I wrote this on Facebook a few days ago:
One of my “resolutions” for 2019 is to set boundaries and stick to them. I said “no” to someone a few days ago and immediately then honoured their request anyway because I didn’t want to seem “rude”, which is attached to needing people’s approval. I didn’t fulfill the request completely and tried to remain vague (not completely fulfill the request or answer all questions) but still felt gross after.
This wasn’t the first time I allowed boundaries to be crossed and then felt gross but hopefully, it will be the last.
The brief story of this current instance of boundaries crossed:
I announced that I’d be at my partner’s restaurant that evening, and someone that I barely know (yet connected to on Facebook) used that information to come to ask me about my coaching program. They were interested in it and wanted validation of their thoughts and practices. They didn’t make an appointment, and they didn’t know for sure if I’d be there when they visited or whether I’d be available for such a discussion. Sometimes I’m there to work, sometimes to eat, and sometimes I go there to eat and end up working.
Sometimes I’m there to work, sometimes to eat, and sometimes I go there to eat and end up working.
I assumed that the reason that I announced my location on Facebook was clear: It was our last evening open until the new year and we wanted people to eat all our food. I got the impression that my restaurant isn’t a place at this person would usually visit. They sought me out for answers, not food or alcohol.
Parts of this post is taken from a note that I later sent them. It isn’t a passive-aggressive message in any way or a way to vent about an anonymous person, it’s a story about learning to be steadfast and to protect myself. It’s about learning to not give a fuck and not to give part of myself when I’m not available to give.
I bear no negativity towards the person. I take 100% responsibility for my own feelings. People don’t know what they don’t know, and that person didn’t know. They’ve since been taught and hopefully, they integrated that lesson.
Fear of Hurting Others
I might have my ADHD mostly under control thanks to what I turned into a six-pillar system, but I still worry about appearing rude and hurting people’s feelings and I think I worry too much about this. It’s human nature and the way of empathetic people.
However, I’ve heard that people with ADHD tend to live on our heads. We potentially obsess over things more than other people.
Truth is, people will get over it.
“At the end of the day people won’t remember what you said or did, they will remember how you made them feel.”
― Maya Angelou
True, but you can’t sacrifice yourself.
No one can make you feel anything. Instead, actions trigger emotions that come from memories of past experiences, from our stories and our programming. This is the reason that I take 100% responsibility for my own feelings. I don’t know where the “don’t be rude” programming came from, but I’m done with it.
To be honest, I have respect and admiration for female friends who tell it like it is and who are direct. Sometimes I’m taken aback, but I respect it, as long and they are also compassionate and soften the blow (so to speak) when necessary. You don’t need to sugarcoat or beat around the bush (two idioms, one sentence!), but tact is important and that takes judgment and experience.
As humans, we do the best we can. I don’t know about you, but I try to be a kind, caring, patient person.
I refuse to use ADHD as an excuse or act like a victim. I’m cautious about using it as a reason. I request help when I need it, but I do my part. I’ve seen too many people use it as an excuse for laziness or not trying, which is one of the misconceptions about ADHD. It bothers me when people perpetuate stereotypes about their identity, even though I perpetuate some in other areas of my life. (For example, I “throw like a girl”, and as much as I want to like Scotch, I don’t because it burns.)
DO THE FUCKING WORK.
Even though the government characterizes ADHD as a “disability,” I dislike that classification. I think that I tend to consider disability to be something that impairs a person every day and has symptoms that can’t be contained. I recognize that my opinion is absolutely based on bias.
ADHD is a neurological condition. It’s a health issue that can be controlled, like an autoimmune disorder. “Disorder” is in the name. I’m not disabled; I have a condition with controllable symptoms. Yes, it is a cognitive and mental condition and it can impair, interfere with, or limit my ability to engage in certain tasks or actions or participate in typical daily activities and interactions (reference: Merriam-Webster), but it doesn’t have to. Maybe I’m in denial because of said bias, but I don’t feel disabled.
Embrace the Discomfort
On some psychological level, in this case, I chose to be uncomfortable and stay with it rather than embrace a more positive experience and to release the negative. I let it stay with me for a couple of days. Sitting with the negative feelings was not a bad thing because, in the end, I did choose a more positive experience.
Deal With Your Stuff.
We often bypass the negative. We immediately flip the script before we’re ready. Those of us who are spiritually-inclined are even more likely to want to quickly “choose love over fear” and such, but we skip over the part where we have to deal with our shit, and so our shit comes back to haunt us.
We should always choose love over fear, as long as we address our shit.
Here, in sitting with the discomfort, I figured out how to handle it when people come to me for advice at a time that doesn’t work for me. If someone wants to consult with me, it has to be on my terms. I need to establish “office hours”.
Shit addressed, lesson learned, moving on.
An Opportunity for Business Growth
My response from the very start – a Facebook message and an email – should have been, “Make an appointment” or “Visit my website”. My response should have been.
I realize that this would have been the perfect opportunity to direct someone to my mailing list and to get another subscriber. I didn’t think of it at the time. I suspect that I let unconscious insecurity keep me from doing so and let the triggers cloud my mind when the conversation happened in person. This theory (insecurity) alone is super-helpful because now I can deal with it.
I acknowledge that I allowed the fear of appearing rude to dominate and so I acquiesced. I acknowledge that that’s on me.
Building a business
My program isn’t hard or revolutionary. A lot of it is common sense. Each of us is our own expert, but we don’t trust ourselves and think we need a “professional” to tell us what to do. Honestly, a lot of experts have no idea what each of us needs. They operate within their own learned framework, much of which is general advice rather than individualized and which is potentially outdated. To quote Danielle LaPorte in various places that she’s said it (and I highly recommend her book White Hot Truth), we are our own gurus. We often don’t want to do the work to figure out what we need.
My program is based on a lifetime of experience and took me months to build. I’ve put a shit-ton of work into it. I stayed up late. I’ve left my comfort zone. I created a free email series and a free webinar. I write and send newsletters. Subscribing to my newsletter gets you free access to the email series and occasionally I open up the webinar recording for a few days at a time.
I give a ton of free advice via blogging and websites such as Quora hoping that the engagement from these activities converts into clients. Several times a week I get notifications of upvotes for my answer to “How can I treat my ADHD without drugs?”
ROI applies to time and energy.
I am not here for brain-picking. Friends can pick my brain but in general, it’s not professional. If you don’t know someone well and want a free consultation, email them for an appointment or use their scheduling portal if they have one.
An opportunity for transformation
I heard this in a guided meditation yesterday morning, and it resonated:
There’s no need to fear negativity. It always is here to offer an opportunity for transformation.
I must have found that when I needed it. Ditto for this, which appeared in the Spirit Junkie app on the second of two days that I spent writing this post:
So, there you go.