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A Note to The Girls That Think They’re Bob The Builder

Are you free right now?


Can I call you?


Can I dump all my emotional baggage on you?


Can I use you to fix myself and then throw you away?


Yes, yes, yes, why can’t you just say no? How many of you have let people walk all over you? Let them use your emotional intelligence to heal themselves and break you in the process? Destroy all that self-confidence you took years to build? 

Why can’t you just say no? Why is it so hard for you to say “I know you’re going through something but I’m not equipped to help you?”

The truth is, I don’t know. But I used to be just like you and I’ve asked myself these questions countless times. Why can’t I just stop caring about people that don’t care about me? 

There’s nothing wrong with caring. Being caring is an amazing quality to possess but you need to know when to stop. When people come to me with their problems, I drop everything to help them. I forget about school, work and my own problems to help them. But when I started to ask myself, “Would they do the same for me?”, I realized I couldn’t confidently say yes. That’s a problem. 

I know it’s hard to say no to people, especially if it’s someone you care about because you want to make sure they’re okay. But when you realize that you’re giving more than you’re getting, it’s time for you to take a step back. When their problems stress you out more than your own, it’s time for you to take a step back. If the only time they talk to you is to rant about their problems, it’s time for you to take a step back. 

Recognize you’re worth something. If you’re not receiving the same energy back, then they don’t think you’re worthy. More than that, you don’t think you’re worthy of being cared for. That needs to change because you are worthy. You’re worth more than being someone’s emotional punching bag. You deserve more and until you recognize that, you’ll stay in this toxic loop of being used. 

I know you’re scared of coming off as mean, but sometimes you need to. Protect your energy, your peace, and your happiness. Be selfish, put yourself first. If you’re not going to be there for your own self, no one will. You’re not being selfish by saying, “I’m sorry, I can’t help you with this right now.” You’re not being selfish by saying, “I feel like we only ever talk about your problems.” You’re definitely not being selfish by saying, “you’re draining me of my energy.”

You’re not an emotional handyman. Stop trying to be Bob the Builder. 

Thamilini Balakumar is a Global Business and Digital Arts student at the University of Waterloo. She has a passion for creative writing and storytelling. In addition to writing, she tells stories through her photography and videography.
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