trying to please others in their lives will always come to a point where it no longer works and they have the choice of continuing to people please or saying 'no' so life can give us more affirmative reasons to say 'yes'.

Stopping people pleasing can be a slow gradual process, we say no in many areas of our lives and begin to be more our authentic selves. Yet some areas may still prove challenging to us.
My own area of challenge has been in saying no to people I don't know too well because with family or close friends you can get a feel for who they are or how they will respond, but with new people it's easy to feel reluctant to lay down boundaries again. We don't want to appear 'rude' or intentionally mean. 

So how do we cross being socially at ease and friendly, and saying no?

A Message From The Woodlouse

On my walk today I saw a woodlouse cross my path, I had been having some inner turmoil about laying down boundaries in one area of my life as I did not want to be rude, but also knew that boundaries were needed. I wanted more healthy boundaries.

It is a sign of self-esteem and confidence to be able to lay down boundaries, both qualities I had not had before. The question that always came to my mind was 'How can I be soft and loving on the inside yet protect myself from unacceptable intrusions or experiences from others?'

After a decade of people pleasing it can be tough to trust our instincts in relationship to others. I have very strong intuition and often pick up on what people are really feeling. It has been both a blessing and a curse in many respects as I often know what is going on for someone even if it is hidden from the person in front of me talking. This can make people uneasy so I tend to keep my instincts to myself - most of the time.

But it's easy to doubt these instincts and question our own judgements and in the case of meeting or getting to know new people, to push away our natural sense of knowing. I am finding that if I weigh up the situation and look at the facts, and step my ego out of the way, I am slowly learning to say no. It is not a comfortable thing for me - yet, creating healthy boundaries while maintaining my soft centre.



How do you lay down healthy boundaries online and offline?

Is there anything you have learned when you began 
to release the traits of people-pleasing?


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Photo Credit:
Gilles San Martin - originally posted to Flickr as Androniscus dentiger




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