I’ve been in counseling for about six months because I think counseling is rad and that everyone should go. Throughout my journey there I have been learning a ton about myself and the way that I interact with the world I live in. For example, I’m a people pleaser. This wasn’t new news to me, I’d been aware of that fact, but what I am learning is that this people pleasing attitude doesn’t line up with what God says. My desire to please man over God is something that is not good for me or my relationship with God and that a lot of this comes from me having bad boundaries. So something that I’ve been trying to do is give myself permission to not be liked by everyone. You might be sitting there thinking, “well that’s good because it’s impossible to get everyone to like you anyway.” And see, I know this too but I wasn’t living like that was the truth. I was living like I had the power to make everyone be my bff, while in reality sometimes people aren’t going to like you and it doesn’t mean that there is something wrong with you or that you did something. Sometimes it just means that maybe your personalities don’t mesh. And you know what, that’s ok!
So, like I said I’m learning to give myself permission to not be liked by everyone. Not permission to be enemies, but permission to not be a people pleaser. Permission to be a peace maker as much as it’s up to me, but not a peace keeper because sometimes that’s not within my power. Permission to be myself, the self that God made me to be, even if that isn’t the self that others expect. Permission to have boundaries that protect my area, and allow me to thrive and grow. I’m doing this by running things through 2 filters.
Filter numero uno is wisdom. Is it wise for me to say yes to this event or person? Would it be taking away from something else important, or would it take away my only chance to rest that week? Is it wise to always say yes to everyone? Obviously not. Part of wisdom is knowing when to say no so that you can say yes to the right things! This filter mostly applies for social gatherings, peer pressure, or favors.
Filter numero dos is does this match up with what God says? If we are confident in our identity in Christ and the things He says about us, than the things others say about us or do to us hurt less because we already know we are! Say someone is making you feel less than, or lacking, I want you to compare that to what God says about you. He says we are chosen. He says He formed us and knit us together in our mother’s womb. Does a God who cares enough to carefully create us then make mistakes in who we are? No! Because of grace we no longer lack, we are made whole in the sacrifice of Christ’s death! There will be many times where people will cause us to doubt who we are and what we are worth. Sometimes it will be intentionally, sometimes unintentionally. However every time we have to run what they say through our God filter and see if it matches up with what He tells us.
These two filters are my safeguards as I learn to have boundaries. And I’m seeing that as I create them I begin to experience freedom. It’s still a work in progress and I still (definitely) mess it up and allow people to step all over my property. I still forget the power I have to say no and to walk away. But I’m getting better and I’m celebrating every little victory I have.
Have you given yourself permission to not be everyone’s bff? If you haven’t, you should give it a try. Just give it a test drive, freedom is waiting!