You may have read articles or books that tell you to remove yourself from people who have made it a habit of letting you down. Yes, we all know this in our heads and hearts. But the reality is, there are some circumstances in life, where you may be torn as to whether you should remove yourself or the other person from your life. For example, it can be a parent, a sibling, a spouse, or an ex whom you share children with.
What can you do in these circumstances?
I know that sometimes it can be done by cutting ties or moving away and not responding to contact. It is not a good or bad decision, it is the way it is if one wants to maintain healthy boundaries.
But what if you simply cannot do any of the above, because you are in a situation where it does not allow you, and you know the person in question will let you down again and again. Not the first time and won’t be the last. This is a toughie.
Through experience, I have learned that there are things you can do for yourself…
1. Expect the unexpected. Cliche, I know, but this has truth. When you are ready for the unexpected, surprises or shock, you take it in your stride and deal with whatever comes with greater peace of mind. (Even if at that point in time, you feel like clocking the person on the head and shouting, IS ANYONE AT HOME!?)
2. Know that the person who has let you down, has limitations. And those limitations will not be changed any time soon. These could be mental, emotional or physical limitations.
3. It is not your responsibility that the person has screwed up, yet again. But it is your responsibility for relying too much on this person who has let you down before, even if they promise it will never happen again. Think of a better solution, if possible.
4. When you get caught in these situations where you have to clean up the mess created by someone else, know that better days will come soon, again.
5. If by some warp reasoning, the person thinks he/she is doing you a favour so he/she is not that committed to the task at hand, even if it is a joint responsibility, you must know that you will always have to hold the greater responsibility in the situation. Which means, you do have to clean up the mess, you do have to send constant reminders, you have to be the one who holds things together to prevent it from falling apart. This is the toughest of all. BUT tell yourself it is only for this situation/circumstance. Then, learn to let go of other responsibilities that you may have that have landed on your lap, responsibilities that other reliable people can take care of. This way you are not overburdened.
I hope these tips will serve you well. I am still learning to use them every day 🙂