I'm under a considerable amount if stress and told my girlfriend that I need a break. She told me that I'm ignoring her advice to improve my life and my responses to her guidance have been futile. I'm stressed and stuck and just need to take a step back and decompress. But when I tell her or anyone else that I need a break and need to take a step back to put myself back on axis, everyone freaks out and doesn't give me what I need. I resent it immensely. Do I just keep in trying to meet the needs of the people around me and just handle it on my own, or do I put my foot down, and tell everyone to piss off? I don't know what to do. I feel like everyone around me wants to punish me for needing space and it's really starting to get to me.
Most Helpful Guy
We teach people how to treat us. You have every right to request a change in your boundaries when you're stressed out. It's unfair for them to ignore your boundaries.
That being said it's to be expected that close friends will ignore new boundaries because they're not used to them. And if you often submit to their requests then you've likely taught them that it's okay to keep doing what they're doing.
Your job, as a hopefully mature man, is to be CLEAR about what you need from them, including space, and perhaps you can even try to explain why. From there it's not your responsibility to manage how they FEEL about it. Know what I mean?
How they FEEL about you and your boundaries is not your responsibility.
Once you've made it clear WHY you need space, then it's your job to create that space... not theirs. They're not going to just stop wanting your attention because you asked them to stop. You have to create that space yourself.
Dissapear. Become unavailable. Ignore calls and texts... at least ignore them when you're having your ALONE time. Then get back to them when you schedule it. Maybe at certain times of the day.
If you're over stressed when you're around your friends then likely you're taking on their stress as your own... trying to make yourself responsible for what's going on in their lives? This is also bad behaviour you might want to learn to avoid.
Having empathy for a friend has it's place... but that doesn't mean taking responsibility for their issues and poor life choices. Incase you were also doing this.
In any case, give yourself the space if you need it. And don't feel bad who dislikes it. Life is too short to be wasted putting everyone else's needs first.
Your TRUE friends will understand and respect your boundaries. Everyone else will either learn to or will shove off.
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