A few months ago, I decided to implement several new personal policies. These are my boundaries, my hard lines, my “not budging” ideals. It’s not my job to make sure someone else is comfortable with my beliefs as these are mine. And this is something I’ve been working on accepting about myself. 🙂
And when you really think about it, we all have personal policies. Every one of us has deep beliefs whether serious topics like politics or religion or lighter topics like ketchup versus mustard on your hot dog.
I thought it would be best to write out my personal policies as my own therapeutic way of making my peace & sticking with my beliefs. I’d encourage you to do the same if you felt so inclined. There’s something powerful about writing down your thoughts which is why so many professionals recommend journaling.
But I digress.
I’ll have some more serious topics (see #6 on white supremacists) & some that may not come as a surprise to others (see #2 on baby & bridal showers). But for now, let’s start with a lighter, easier one.
PERSONAL POLICY #1 – OPEN INVITATION
I’m very comfortable with doing things by myself.
That sounds weird. Let me explain.
I grew up very lonely. There were times in my life when I didn’t have a friend. Sometimes, for years. I don’t want to be a Debbie Downer so let’s just move on & say that the silver lining is that I learned how to keep myself entertained. I knew to bring a book or a notepad with me when I went out to eat. I would go see movies or go shopping by myself. I would spend hours at the library just skimming through random books or magazines. Or just out in nature from sun up to sun down. As an introvert, it’s absolutely doable. There are times when it sucked, yes, but to this day, I don’t feel sad having lunch by myself, if that makes sense.
Well recently, I was let down by someone who promised to hang out with me. Like the rest of society, I have other responsibilities in my life. For me to rearrange my schedule, make sure others were cared for, get ready, drive to where we were meeting, & block out the time, only to have them cancel on me with 10 minutes of notice when I was already there was too much. I decided right then & there that my first personal policy would be an open invitation.
“Okay, cool. What the hell does that mean?”
It means I’m done with inviting people out. Yep. You read that right. I’ve been let down, canceled on, & forgotten more times than I can count. More times than kept. I am worthy of love & respect. I understand things happen, yes, but the scales have been tipped, & not in my favor, for YEARS. I’ve gone along with it because of childhood trauma & wanting to be loved & accepted. At this point, it’s just rude & no longer acceptable.
So my policy is this: if I’m going out, I can invite someone if they’d like to join me, but they have no obligation to come & I have no obligation to stay longer than I’m comfortable with. It’s an open invitation: I’ll be at this bar around such-&-such time & I’ll head home around such-&-such time. You can join me if you want but that’s where I’ll be. I’m not leaving this spot to join you elsewhere & I’m not waiting an hour for you to show up. I’ll be here but you are welcome to join me.
I’m learning with this policy that it takes the pressure off of everyone. For me, I don’t have to carve out time only to be disappointed. For others, if they spontaneously feel like joining me, they can. And if after multiple invites, Janet (hypothetical person) declines every single one, well then I know she’s not interested & I’ll no longer extend the invite. Easy peasy.
“Okay, so what if someone invites you out?”
If someone invites me & I can accept it, I will. In that case, they are making the plans & if they cancel, the onus is on them. I was merely a guest.
But I’m no longer inviting others. It’s not worth being forgotten 4 out of 5 times. Now, down the road, I might change my mind. But for now?
Sorry not sorry. This goes against my personal policy. 🤷♀️
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