You may have read articles or books that tell you to remove yourself from people who have made it a habit of letting you down. Yes, we all know this in our heads and hearts. But the reality is, there are some circumstances in life, where you may be torn as to whether you should remove yourself or the other person from your life. For example, it can be a business partner, a colleague, a parent, a sibling, a spouse, or an ex whom you share children with.
What can you do in these circumstances?
I know that sometimes it can be done by cutting ties or moving away and not responding to contact. It is not a good or bad decision, it is simply a way to maintain healthy boundaries.
But what if you simply cannot do any of the above, because you are in a situation where it does not allow you, and you know the person in question will let you down again and again? Not the first time and won't be the last. This is a toughie.
Through experience, I have learned that there are things you can do for yourself...
1. Expect the unexpected. Cliche, I know, but this has a truth. When you are ready for the unexpected, surprises or shock, you take it in your stride and deal with whatever comes with greater peace of mind. (Even if at that point in time, you feel like clocking the person on the head and shouting, IS ANYONE AT HOME!?)
2. Know that the person who has let you down has limitations. And those limitations will not be changed any time soon. These could be mental, emotional or physical limitations.
3. It is not your responsibility that the person has screwed up, yet again. But it is your responsibility to think of better solutions. Could you have relied too much on this person who has let you down before, even if they promise it will never happen again? Think of a better solution, and it is always possible that there are better solutions.
4. When you get caught in these situations where you have to clean up the mess created by someone else, know that better days will come soon, again.
5. If by some warp reasoning, the person thinks he/she is doing you a favour so he/she is not that committed to the task at hand, even if it is a joint responsibility, you must know that you will always have to hold the greater responsibility in the situation. This means, you do have to clean up the mess, you do have to send constant reminders, and you have to be the one who holds things together to prevent them from falling apart. This is the toughest of all, if you have not worked through your resentment issues in your inner world, this can be a tough and big one. Because the resentment you feel will keep piling on until you feel like you will explore. Resentments are one of the biggest poison in your inner relationship with yourself and with others. Because you will do things or not do things, to yourself and others through the shadow of resentment. What can you do about it? The only way is to work through the resentment with a professional because they do not go away on their own, and neither can they be cleared through energy-clearing work. This is psychotherapy work that has to be done if you want to be healthy in your inner world and in your relationship with others.
Lastly, learn to let go of other responsibilities that may have landed on your lap, responsibilities that other reliable people can take care of. This way you are not overburdened.
I hope these tips will serve you well, I am still using them daily
© First published in 2018, and edited in 2022 Shamala Tan
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Shamala Tan is an author, spiritual entrepreneur and healer. Her work focuses on transforming the lives of others on the spiritual, emotional, mental and earthly levels.
Shamala’s clients include small business owners, holistic practitioners as well as those seeking to find more significant meaning and value in life. Shamala offers laser coaching to her clients on a one-to-one basis or in a group environment, offline as well as online.