I recently had a conversation with a friend about carrying the mental load in any connection with another person: romantic connections, friendships and working relationships. What do I mean by mental load ?
Let me illustrate. Do you ever feel like the secretary in your friend group or colleague group? Meaning If there’s a meeting, people will be like oh, will you remind me? Set up the zoom meeting ? Etc? All of those little seemingly insignificant tasks still require energy and it’s usually the people who are most organized (and most busy) who it ends up falling to. I’ve become more resentful of things like this lately and have started setting boundaries around it.
Part of my issue too, I think, is that if you’re hyper responsible and have anxiety (lol, sound familiar?) you feel like you HAVE to go above and beyond to do these things or else something catastrophic will happen. I think I’ve fallen into that thought trap before, like I always need to be showing that I’m earning my keep or something. I’ve gotten better with it but it still pops up from time to time. Thinking that like: oh, if I need to ask for anything then I’ll get fired or people will turn against me if I don’t make myself constantly available and do all the grunt work. Trauma makes you feel as though you can’t have needs, but you’ll still need to meet ALL the needs of others. Yup. Recognize that shit when it happens.
This type of thing also pops up in romantic relationships. Maybe you’re the one who feels the need to constantly remind your partner about significant things like appointments or dates or to remember to do something for their own career. I don’t really see it show up quite as much in my own romantic life, but I know a lot of people, particularly women, who do. Sometimes they may think to themselves: well, if I don’t remind my partner, they’ll forget, and then I’ll suffer the consequences anyway. May be true, but you’re already suffering before anything even happens. lol
I’ve had to give up control of some things to find peace … and stop feeling as if the world will collapse if I don’t have control or a say in everything.
- Because you legit can’t control everything
- You’ll drive yourself nuts if you try
- It shows you don’t trust other people… which can present issues
So I’ve tried to delegate tasks in different areas of my life and just accept that even if things aren’t done the way that I WOULD DO THEM, if they still get done, that’s a win. And if they don’t and I’m still breathing, that’s okay too. You need to reserve some energy for yourself. If you’re all wrapped up in a million and one tasks that you could delegate out, there’s not much peace in that.
What are some things you should relinquish control of? Or really… the illusion of control? lol.