Santa’s little helper was a cute elf, a bit shorter than average but compensating for it as a hard- and quick worker. He was the elf everyone turned to to get anything done. He was organised, punctual and disciplined. And also found it very hard to refuse anything assigned. His elfies kept telling him that it was a mistake not to be able to set boundaries. But he thought it would be rude to turn down someone for a job he could easily do. The little helper failed to see that it was a matter of mental health to set limits to himself and others regardless of how quick and easy anything may seem to him.
Life appeared to pass seamlessly for the little elf. Until one day. That day when everyone suddenly wanted something from him, and they needed it asap, meaning yesterday. The little helper was overwhelmed, overstressed, and overagitated. Like a pressure cooker steaming, it didn’t take long before he erupted. And before the day was over, the good little elf turned bad. He was yelling and refusing to do absolutely anything, finally expressing the feeling that he was being seen as a push-over and was expected to do anything and everything simply because he thought it rude to say no.
The situation was resolved only when Santa took his little helper on a sleigh ride with Rudolph to calm him down. A flight over a starry sky always helps. The elf finally sincerely said what he felt about the way he was treated. Santa was understanding and promised things would improve.
It is a very thin line between accepting everything and nothing, but often the reaction when we overcome the boundaries we fail to set can be eruptive.