In my life, worry is a symptom of co-dependancy. When I find myself worrying I have to stop and think. It is a constant task to remind myself that adults don’t worry about other adults.
Adults allow others to make their own choices. Advice may not be welcome unless specifically asked for. My task is to be supportive and encouraging – especially when a decision for someone doesn’t work out as expected.
Meanwhile, it is my job to pay attention to the choices I make and the consequences of those choices. Doing this requires that I know what my values are and make choices that align with those values. This gives me day to day integrity, meaning my interior is aligned with my exterior choices. Then it is up to me to be clear with myself and communicate clearly with others about what I am willing and/or not willing to do. Once I have communicated this, how they deal with that information is their responsibility, not mine. I have no control over the reactions or responses of others.
When someone doesn’t respect my choices I have a responsibility to clearly restate them. If that doesn’t work then I can choose to leave or not participate. If someone consistently doesn’t respect my choices then I need to decide if this person belongs in my life. It doesn’t matter who they are, or if they are family or not. As I have already mentioned in a prior post, arbitrary genetic linkage doesn’t automatically confer “family” status. In the end, someone who isn’t respectful of me, by definition, doesn’t fall into the category of family.
People we work with are another situation. But even then, we have a responsibility to remove ourselves from non-respectful or toxic situations in the long term.
For me, living this out takes reflection and practice. But constant practice keeps my life confrontation-free because I am not passing judgment on other’s choices or requests, merely stating what I am willing to do. It also keeps my life worry-free and drama-free releasing lots of energy for other things – like this blog!