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Saturday morning is a time when I work with clients. It works for them, it works for me, I actually really enjoy seeing clients on Saturday mornings.
Recently, I saw a client on Saturday morning and at the end of the session I said to her,
“So do you want to book at this time for next Saturday?”
and she quickly responded with,
“This time is great, but I just feel so bad making you come in on a Saturday.”
To which I quickly said,
“I work on Saturday mornings, so whether you are here or not I am still working.”
Ironically we had just been working on setting healthy boundaries and feeling the need to take care of everyone else’s needs before her own. So I reminder her,
“You know, I am a grown woman with my own business and I am setting my hours that I want to work, you don’t need to take care of me too, I got that.”
To which she smiled and laughed and said, “Ah, I did it again.”
I love those teaching moments that come up right in the middle of session. Healthy boundaries and over caretaking a hard life lesson.
Many of us learned as children the rules of a ‘good person’.
A good person:
- Is kind to others.
- Remembers other people’s needs.
- Isn’t selfish.
These lessons in and of themselves aren’t evil or bad. It is a positive idea to think of other people’s needs, be kind and try not to be selfish. The problem is that we have taken these guidelines and made them extreme.
We have morphed them into:
A ‘good person’:
- Asks for very little, and has a hard time asking when they do.
- Puts others first to the detriment of their own needs.
- Stays small and out of the way.
So we have taken the desire to be kind and generous to other people and forgot to apply that generosity to ourselves. I want to remind you that your needs matter. Your thoughts, hope, dreams, desires are important. It is ok to ask. It is ok to be uncomfortable with asking. It is ok to let someone else struggle so they can meet your needs (they may even enjoy being able to help out). You don’t have to bend like Gumby to make sure everyone around you is happy.
Pay attention to how often you swallow a need, don’t ask for what you want or are afraid of making someone mad or upset so you don’t mention the tough stuff. Pay attention to how often you have conversations like the one my client and I had where you are trying to caretake for someone who doesn’t really need to be taken care of. I admit, when I pay attention I find myself doing it, and I have to ask…what’s going on here…is it your job to be caretaking right now?
Pay attention. Have some curiosity and then speak up even if your voice is shaking.