Even if gentle, we need to stand up for ourselves to be wise.
Boundaries can be useful. But they can also be badly misused, even by therapists.
Emotional blackmail attempts to control a person by leveraging their caring reputation. Standing up to it requires firmness.
We all get taken advantage of from time to time. Those doing it rely either on power differentials, or a degree of hiddenness in their actions. Fortunately, there are things we can do to correct the balance.
From birth, our lives are a question of negotiation. Sometimes we get what we want, sometimes we don’t. How we handle the balance of this is critical to our happiness.
We all need “me time” to restore ourselves. If our job or family is unsympathetic to this, we may need to signpost our needs.