I am suddenly at a place in my life where I realize that life is harder for all the respect I haven’t been asking for. I find myself irked because my kid doesn’t respect me. Or my husband takes me for granted. Or my Mother just expects I’ll do that thing for her. But I realize that it’s just me beginning to realize that up until now, that’s all been Okay.

Respect starts with self-respect, a boundary on what you will permit others to ask of you and what you feel you are willing to do. And while some women can allow their souls and boobs to be sucked dry everyday, others may not be able to comfortably give of ourselves that much.

As my boundaries have gotten firmer and I recognize what I honestly have the energy to do daily, I have become more selective about my yeses. And sometimes, the people who are used to receiving the Yeses, feel a little disgruntled at your no’s.

The best and most truthful phrase you can utter to people who have their own interests at heart and not yours, is, “I’m sorry that you feel that way, I have to do this for me”. Repeat this several times to make sure they’ve heard you and seen the disconnect in your eyes. Then watch them change their tactics. Then let me know it worked.

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    1. Right? I swore off being a doormat a long time ago and yet, as I became occupied with helping my mother recuperate from her fall, I suddenly had perspective. And what I saw, I didn’t like. I’m glad I could put words to how you were feeling too.

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