Celebrating a friends birthday in July... Obviously very happy I went out.
As of late my work load has expanded past my regular 9-5. Not only am I now a supervisor responsible for a team, I am also apart of an amazing creative team that requires my creative wheels to be turning at all hours. So as I expand professionally I've made the executive decision to pull back socially in order to make time for my mental health and self care.
So I figured with the looming threat on 2020 quarantine part two , now is the perfect time to talk distancing yourself and setting boundaries with friends.
Being up front with friends about your current mood
One thing I have implemented into my interactions with friends is being upfront when my mood is off. Instead of ghosting or showing up with a terrible attitude, I'm vocal about my desire to be alone to avoid hurting feelings upon declining. If my energy is low but the idea of company sounds good, I make my lack of usual upbeat energy known. This way they can decide if they would rather take a rain check. This kind of transparency can eliminate misunderstandings and provide you with a ton of relief of not having to show up at 100%.
Do you have the mental energy to show up in certain spaces?
I've always been the type to maintain memberships to several different friend groups. By different I mean diverse and fitting to each of my personalities -- says the air sign.
While I love each and everyone of my friends they all come with varying frequencies and energy. So when deciding who to spend time with I'm realistic about WHO I have the energy to be around. This process is especially important when nearing burnout. I.e. Your goal oriented friends my not be the ideal hang if you are attempting to slow down.
Try matching your your energy to the potential company the next time you're feeling spread thin.
Me jokingly making boundaries the word of the day via FT with a friend.
If it's a "maybe" then it's a "NO".
As a former people pleaser I often found myself saying yes to every opportunity all in the name of showing up for friends. Even when getting myself out of the house in that moment is a kin to pulling teeth. Recently, I've started living by the rule that if I don't want to go I won't go. So now if the idea of a social interaction is met with hesitation, I decide it's best to decline and I express that politely to my friends.
You shouldn't avoid dragging yourself into a social interaction if it means overriding your own needs. It can be nerve racking to decline invitations but you'll quickly found that no one is ever really bothered. No guilt trips. No tears.
Warning: This may come with a case FOMO.
Not getting carried away with "No".
Okay, so you've mastered the art of setting boundaries... so what's next? Balance, Baby! You got to make sure to remain cognizant of when you've been pulling back TOO much because saying "No" can become addictive once you start to get it right. I like to give myself nonnegotiable interactions. For me that means showing up for birthdays and major celebrations of personal growth. These are the moments I know, personally, if I miss I would me feel disconnected from those I love.
Decide what you don't want to miss out on or what amount of quality time will help you stay connected to the beautiful humans in your life. Pick your nonnegotiable, show up, and enjoy the time spent.
Boundaries can be anxiety inducing. The fear of losing touch or worse... losing a friend can push you into social burnout. But if you have loved ones who truly want the best for you they'll be understanding. They'll respect your new boundaries and it might encourage them set a few of their own. And if their reactions are veering on toxic or manipulative that just tells you a larger boundary might need to be set.
I encourage you start putting yourself first and set social interaction boundaries over the next 30 days. Try it out and see how it goes. No doubt you won't regret it.
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