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Stop Waiting for People to Understand

Sometimes people just aren’t going to get it. So stop waiting.

There’s going to be a part of your mental health journey where you’re a complete mess. That’s okay. It happens, and people don’t have to understand.

And it’s not always your job to explain yourself. Let’s go over a few reasons why.

You Need to Accept Your Mess

Not a “hot mess.” God, do we still say that? Well, stop. It’s not 2013 anymore. Anyway, stop resisting the fact that you’re in a rough spot. Don’t punish yourself for not having it 100% together at this precise moment.

If your house is a disaster, for instance, accept it. If your friends or loved ones are complaining about it, let them know you need more time to figure things out. Yes, you don’t want to wallow in filth forever. Don’t do that. However, don’t kill yourself trying to keep up appearances.

You Have Nothing to Prove

You set the standards. No one can pass judgment on your progress. And you want to know something? You’re not going to please everyone anyway.

You ultimately know your limits and what’s best for you. Your potential and capabilities are not a secret to yourself. You have so much to offer. Don’t overlook it. That means, at the end of the day, you know if you’re giving each day your best shot. That’s all that matters.

Your Worth Should Never Be Tied Into Other People

We want people to love and care for us. That means that we sometimes want their approval. However, we shouldn’t sacrifice our happiness just to appease them. That’s not self-love. It’s co-dependency.

I talk about being a recovering co-dependent in my book, Life After Low Self-Esteem. Give it a read and recommend it to anyone you know who struggles with low self-worth. People don’t have to understand our struggle. Just keep pushing forward.

And stop waiting.

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When Cutting People Off Becomes Toxic

So, I went into detail about why I let people go. For most, the act of cutting people off emerges from a place of self-care. We realize we are being mistreated, and we seek to remedy the problem.

However, just like with anything, there’s a wrong way to go about it. Instead of cutting ties with toxic people, YOU become the toxic person needlessly burning bridges.

Let’s walk through a few ways this can happen.

When You’re Not Honest With Yourself

Be honest. Did your boyfriend really treat you as badly as you claim he did, or were you exaggerating a little? Did you eject that long-time friend from your life because they did something wrong? Or was it because you didn’t properly communicate your expectations?

Something I’ve been guilty of is expecting people to know what I want from them. I’d get frustrated because I’d think “Why is it so hard for them? I don’t expect much anyway!”

So, when they’d make a misstep like forgetting my birthday, blowing me off to hang with other people, etc, I’d just nix the friendship without communicating with them. Then, they’d be confused and hurt, and we’d both end up with unresolved issues. Nothing would get solved.

Turns out people can’t read your minds, and you can’t read theirs. They also can’t be held accountable for things you never properly address.

When You Simply Isolate From Everyone

Sometimes we think we’re punishing others by removing ourselves from their lives. We think to ourselves “This’ll show them!” as we deactivate all of our social media accounts and refuse to answer anyone’s texts.

Then, inevitably, we realize this solves little and wind up returning to our circle with our tail between our legs. We don’t punish anyone but ourselves.

Isolating from others does more harm than good in nearly any situation to begin with. If you feel neglected by others, it’s better to communicate with them as to why.

When You Recruit People to be Spiteful

You’ve decided to bestow your boyfriend with the ex qualifier now. You’re officially done with him for life, but that’s not enough! Now you have to get your friends, family, and pets to disown him as well.

You decide your best friend has disrespected you one-too-many times, so you break free. Except now you want the rest of the circle to leave them out as well. So, all of you regularly go out without including them.

Now imagine yourself in the other person’s shoes. Would you like it if an entire group suddenly shunned you and left you out? And we’re talking about for minor offenses like forgetting birthdays, not cheating or trash talking. Does it really warrant all that?

Now, I’m not saying you shouldn’t have boundaries. It’s okay to express to people that you need your space. What’s not okay is banding a troop together to slander and tarnish someone because of a bad breakup, relationship or otherwise.

It Starts With a Sense of Self

Cutting people off shouldn’t always be the answer.

