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The pitfalls of being so ‘easygoing’ and how to set boundaries


Last week my coworker Sandy told me that she loved how quiet I was and how I stayed clear of conflict. She said that she truly admired that about me, wishing she could be the same. She laughed and said it would save her a lot of trouble if she could just hold her tongue. 

I have not been able to get her comment, which I know was a compliment, out of my head. 

Thinking about it has made me realize you can learn things about yourself even when you feel you have grown up. Sometimes you may already know that about yourself, but you’re just reminded again, and it has a different meaning than before. 

Growing up I have always been quiet and many, including myself, would describe me as shy. I was the little girl who would never raise her hand in class or volunteer to be the main role in activities. My teachers would tell my parents during conferences that I was doing well in school, but I just didn’t talk much in class. 

They most likely came home afterward confused because of the loud singing my little sister and I were probably doing in the car right before. 

Now, I wouldn’t consider myself overly shy, but quiet in a way that is easygoing and compliant. I am like that at work, school, with my friends and my family. As my coworker said, I dislike conflict so much that I’ll do almost anything to avoid it — even if that means to try and forget what I am actually thinking or feeling so a situation goes smoothly. I wouldn’t even consider myself such a huge people pleaser, but isn’t that what that looks like? In the moment, it feels like a great tactic. Everything seems better if you make it easier for the other person. 

Recently, I’ve come to realize that although this is an honorable trait, something that I don’t want to change about myself, it is a trait that requires boundaries. 

It is easy for me to feel pressured to say “yes” to almost anything someone may ask of me. It’s easy for me to stay quiet even when I disagree. It’s easy for me to lose track of my priorities to fulfill others. But afterward, it wasn’t actually that easy. It was sort of exhausting. 

Without the boundaries of communication and recognizing my priorities, it is possible for others to use my compliance wrongly. It took me a while to come to this conclusion, but there are some seasons in life where weaknesses or traits are more evident. This is just another reason to keep growing instead of falling into the same habits. 

I find being easygoing a trait that I value, but how you navigate it is what determines how healthy it can be. There is beauty in learning about yourself and growing constantly. 

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Corinne Smith
Corinne Smith, Reporter
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