I’ve been thinking about a person’s well-being and setting boundaries, and this perspective came to mind:
“Whenever someone asks you to do something you don’t want to do,
try not to force yourself to do it.
Because in that moment you may be thinking that doing it is for the friendship.
However, after doing it, it may result in a build up of resentment toward that person,
and feelings of anger at yourself – which is counter-productive to the friendship.
So, just say ‘no’.“
When it comes to building a happier life and nurture healthier friendships, I think this perspective may be helpful in certain circumstances, especially if one is suffering with a chronic health condition.
From experience, the healthiest of friendships are the ones where there is mutual respect for each other’s well-being, time and personal space. And from that perspective, the friends that value you as a person, are respectful when you have to turn down their request, even if the reason is as simple as you don’t feel up for it.
Speaking of reasons, you have your personal space too, and when you communicate your boundaries to friends, you need not feel pressured to explain yourself if you don’t feel comfortable to. So you can use (and re-iterate) things like:
– “I am not comfortable…”
– “I have plans”
– “I am busy” etc.
Being able to respect another person’s boundaries without getting offended – starts from being able to respect ourselves. If we are aware of and expects our personal space and boundaries to be communicated, then naturally we will be aware of and be respective of the personal space and boundaries of those we care about.
A friendship built based on a foundation of dignity, mutual respect and independence, opens up room for truthful communication, nurtures authenticity of each individual, and fosters an environment for a happier, healthier and freer living.