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.