Walk this Way

Sometimes we have to walk away from those we love or care for deeply. If your boundaries feel pushed to the limits by another, your emotional energy drained, it might be time to walk away; you are not responsible for the well being of that person, especially if they have no interest in their own well being, in order for you to keep your own sanity.

There are people that choose to deflect or blame their

issues/problems/inconveniences onto others before recognizing their own faults. These are individuals that try to justify or rationalize their poor behavior on something you did or use excuses that it's the outcome from another situation. Sound familiar?

You only tolerate what you think you deserve.

Love in any relationship, even friendship, is not about what someone wants from you. If someone in your life is consistently out of control, you do not always have to be their anchor. Let me repeat that, we are not responsible for living another persons life and solving their constant problems. We do not have to take ownership over their instability. Sometimes, the best thing we can do, is to wish a person the best, encourage them to get help and step back to focus on our own life and purpose. It's ok.

It is a wonderful feeling to be there for someone, be it a stranger, kindred spirit or soul mate, but there's a difference between being a shoulder to cry on, a supportive confidant, a kind hearted ear, or being used as a verbal punching bag, a witness to an anger tornado or hostile tirade. It might be their normal; it doesn't have to be yours! Your normal doesn't have to be the person to calm them down or make them better, especially if it's not in your professional scope of practice. If we have been there for a person that is only there when they need us, if we have given this person endless hours of counseling or taken on their issues as our own, perhaps to point where that is your relationship...it might be time to walk away, as challenging and heartbreaking as that may be.

You can still cherish your memories together, you should, really, because maybe you had a lot of fun!

When you do chose to set a healthy boundary for yourself with a person you may have been over-helping, prepare for a bit of backlash and them trying to guilt you into being some terrible person, perhaps one that never cared to begin with or one with unrealistic standards. Stay strong, because something amazing happens next. Once you have created this barrier of what you will and will not tolerate, the quality of people you start attracting into your life will already respect this, they will feel it, and those relationships are more cohesive. You may even find certain friends you already have to be more compatible or a style of person more attractive than you did before.

What if that person is your family member? Your spouse? Your child? How do we find the way to tell someone we are more closely embedded with that we cannot help them any longer?

Every situation is different and I refer complex scenarios to professional therapists such as a local psychologist, psychoanalyst or your religious clergy, imam, sangha, rabbi, etc. If you feel that the person you are walking away from has suicidal tendencies, I especially recommend seeking professional help for your situation.