The “disease to please” can be contagious in many aspects of our lives. The exhausted volunteer who says yes when they shouldn’t or the overworked employee who takes on more assignments until they literally make themselves sick. When we pause to look at the driving force behind all our giving, we may see a boundary violation. This blog series is based on the book, Boundaries. There are 10 Laws of Boundaries addressed in one of the chapters. This week we will explore the fifth law. Boundaries Law #5: “Motivation” helps us look at why we give.
If you don’t have the freedom to say no, you don’t have the freedom to say yes. When someone asks me to do them a favor or requests that I inconvenience myself, I have to pause to take notice. I question whether I am saying yes because I will feel guilty if I don’t or if saying no will cause tension in the relationship when the other person doesn’t get the answer they want.
The bite-sized piece of wisdom is: “Freedom first, service second.” I need to have the space for both answers of yes and no to be equally respected. New Habit #5: I will give out of gratitude for my blessings. When I got a call from the Dog Rescue asking if I could be a foster, I paused. Am I saying yes out of a desire to please someone else who is in a desperate situation or is this something I want to do right now in my schedule? My husband and I decided that we are able to help. We worked out a deal for dog-care that wouldn’t be a burden on either one of us. We serve out of our abundance. We have the freedom to say no, which makes our “yes” more meaningful. New Year, New Habits!