In elementary school, some students unfortunately devised dubious schemes to prank and disturb each other. One common prank I remember was the use of Kick Me signs. Students would eagerly write or scribble the words “Kick Me” on a sheet of paper and on the other side of it, would stick a piece of tape. The pranker would stick the sign on the prankee’s back. Students would then respond negatively, following the simple instruction on the sheet. The prankee would be wondering why they were receiving kicks until they would realize the sign was on them.
Sometimes as teens and adults, we wear these signs, metaphorically speaking and either don’t know it or don’t know how to take them off. We can also recognize Kick Me signs as a lack of healthy boundaries in our personal and professional lives. Let’s look at Imani.
Imani is exhausted and rightfully so. At work, she really feels the weight of her responsibilities and bites off more than she can chew. She has yet to see the fruits of her labor (not one promotion in the past seven years). On Saturdays, her only day off, she can’t seem to find reprieve as her sisters typically leave their kids with her to babysit. Although, she’d much rather rest and watch Netflix alone, she finds it difficult to say the magic two-letter word, No. She wishes her partner, Trey, would make things easier for her by helping with her nieces and nephews or by simply understanding her exhaustion, but her wishes seem to go unnoticed.
Seeking solace within her group of friends is almost always counterproductive. These same “friends” belittle her wardrobe and career choices and make unkind remarks behind her back. She is always there for them, through all their heartaches, accomplishments, and other emotional needs, but when she requires something from them, anything at all, they are nowhere to be found and her messages to them are left on read.
Feeling unheard, disrespected, sad and exhausted in all aspects of her life, Imani also finds herself confused. “I give so much, I do so much, where would everyone be without me? Nowhere! So why don’t I get what I give in return? Why do I feel kicked down, mentally, emotionally and spiritually?” As time passes, Imani gains a new partner, makes a new friend, and takes a new job, but these feelings do not dissipate – in fact, they only intensify.
Can you identify with Imani? Are you wearing a Kick Me sign or worse – more than one of those? Here are some indications:
1. You often tell yourself, you do not want to experience conflict with others, so you often comprise your own security and emotionally wellbeing. This leads to negative consequences for you and possibly individuals around you.
2. It is difficult for you to say no, so you find yourself giving or taking what you cannot afford to give or take.
3. You have your fair share of toxic friends or people in your life, and you find yourself justifying their behaviours. These individuals bully you (possibly in subtle ways), allow you to be a scapegoat, cause you to be unsure of your identity and leave you exhausted.
4. You frequently engage in negative self-talk and/or are quick to embrace slights from others. You feel you have a poor-self-image.
Overtime, the Kick Me signs, a clear lack of healthy boundaries, will take a toll on you mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. They will prevent you from living out your destiny. The fatigue they bring will rob you, like a thief in the night, of life’s joy and the signs will only increase if you do not get a hold of this situation.
Speak to me today about starting a New Chapter in your life! It’s the self-growth for me 😉
Let’s rip up these signs, throw them away and work on finding your voice, having your feet planted firmly in the ground. It’s possible, and you certainly can do it!