I used to think that the word "no" did not exist in my vocabulary. Whether I wanted to do something for someone or not, I would do it anyway. I hated confrontation, I hated letting people down, I hated not being able to do something. Even if there was a conflict of interest, I would find a way. I never turned down an invitation or request for anything. This went especially true for my relationship. I did anything B ever asked me to do. If he wanted something, I did everything in my power to do it for him.
Then I lost him and that yes-woman, no boundaries thing got exploited. People would come out of the woodwork to take advantage of me. It was like I had a "please try and use me for something" sign tattooed on my forehead. I have always been a good person and have tried to see the good in everyone, but people who try and take advantage of the grieving are just despicable. As I broke out of the fog, it became evident that my yes-woman attitude towards life was going to have to go and I was going to have to learn how to form some sort of boundaries in my life.
Yes, I will help you move, but no, I will not pay for it.
Yes, I need to buy a new car, but no, I will not have a $500 per month payment.
Yes, we can go out on a date, but no, I will not sleep with you because you think that I am desperate.
Yes, I know I need help with that, but no, you may not do it for me, you may teach me how.
Yes, I did go to that event alone, but no, I don't need a partner to make me feel complete.
I still have a little of that yes-woman thing in me, especially when it comes to the kids. I think I overcompensate for their lack of another parent, so even if it drives me bonkers and I will have not slept for like a week, I will make sure that they have everything that they need. I do say no to things that are particularly extraneous, but they get a lot more leeway than anyone else in my life right now. It actually surprised me at how easy it was to say no once I go some practice at it.
No, you cannot "borrow" money.
No, you cannot call me your girlfriend after 2 dates and some online conversation.
No, you cannot treat me like that and expect me to still be talking to you tomorrow.
No, I will not make a 2 hour round trip for a 10 minute visit.
No, I can't do that for you, I have school/finals/kids/life of my own that I have to take care of.
I like this new no-woman, but I hope that I can keep it in check. Sometimes my boundaries need boundaries.