In this week’s episode of  The Baggage Reclaim Sessions, I talk about something that makes most of us very uncomfortable: ‘giving’ that crosses boundaries.

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5 key topics in this episode

  • When we plough ahead because of how we want to do things, how we want to be perceived, it changes it from giving to forcing. It becomes imposing, pushing, guilting, manipulating.
  • If we are doing something to influence or control what that person thinks, feels or does, it’s not giving. For instance, if we’re genuinely apologising, it shouldn’t make a blind bit of difference what the other person does with it. But maybe we’re apologising because we want them to come around to our way of thinking. e.g. get back together. In some instances, though, we’re apologising because we’re trying to activate their conscience so that they apologise to us.
  • Sometimes our boundary issues give the other person a Get Out of Jail Free card. They use it to legitimise past actions. Oh, see, this is why I did a U-turn on the relationship (or told lies). But that’s pure crackery, after all, they did all of that without our subsequent responses having happened yet.
  • Sometimes we have to ask ourselves if we’re performing at being something instead of actually being authentic. Are we playing a role–e.g. Good Friend/Worker/Partner instead of being our authentic self? If we’re doing the former, this is where we run into the people-pleasing and doing what might be good things but for the wrong reasons.
  • We need to have an honest conversation with ourselves about why it bothers us that this person said no. Their response conflicts with the image we have of ourselves, of the story we’re telling us. If, for instance, we see ourselves as someone who’s friends with all of their exes no matter what, but this ex isn’t playing ball, we think it says something about us.

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