Boundaries. We might not be good at setting boundaries for ourselves, but we sure get upset when we feel like a boundary has been crossed. I like to think that I set boundaries for myself: work, family, ethics, religion, but I get tested on that a lot. And what about friendships? Friendships. Where do you set boundaries with people that you spend so much time with and people that depend on you? When a friend is in need do you need to draw a boundary on how involved you will get? When a friend has something huge going on that's exciting, do you need to draw a boundary on how involved you get with a life that's not yours? In no way am I saying that you need to be a cold friend or that you need to draw boundaries that are not acceptable, but what I am saying is that the only person that you are responsible to is you, and you need to be sure that you are drawing healthy boundaries when it comes to how involved you become with your friends.
We all make choices, right? Some choices might be good--you're getting married! Some choices might be bad--no, you shouldn't have lied on your resume. And some choices might have serious consequences, but these are, in fact, YOUR choices. I have found that when someone asks for your advice they might not be looking for your advice, but an advocate for what they have already decided to do. I would say that 8 times out of 10, my friends that have come to me for advice usually do something else. I used to get really upset about it--why had I taken all that time and energy to care about what happened to them only for them to do something else? Then I thought about it more and if a friend of mine doesn't heed advice from me or any other friend, that's his or her choice. It has nothing to do with me and ultimately it will most likely not effect my life directly. It's not easy to walk away from a situation that you know is bad and can potentially hurt someone, but if you have done everything you can for a friend and he or she still refuses to listen, it's not on you, and you need to walk away. Set the boundary that is healthy. Healthy for both you and your friend. Just because you have set a boundary doesn't make you a horrible friend, but it gives you distance from situations that aren't your concern.
But what about friends that have things going really well for them? Are you saying that I need to keep a boundary there as well? Yes. Well, it depends, I guess. If you are able to celebrate with your friend and no feelings (good or bad) arise that can potentially lead to jealousy or living vicariously through your friend, then no, you don't need a boundary. But, chances are that you might end up either upset because something great didn't happen to you or it didn't happen as great for you or you'll be obsessed with this other person's life.
All I'm saying is that you need to figure out when you need to take a step back from things and realize that your life is yours and your choices are yours. Try not to get wrapped up in other people's lives and goings-on, because you also have a life to live. Remember: boundries. Not all are bad. Most are necessary.

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