I am quite selective when it comes to my energy and what I put my energy into. As a result of that selectivity, there are some folks who have been offended that I do not spend time with them or do what they think I should be doing with my time. It is not that I do not like them or necessarily don’t like the activity. It is more that I likely have something with more of a draw for me at that moment and I choose that thing. Yes, sometimes it is that I do not like a person. Not everyone likes me and I am not required to like everyone in the world, even though we are “all one.” Some of us have evolved in one direction, and others in another, and sometimes those two directions do not meld very well. So be it.
I learned very early on in life that the fact that someone knocks on your door does not obligate you to answer that door. We have choices in life. So often people do things out of a sense of obligation and then get drained from the experience and need a lot of recovery time. Why do it in the first place? Obligation does not have to dictate your choices. There is a difference between obligation and responsibility. Responsibility is the ability to respond to a situation in accordance to what that situation is. Obligation simply fulfills someone else’s needs other than your own.
Yes, there are times, depending upon who it is, that I do not answer my personal phone. There are times that I do not return a call. I am not obligated to do so. If I want to, I will. If I don’t want to then I won’t. That is different than simply forgetting to call back and remembering later. In a situation like that I do apologize for the delay in response. The point here is that YOU ARE IN CONTROL OF YOUR LIFE. Nobody else has that privilege or that responsibility. You get to choose when and where and how you interract with anybody at all, even family members, even your own mother and father. You. Get. To. Choose.
Have you ever been in a situation where someone is baiting you to get you to argue or fight with them? It is much the same. Someone knocking on your door is baiting you into an interaction. Were you expecting them? Good. Go answer the door. But if you were not expecting anyone, then why bother? I do not give any energy into a situation where someone is trying to bait me into an argument. Nor will I answer the door just because someone is knocking. Yes, I may be home. Yes, you may even see me through the door’s window. This does not mean that I have to answer the door. Instead, I can simply go on enjoying your dinner, or watching t.v. or reading your book or whatever it is that I was doing before being so rudely interrupted.
Have you ever noticed that certain door to door sales people will always knock on your door between 5pm and 7pm? This is because those are the hours that people are usually home having dinner, AND THEY KNOW THAT. So this is also the time that they come knocking. Similarly, some people in your life will know you just well enough to know when you are feeling vulnerable and that is when they will come knocking on your emotional door, expecting you to fulfill their emotional needs, when all you really have energy to do is pull the covers over your head and go to sleep. Remember, you have the right to recharge in whatever way you need to. So if that means leaving the door where it is, not opening it to the invitation to have an exchange, and simply covering up and going to sleep, then so be it.
And never allow anyone…ANYONE…to guilt you or shame you over having your boundaries and implementing those boundaries. Those who have a problem with boundaries are the ones who have been benefiting from you not having any to begin with. So slam that door shut as hard as possible when someone tries to guilt or shame you about your self-care. They have no right to do that and their opinion does not matter in any way, shape or form.
The more we discern who is knocking on our door and why, the better we get at putting a stop to the bothersome knocking.