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completeshock posted 5/9/2013 21:53 PM

Before I post, I want to apologize in advance for posting and running, it has been a long day - hell it has been a long week - but I need to get this out before I go to bed. I also need to apologize for being a hot mess for the past year and posting only when I have issues and not offering much support. I need to work on this, but I haven't felt like I've been in a real supportive spot lately. Here goes...

How do you give up on having expectations? I'm a people pleaser and am just sick and tired of always ending up disappointed. No one outside of my family is ever there for me when I need it. I'm there to pull my friends up through thick and thin, but when I need anything not a peep. Thank God I do have my family. But it hurts.

I know I am co-dependent and I am working on it. But I'm starting to fear now that I am going the other way. Now I am starting to get to the point where I don't care about anyone, but that doesn't make me feel good either. I just feel like I am always, always disappointed in people. I keep saying I need to expand my social circle and make new friends. Maybe it will help. I am trying to do that, but at the same time I'm being honest with myself. It isn't just my current circle of friends that is like this. It has been this way my whole life. I feel used a lot of the time and it literally makes me sick to my stomach. I'm just starting to get to the point where I don't care. I don't want to do anything for anyone. I don't want anyone bothering me with their issues. I don't want them around at all. I now this isn't good.

Has anyone been in a similar position? How did you find that balance? The balance between good friend and not allowing yourself to become the punching bag?

Sorry if this is jumbled. I am exhausted. It has been a crazy week and once again, no one to really decompress with. I just needed to get this all out. I will check back in tomorrow.

gardenparty posted 5/9/2013 22:08 PM

I used to have a hard time saying no to people but like you just got so damn tired always doing things for everybody else. The straw for me was coming home from a straight 42 days of working, 12 hours a day and the first contact from a friend asking if I could make her a set of curtains while I was on my turnaround home. I of course said yes and when she showed up at my house she needed curtains for 3 windows. I made them but felt very bitter about it. However, it was not my friend who was the problem it was me. My friends learned their behaviour on how I would tolerate being treated by how I allowed myself to be treated. After that when I was at home, if I had the time and wanted to do it I would, otherwise I said no straight up and believe it or not for the most part they are fine with it. I still get asked but not nearly so much and I value the time that I get to do things that I need to do for me.

persevere posted 5/9/2013 22:41 PM

I think you balance your expectations with appropriate boundaries. And only YOU can determine what those boundaries are. Boundaries have helped me tremendously. It's a different perspective than expectations because with boundaries you designate what your deal breakers are and expect nothing.
I use boundaries in all of my relationships, esp family, and it helps.

Sad in AZ posted 5/9/2013 23:02 PM

I have no expectations. If I feel like doing something nice for someone, I do it and don't expect anything in return. If I don't feel like doing it, I just don't, and I don't feel bad about it.

It's not just old age I've been this way for a long time. It's much better this way.

How do you stop being a doormat? Just stop. It's very simple, and don't say it's not.

cmego posted 5/10/2013 08:07 AM

I am a natural nurturer. I tend to over give myself. It has taken me awhile to surround myself ONLY with people who are as supportive of me as I am of them. It is a give and take. If all they do is take, then I end the relationship/friendship. I feel like at this point in my life I don't have anything extra to give. So, I just don't.

I define a successful relationship as one that goes both ways. You have to protect yourself And...yes...part of my NB's was finding new friends. Over the past 2 years I have made 4 very good girlfriends that have my back as much as I have theirs.

jennie160 posted 5/10/2013 09:26 AM

I was raised to always offer help and not expect anything in return. But this lead to me being walked all over the majority of my life.

I'm there to pull my friends up through thick and thin, but when I need anything not a peep.

After my divorce I realized that I had a lot of friends that were taking advantage of me. I had to instill some strong boundaries in order to put myself first. I no longer would drop everything to help them out, my time was just as important as theirs. If they needed me they would have to make plans ahead of time. I also stopped giving so much to the friends that never seemed to reciprocate.

When I started to put up these boundaries I ended up losing some friends because they realized they could no longer take advantage of me. But that just means they weren't really my friends to begin with.

Now I only have a small handful of friends.

I'm just starting to get to the point where I don't care. I don't want to do anything for anyone. I don't want anyone bothering me with their issues. I don't want them around at all. I now this isn't good.

I struggle with this at times as well. I think it may be in part because I hate asking people for help and so rarely do. Because of this over the years I have learned how to solve my own problems and decompress on my own. And part of me thinks that they should learn this skill as well.

I think there is a fine line between having good boundaries and being a friend. For me, that means that I will no longer make last minute plans (typically when I get those "wanna grab dinner" texts the day of, it's because they are having issues) if one of my friends wants to get together they need to make plans at least a day ahead of time. That way I feel like I'm being taken into consideration and not just used as a punching bag.

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