If you find difficulty in expressing your displeasure in what someone does to you or in simply saying “No, I don’t want to do that”, it’s probably because you’re having a hard time with setting boundaries. Below are some things you could try:
1) Decide that you need to make a change: If you’re not sure about whether you want to change things, you should probably stop reading, because you’d find it really uncomfortable doing whatever suggestions I might have. You’re not deciding to be mad at anyone, you’re not deciding to be selfish, you’re just deciding that you want your boundaries to be respected, and that’s fine.
2) State your conditions clearly at all times: For example, somebody wants to borrow a pair of your shoes, instead of going with the usual “alright, it’s in my locker”, you could try saying “alright, it’s in my locker but I’d need it before 4pm tomorrow because I’d need to use it”. You’ve already put the idea in their minds that they should be more careful with it because they know you need to use it.
3) When your conditions are failed, speak up: Still on the same example, let’s say she brings it in the morning of the day after you needed it, don’t just collect it with a smile. State clearly that you are unhappy with what was done and that they inconvenienced you because you needed it. The next time, you ever state a condition, they will definitely be more careful with your properties.
4) Disagree with situations you find uncomfortable: There is a big difference between helping your friends out, and being the lap dog. They’d ALWAYS get you to do the jobs that nobody else wants to do. Whether you care about doing it or not (because you love them), you should probably consider that it is quite demeaning and it’d gradually eat through your basic respect. It’s ok to say “Naah, I don’t want to do that, let someone else do it” once in a while.
5) Distance: If you have tried everything I talked about and they didn’t work, the people concerned clearly have a problem with respecting your boundaries, and that’s not what you want, right? Before doing this, ensure that you have made it clear that their actions have irritated you and that you’re not happy with it (even if it is as a joke), If they apologize and want to do better, fine. Otherwise, you should try giving it a break. Understand that you are not angry with anybody, you’re doing this for yourself. This doesn’t mean you won’t talk to them or reply their messages, please do that so they don’t assume you might be cutting them off permanently. You’d be making them reflect on their actions because your absence will definitely be noticed.
Try talking to them again just as before, but as a bolder person, make conversation more direct and always state out exactly what you want. Remember that it’s ok to turn down people’s requests if it’s inconvenience you. If things remain the same, understand that it’s not you and that that situation is disrespectful and toxic for you.
Let me know what you think about this article in the comments🙂