You Ain’t Crazy!!

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I spell checked this article (several times, in fact), and I knew exactly what I was writing and publishing for the world to see: YOU AIN’T CRAZY!! But people make you think that you are. When you set boundaries with people, let your expectations be known and call people out on their behavior, you would almost shake your head twice after scratching your temple because of the looks, reactions and drawbacks that you get from them simply because you NO LONGER TAKE THEIR MESS or PUT THEIR NEEDS BEFORE YOUR OWN.

Let me explain. At one point in my life I was a professional people pleaser. I thought that I had to be everywhere, commit to everything, save everyone, lift every burden and make every effort to be everybody’s superhero- a modern day Wonder woman without the cape and cool bracelets. I tried to be the epitome of best friend, best mother, best church member, best co-worker, best listener- best EVERYTHING to EVERYONE. The bottom line was: I wanted people’s approval. I wanted their affirmation and accolades about qualities I didn’t even believe I had. I wanted them to tell me how “great of a _________” I was (any word can go in the blank) just because I did not think it about myself. I realize now that I thought that other people telling me who I was would make it true- even if I did not believe it about myself. If other people thought I was a great mom, friend or teacher then it had to be true. Right? WRONG! It’s the trap people fall into even now. It is the irrational thinking that says “as long as people think I am happy, smart, fulfilled, rich, successful, etc. I don’t actually have to be that. As long as they think that I am, that is enough“. Well, you can only imagine how long trying to please folks who were never actually really pleased lasted- TOO long. It lasted until I could see in myself the things that I wanted others to see in me. When I finally figured out my own strengths, self-worth and began to genuinely love myself in a healthy way, I was in my thirties, and I felt as if all those years of my life trying to make everyone else happy had robbed me. In actuality no one robbed me. I gave those years of my life away willingly.

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Fast forward to the NEW me-the one I love- the one who is a stronger, more confident woman that no longer needs to be told what she already knows about herself. I have learned how to set boundaries with people because I have realized that I no longer can or want to please everybody all the time. I know and accept the impossibility of having everyone to like you, approve of you, support you and love you. Here is the point that I am making: once you decide to set boundaries with people, you must train them on how to treat you. In other words, there was probably a point in your life when you did not hold people accountable for their actions or your top priority was putting everyone else’s needs above your own. When you begin to set NEW boundaries, expectations and standards for your relationships, people are going to respond to the NEW you as if you are crazy. YOU AIN’T CRAZY!!!! The same people who were the beneficiaries of your kindness and willingness to “help” whenever they called are the same people who are going to have problems understanding and accepting your new “rules” for how they will operate in your life. YOU AIN’T CRAZY!!!!

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Stick to your guns. Know what you expect, what you will and will not tolerate and communicate that honestly and clearly to the people in your circle. Those who value your presence in their life will stay and conform to your expectations. Others will get an attitude, say you have changed and probably slowly but surely retreat further and further away from you. Don’t see that as a bad thing. Maybe it was their time to exit anyway. Just remember- YOU AIN’T CRAZY!!!

C. Mack


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