It's Not Your Responsibility
Light House Lady,
It's that time of year- reflection, planning, goal setting, hopeful dreaming…for some of us.
I know this can be challenging to hear and accept, as it is for me, but I want to remind you of something pertinent to this season of life.
Not everyone is into personal growth and evolution. Not everyone is aware of the need to become better than the year before. Some people truly believe they are perfectly fine just as they are. And I'm not only speaking of narcissists. There are many average, everyday folks, who are content to continue living life as they have always lived life.
If you are opposite of that- striving to be better and aware of your shortcomings (at least some of them), it can be difficult to be related to, married to, have given birth to, or be friends with those who are uninterested in growth.
It's not your job to help others change. It's not your place. Sometimes friends and family have the type of relationship where they can speak freely into each other's lives and that's beautiful. Iron sharpens iron. But sometimes that does not exist. Sometimes relationships are not that deep and that's ok, too.
If you have a parent, spouse, or friend who refuses to recognizes their need for change, let them be. You will only frustrate yourself and them in that process, making your relationship tense. What you can do, is set boundaries. Uggghh, such an overused word. You can limit people. You can say things like:
- I really don't want to talk about this topic any more, Mom (or Dad or sis). I love you and know you still need to process it but I would appreciate it if you did that with a therapist or close friend.
- I can come over but only for an hour. It's all the time (or energy) I have today (or this week).
- I will not be coming over for this event. I just really need some down time.
- I really don't want to cook and clean (my personal reality) so let's go out to eat and hang out at a restaurant.
Just a few examples.
You are also NOT responsible for how others feel about your choices. How they receive your boundaries is about them and their personal baggage and the lens through which they process emotions and relationships. That's on them, not you. But the reverse is also true. When someone tells you no or sets boundaries with you- they are not responsible for how you feel about that. That's on you to process with a therapist or close friend who will hold the mirror up for you.
Set your goals, dream your dreams, hope for the best, read the books, listen to the pods, talk to your therapist, do all the things…And maintain your peace by setting limits on what others can say, do, and expect from you.