The above scenarios happen usually because we need to work on our communication skills. We struggle to express our feelings sometimes because we feel we can’t stand up for ourselves.

This often stems from low self-worth or self-esteem in the individual. That sounds a little drastic, right? Except, it’s not! Improving your self-worth is relatively easy and something I recommend to most people who struggle with communication. Check out my book, Life After Low Self-Esteem, for more details.

And remember. Cut people out when it’s appropriate, not because you’re afraid to express yourself.

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Give People the Same Energy They Give You

Stop accepting bread crumbs from people while giving them endless amounts of your time, patience, and energy. You are human, and humans have limits. You deserve better than what you’re getting back in terms of reciprocity. Give people the same energy they give you.

Our culture teaches us that we must be altruistic, 100% selfless human beings at all times. So, we strut around giving our energy away freely to anyone who asks for it, and we wonder why we’re endlessly exhausted.

Lets explore ways to conserve that energy and apply it to aspects of your life that will yield a bigger and more satisfying return for you.

Re-Discover What You Want Out of Life & Love

You expect yourself to always be giving and altruistic, but it’s perfectly fine (or not fine) for others to give you almost nothing in return. Stop doing that to yourself. You deserve better.

Start by writing down any goals, dreams, and aspirations you may have. Then, consider your core values as a person. What do you believe in? What makes you happy? What do you have to have in order to function as a person?

Personally, I recommend creating a vision board. Not sure how to start one? You can click here for an easy how-to guide. I’ve also got some worksheets you can use if you need a confidence boost. Once completed, you can move on to something that’s a little more challenging.

Set Boundaries & Manage Expectations

What’s the difference between expectations and standards?

Start managing your expectations. I don’t mean standards. I mean expectations of people. Standards are like boundaries. They’re the things you don’t budge on. Expectations are more flexible. If you are a person who goes out of their way for people on instinct, you need to learn to adjust according to what you are given in return.

It seems petty, and at times it will appear to be. But it’s also being fair to yourself. If you don’t know how to be fair to yourself, how can you truly be fair to anyone else?

Any relationship requires a healthy balance of energy. A one-sided friendship, for example, isn’t really much of a friendship at all. You make all the arrangements, you plan the birthday parties, buy the presents, listen to them when they’re down, help them move, etc.

How do I manage my expectations?

Do your friends do any of the above-mentioned for you? If not, you need to change your expectations. Instead of doing all of the above, you should only do what your friend reciprocates. Nothing more.

That is now what you expect out of YOURSELF when it comes to that person. If that becomes an issue, then state why you’ve changed your behavior to match theirs. By stating it, you’ve expressed the expectation you have of THEM and the ball is in their court to figure out what they expect from the friendship. It should ALWAYS be fair.

What if they don’t meet my expectation?

The friend may decide not to meet your expectations, and that’s fine. That’s what compromise is for. You have to decide if the compromise is worth keeping the friendship.

That’s where your standards/boundaries come in, the things you’re not willing to budge on. They should always be realistic. If it all works out, then great! If not, it’s not your fault. You still did the right thing. This thought process also works for marriages and long-term/short-term relationships.

Check Your Balance

Imagine you have a bank filled with your energy. Every day you withdraw funds in order to power your relationships. Now, every bank account has a specific limit, right? At a certain point, that account needs to be filled up, or it will overdraft.

So what happens when you run out of funds? You not only won’t have enough “energy” to give out, but you won’t have any to give yourself either. So, how can manage your account when the funds you give out are never returned?

You’re always the one to initiate conversations, always the one offering emotional support, and always the one showing up for something. But when the time comes, those who are accepting your funds aren’t doing the same, so you’re always in the red.

Invest in people who will match the funds you’re giving out. Make time for individuals who aren’t emotionally selfish and self-centered, and watch how your outlook changes. You’ll feel supported, loved, and most of all appreciated.

Reclaim Yourself

Stop allowing yourself to be walked all over by people. Stop accepting bread crumbs when you’re worth an entire buffet. Know your worth and demand to be treated fairly. You have to stand your ground and give people the same energy they give you.

Remember that, no matter what, you are enough.