The following column is the opinion and analysis of the writer, Abby Connolly.
Are you someone who tends to give people much more time and care than they give back? Do you find yourself constantly filling up your schedule to do things with and for other people?
If that’s the case, it may be time for you to start making yourself unavailable. Being unavailable means a lot more than having a busy, booked-up schedule. Think of being unavailable as having no physical or mental availability for people who treat you poorly or take advantage of you.
When it comes to cutting out these kinds of people, there’s often a lot of energy put into it. We may try and actively avoid them, try and ghost them, or lie and say we’re too busy to spend time with them.
A way to truly embrace being unavailable towards these people is to replace the time you would spend with them or helping them with time dedicated to caring for yourself.
Make yourself unavailable to people who bring you down and set aside more availability to do something you love, whether it be a hobby or a self-care routine.
It can be really hard to break a cycle you’ve been in with a toxic person, where you constantly do things for them and emotionally support them in hopes that one day they’ll return the favor, then they never do.
That’s the kind of situation where telling them you’re no longer available won’t be rude or mean – it’ll be essential to your well-being.
When we always make ourselves available to other people, we exhaust ourselves. You can become scatterbrained and overwhelmed when you don’t allow yourself to say no. If you continue to take on everyone else’s feelings, drama, or tasks, you don’t leave room for yourself, and you resent those around you.