Dealing with the Inconsiderate People in Your Life
Let’s face it, the world contains a lot of bullies and people who take others for granted. We all have to deal with them from time to time, and they can make life tough.
Life is even tougher when you have a chronic illness, and having inconsiderate people in your life makes things all the more stressful.
Once you are diagnosed with multiple sclerosis you are faced with whole teams of people who all have an opinion about what you need to do. Some of these people are highly qualified medical professionals, others are your friends and family, and often times they are passing strangers.
Most of the time the people around you have something positive to contribute to your life. Other times they cross the line a little bit – and sometimes they cross the line a lot.
So what do you do? How do you put your proverbial foot down and get your point across while managing to move on and still choke out a great day?
First of all, you need to be proactive. This means doing the interpersonal equivalent to giving your home a solid spring cleaning, which I really need to do. (Seriously, my house is a mess right now and none of you are invited to see it.)
The important thing is to focus on sorting out all of the people who have a history of being insensitive to you or have a habit of ignoring your needs.
Sorting out the shifty ones is easy when you don’t rely on them for assistance or support. You can just say, ‘goodbye’ and never say, ‘hello’ again.
However, if you have medical professionals or family that are crossing the line then you have to set some very clear boundaries.
This can be difficult, especially if boundaries are new to you. However, you will find boundaries can become your most trusted ally.
Boundaries are not always easy to form and successfully express to someone in the moment. If you are like me, you will find yourself hurt and upset and then stressing over the situation long after the moment has passed.
This is when I try to focus on what it is that I am really feeling. I try to gain some perspective and rationalize what happened as well as I can. I try to understand where the other person was coming from and then I allow myself to have equal rights in the space and time of the situation.
It is important to give yourself equal rights and value in every situation. It can be hard, especially with MS, but it is crucial to your happiness. It is very easy to devalue yourself, or allow others to devalue you, when MS is robbing you of your independence and strength.
You must remain focussed on who you are and what you are worth. Boundaries are basically your set rules or guidelines for your expectations of others. I know this can come across as very high and mighty, it is not meant in that tone. Truth is, everyone deserves healthy boundaries and space in their interpersonal relationships.
Once you truly appreciate the value of that space for others, you can see the value of the space that you deserve in return.