Good boundaries protect us from our own tendency to sacrifice ourselves for other people. When we are protecting ourselves, when we have clear boundaries, we don’t get hurt as much and the hurts we do experience are less painful.
The truth is, picking up other people’s emotions always does more harm than help. It’s not like we take their burden and carry it for them. They have that sorrow for a reason. We call it a weight on their shoulders, but it’s more like the leaves on a tree. It comes from the roots inside of them. So when we take those leaves off and put that weight on our shoulders, they just grow more leaves on the tree. So now both of us are carrying that sorrow. In other words, by taking on their sorrow, we didn’t cut it in half – we’ve essentially doubled it!