Recently I had a conflict with a loved one. I asserted my boundary and it resulted in disagreement and disconnection. I’ve worked on my boundaries over the years so I was clear on these but I was reminded of a time when this wasn’t always the case.
The emotional pain I felt recently reminded me of how in the past, I would cave on my boundaries to restore connection with my loved one. That the intensity of the emotional pain I felt from the disconnection created fear in me and to relieve this pain in the short term, I was willing to abandon my boundaries; on what was OK and not OK for me. This abandoning was usually masked in my deep empathy to see the other person's perspective. The short term gain was absolving the emotional pain of disconnection but ultimately there was a longer term cost... the cost of abandoning myself!
Connection is so important to us as sensitive people. We are driven to feel connected with others. This drive plus our wiring for deep empathy with another’s feelings, can mean we avoid conflict even when this is at the cost of ourselves and our needs. Our fear of rejection in relationships rooted in our shame about who we are, can drive us to appease another but loose ourselves; to attend to their needs but forget our own.
Furthermore, our capacity to feel others emotions and empathise with them comes from having somewhat thinner boundaries. This means that we can find it hard to hold the line of what’s our responsibility and what’s not; on what’s OK and what’s not; where we end and the other begins; and to take up space in our relationships. All of this impacts how we navigate disagreements and conflict in our relationships and therefore the quality of these and the fulfilment we experience.
Does this sound familiar to you?
If you want to learn how you can start honouring YOU in your relationships and reduce feelings of guilt for doing so, then make sure to reach out 💚💚💚