“I’m giving myself permission to sit this round out.”
It took me way too long to learn that it’s okay to write your own permission slip when it comes to relationships — for a lot of reasons. To start, I’m a first-born, recovering overachiever. I’m also a raging empath, which makes me especially prone to people-pleasing. I don’t just recognize someone’s disappointment in, disapproval of, or discontent with me — I actually feel it.
As a result, I spent years showing up and rising up for things that did not serve me well simply because someone else demanded my participation.
That’s it. That was all it took. My people-pleasing tendencies, coupled with someone else’s expectations, was a personal perfect storm for me to:
Bend over backward.
Jump through all the hoops.
Spread myself entirely too thin.
Keep running face-first into the same brick wall and wonder why I had a constant headache.
That force of habit, that vicious cycle, that sense of obligation, that toxic engagement — I showed up for all of it.
I’d arrive, emotional tool bag in hand, ready to perform and people-please my way through as if it were my job — and I’d leave, tired, drained, and resentful as hell. At first, I thought I was angry at the person with unrealistic, unhealthy, or unrelenting expectations. Surely, all my rage must be their doing?
How Do You Write Your Own Permission Slip With Relationships?
Say what you will about social media — it does have its upside. Case in point: I recently found a post that talked about writing your own permission slip, and it just about blew my mind. Write my own permission slip? Actually give myself permission to not do something? Grant myself the authority to not meet someone’s expectations? Stop running face-first into the brick wall?
I couldn’t wait to try it — and once I did, it changed everything.
I finally understand that I don’t have to participate in events that hurt, hinder, or hold me back simply because I’m capable of “handling it.” I finally understand that required self-abandonment is unsustainable in healthy relationships. I finally understand that permission to practice self-care isn’t ever something I have to wait on someone else for — it’s something I can grant myself.
And sometimes, that means giving myself permission to sit the next round out in the name of recovery and restoration.
Today’s’ Soft Never
Today, let’s put a Soft Never on the belief that we can never stop showing up for things that aren’t serving us well when we feel that forced sense of obligation. Instead of taking the bait, we can work on taking a beat, a breath, a step back to gain a little clarity and perspective on how to avoid that brick wall next time.