A friend phones to ask you for a favour.
You’re already swamped and you don’t have the time or energy to help them out. Plus, this particular friend never seems to return any of the favours you do for them.
They wait expectantly for your answer.
A voice in your head is advising: “don’t agree to this. You have too much on already. Say no”.
Into the phone, you say with a smile:
“Yes, of course, I’ll do it – no problem”.
Continue reading “What’s the Price of People-pleasing?”
This post from 2018 explores why we often take responsibility for other people’s feelings, and the subsequent impact on us and our eating behaviour.
You’re about to send an email and you’re re-reading it for the tenth time to make absolutely sure there’s nothing in it that could be misconstrued and cause offence. Then you check it another ten times after you’ve sent it – just in case…
You bump into a friend in the street. As you walk away, you replay the conversation over and over in your head trying to work out if you said anything “wrong”. You’re still rerunning the conversation in your head as you lie in bed that night…
A work colleague seems a bit off with you. You instantly rack your brain to recall your most recent interactions with them. You spend the day desperately trying to work out what you did to upset them so you can apologise and make things right…
Continue reading “Summer Rewind: Why Do We Need To Let Other People Own Their Feelings?”
It’s a good old-fashioned Christmas meet-up with family, friends and acquaintances.
So who’s here? There’s your aunt who tries to emotionally manipulate you. There’s that old family friend who always makes inappropriate remarks about your body. Over there’s your cousin who never fails to give you “helpful” diet tips. She’s talking to your mother who’s giving you “that look”.
And there’s you – mindlessly eating mince pies in an attempt to deal with the stress and misery.
Continue reading “Season’s Meetings: Shields Up!”
“Boundaries can be used in two ways – by limiting the actions of the people who have hurt you, and by including the people who’ve shown themselves to be trustworthy. In other words, boundaries prevent harm and allow benefit.
…When a friend proves trustworthy, see that friend again. Risk a little more. Notice when you are treated kindly. Pay attention when someone offers you trust. As you become more discriminating about the people you let in, the spaces of your life will fill up with positive people, and you’ll have less room for the harmful ones.”
Anne Katherine, “Where to Draw the Line”
Often we think of boundaries as a means solely of keeping toxic people out. But, as Anne Katherine explains, they’re also how we let trustworthy people in.
But how do you know who to allow close and who to keep at a distance?
Continue reading “Expert Insight: Filling the Spaces of Your Life with Positive People”
I was horse mad as a child.
I was born and raised in Australia until the age of nine and, along with a modest collection of pony books and stickers, I had an imaginary horse I kept tethered in our backyard. Truth be told I had about fifteen imaginary horses – all with their own names – but that’s another story.
More than anything, I wanted to ride a real horse.
When I was about eight, I came across a brochure for a kids’ activity camp. I can’t remember how but it immediately caught my eye because there on the front cover was a photo of children smiling as they rode horses through the countryside.
Continue reading “Who Do You Trust?”
“Boundaries are the lines we draw that mark off our autonomy and that of other people, that protect our privacy and that of others. Boundaries allow for intimate connection without dissolving or losing one’s sense of self.”
– Amy Bloom
I love this definition of boundaries by Amy Bloom – psychotherapist, author, screenwriter and probably my new shero.
Boundaries make it safe for us to engage with others, without compromising our independence. They separate us from each other, while at the same time allowing us to be close. Rather than a barrier to relationship, boundaries give us the means to connect authentically.
But what if we don’t know where they are?
Continue reading “Food for Thought: Waking Up to Our Boundaries”