I’ve heard things like this throughout my life, but the way I heard it in my Neurolinguistic Practitioner training resonated a little deeper with me. I heard it again today and it hit me even harder. The way it was approached today was as “tall poppy syndrome”. This is where if you grow too tall, someone will cut you down. These are not the situations we want to find ourselves in or the kind of people we want to be with. We want to be able to grow as tall and beautiful as we want to be.
What do I mean? I mean we want to find and keep the people who boost us up, who let us be who we are without harsh judgment, and only want the best for us. In this caregiving journey (and in life in general), it seems the people who want to drag us down come out of the woodwork. The people who want to tell us what to do, how to do it, and how they know better when they haven’t spent a minute in our situation to know anything about anything. They not only come seeping out, they become very vocal. People we don’t know or haven’t spoken to in years are suddenly the experts on our lives and what we should be doing. Worse, sometimes these are our family and friends.
While it’s difficult, sometimes we have to limit our interactions with these people and focus on those who help us soar. Being the nice people we tend to be as caregivers we don’t feel comfortable telling them to take a flying leap (even when we REALLY want to), but we CAN put limits on our time. “I’d love to talk, but I only have 5 minutes” (seriously, set a timer if you have to). “It’s great talking to you every day, but I really need to focus on my loved one. Why don’t we set up a time to chat later this week?” “There’s someone at the door/the oven timer’s going off/what the? I have to go!” Trust me, I’ve used all of these AND MORE to put some limits out there without feeling like I’m being a total jerk or worse.
There are a million polite ways to end a conversation that is starting to sap your energy. USE THEM. You have my permission to leave the turkeys in the dust while you step in to your regal eagle life!