Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Self-care for Writers (Part 10 of 11)

Here are a handful of miscellaneous suggestions.

Don’t over-nurture individuals. Many of us tend to feel responsible for others when they need to be able to handle their own issues.

One day I thought that if I solve their problems, I cheat them out of the challenge to do so and to grow from the experience.

Here’s another maxim of mine: My role is not to solve others’ problems; my role is to be with them while they solve their own problems. And being with them doesn’t mean giving them huge amounts of time and energy. Rather, we let them know we care and then disengage so they can figure out their own answers.

Set boundaries. That’s one of the most difficult things I had to do. I was a helper and wanted to encourage others. Instead, they sucked me into their private morasses.

Learn to say no. I tried every possible say to give the one-word answer but it didn’t work for me. I felt I had to explain, and that was a mistake. When I said, “I can’t because. . . “ they responded by telling me why I was wrong. Finally, in desperation, I came up with a single sentence that has worked for me every time: “My rubber band just won’t stretch that far.”

7 comments:

  1. WOW, how I needed to hear this today! Thank you! I am too learning to set boundaries and not feel responsible for others.

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  2. WOW, how I needed to hear this today! Thank you! I am too learning to set boundaries and not feel responsible for others.

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  3. Thank you for the reminder, Cec. I have enabled others by not setting boundaries and trying to solve their problems. It was like a hero complex. I learned quickly when my son said to me, "You care about everyone else more than me." I began implementing boundaries many years ago. Life is simpler. I watch how God helps that person. I listen but I don't manage their problem.

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  4. Love this: "My rubber band just won't stretch that far!"

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  5. Wonderful advice! I appreciate your wisdom.

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  6. This series is SO relevant and helpful to me! I'm going to start setting more firm boundaries, especially with my twenty-something kids. A few good-natured no's will help them grow faster! And will make my block schedule for writing smile.

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