I don’t always text back, and when I do, sometimes it’s days later. If you call me, I may or may not answer. I check my voicemail once every three months or so. I have taken the badge off of the Mail App on my iPhone that alerts me of new messages because it overwhelms me. I often download and delete Facebook Messenger because I don’t like people forcing me to respond to them just because their Messenger app states that I am online.
I write these things because these are the things that people attempt to use against me. They tell me that I am selfish and inconsiderate and that I should be as available as I make myself appear to be online. I hear these things, right? And the first thing I want to ask is, “who the fuck do you think you are to tell me what I need to do for you?” I don’t though. I listen to hear where the person venting their disappointments of me are coming from. And honestly (truly), as I am doing this, I can find myself understanding their perspective. However, I still find myself in disagreement with their charge for my life after they have finished.
You see, I have learned that we all have to make decisions for ourselves first. Doing this is how we can show up and be the best versions of ourselves daily. I know for me, I make the decision to set up boundaries because of my experience with people. As much as I love my people, (they-you-family-friends-strangers-nobody is excluded) drain me. This is especially the case when they feel as though they can always come, boldly might I add, unload their mess onto me; usually without regard for my feelings or mindstate.
Me setting up boundaries isn’t a personal attack on anyone else. It’s an act of self-care and love for myself.
I used to feel like it was my obligation to always be around for people. To be their sounding board, problem fixer, or a get-out-of-jail-free card. People made me feel obligated to do that. And then, I started to look around and realized that even with people around me, not many of them were there for me. Not in the way that I needed them to be. So, I took it upon myself to start making provisions for myself. We all do it. Many of us just tend only to find fault in those who do this when doing this directly impacts our desire or needs from them.
Now, do I feel as though my communication can be better? Sure. Will I work to better my communication? Sure. And here is how:
- I will be more considerate of people’s feelings and try my best to tell them I am not available when I am not available.
- I won’t take on their shit or, take their shit personally. If I don’t want to deal with their shit, then I won’t. And I’ll express that. Nicely of course.
- I will hold myself accountable. If I say I will call back, email in a day or shoot a text, then I will try my best to do just that.
I’m almost confident that even by me being aware of my flaws, being okay with them and still trying to do better outside of them that someone, somewhere will still have a problem. And you know what? That is okay. Because this is all I am willing to offer right now for me and for you.
Also published on Medium.