How can I say no to needy family members?

Episode #7 of the Ask Erin Pavlina YouTube Series:

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This week’s question comes from Jan. She asks:

“How can I say no to needy family members?”

Here is the transcription of the video:

Hello and welcome to another episode of “Ask Erin Pavlina.” Today’s question comes from Jan. She writes, “If there are friends and family members that you know you should stay away from but you don’t want to abandon them, especially in their time of need, how do you go about doing this without feeling guilty or disloyalty?”

Well, Jan, I’m sure that you’re not alone in being in this situation where you may have family or even a friend who is very needy and you feel a sense of loyalty to them and a desire to help them. But you know if you do so you may lose some of your own energy or you may be in such a negative situation that it starts to impact you.

So, I would say you need to set a boundary. You need to decide exactly in what way you will help or not help this person. You must decide your boundaries. Decide in advance what you’re willing to do and not do for this person. Then, if you’re able to, and you feel comfortable, I would convey your boundary to the person in question. Let them know what you’re willing to do and what not willing to do, so that they’re clear. So that there are no surprises.

If you’re not in a situation where you feel comfortable expressing this boundary, you can still have a boundary, even if you’re not expressing it. So, I would say get very clear on what you’re willing to do and stick to your guns. If you don’t, what’s going to happen? Your energy is going to be siphoned and drained and your vibration is going to be lowered every time you interact with this person. So you owe it to yourself to keep your energy high – to keep your vibration high – so that you are not drained.

I’m sure there are other people in your life who need you as well and you need you. So you need to spend some time getting clear on all of your boundaries in all of your relationships. Make sure you’re putting yourself first and the people you love second and just be very, very clear about what you’re willing to do. So, good luck with that. We’re all in that situation. We all have somebody and it isn’t easy, but you need to be able to set that clear boundary and say no when you need to. It’s for your own health and for your own good. Great question, thank you for sending that in.

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