How To Create Healthy Boundaries

3 Ways To Create Healthy Boundaries

3 Ways To Create Healthy Boundaries

November starts our holiday season here in the United States. I would love to know what you think about this time of year and all of the hustle and bustle that goes on. Are there any people in your life that you would rather not spend time with, yet because it’s the holidays, you’re obligated to invest that time? I wanted to share insights around boundaries that have really helped me over the years and perhaps can help shift your perspective and give you some tips that you can use in your life today around boundaries.

How To Create Healthy Boundaries

Here’s my top 3 ways to create healthy boundaries:

Boundary Tip #1

The first boundary tip is that we teach other people how to treat us.

We teach other people how to treat us. Click To Tweet

When my kids were growing up and I was creating boundaries around self-care (specifically meditation time), I would tell them, “Mommy-time. This is mommy-time. I’m meditating. Leave me alone for half an hour. Unless the house is burning down, leave me alone.” My kids attempted to interrupt my flow, and when they realized if they opened the door and I was meditating and I don’t even respond to them, then I must mean business.

They would leave quietly, close the door, and let me be. My kids learned early on that when I said, “This is my mommy-time. I’m meditating, lave me alone,” they learned a couple things. They learned that boundaries are important. They learned that it’s okay to establish boundaries. They learned what I accepted in terms of how I allowed others to treat me.

The second thing that my kids learned is self-care for themselves. They also learned when I had my time to do whatever it was that I needed or wanted to do, I showed up more present and more loving with them. I was a better mom because I took care of my needs first. So many women have mistakenly been told society that we’ve got to put everybody else first, and you can take care of yourself, and follow your dreams once your kids grow up. That’s simply WRONG.

“ Daring to set boundaries is about having the courage to love ourselves, even when we risk disappointing others.” ~ Brene Brown

Self-love is the best love. To the extent that we can honor ourselves, honor our space, honor our boundaries with what we will and won’t accept from other people’s behavior, comments, energy, etc… We are happier. People respect us more when we have boundaries. Click To Tweet

You already know the energy that you are going to bring into a specific situation. We are all responsible for the energy we bring out into the world. If everyone else treated you poorly, or treated themselves poorly, that’s all they know how to do. Generally speaking, they don’t know better, because if they knew better, they would change. Having that compassion around the situation may help you see it differently.

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Boundary Tip #2

The second boundary tip is be a bad ass. Be a leader! Own it. If you know that certain topics are taboo, or that every time you get together with Uncle Bob, this and that happens, know YOU can shift that. You can change the dialog of the conversation by stating ahead of time how you expect said conversation to go, or if somebody is being negative …you can stop them in their tracks and shift the conversation.

Here’s a story that illustrates this. I attended a baby shower. There were a group of people that were helping clean up afterwards. All the guests had left. A couple of people were talking about how so-and-so only gave the mom-to-be and dad-to-be $20. They were criticizing them and the energy was just going down a rabbit hole, so to speak. Interestingly, the biggest, gruffest guy in the room, beard, tattoos, big bear hug kind of guy had the courage to stop it in its tracks. He said, “Wait a minute. Maybe that $20 was all that they had. Maybe that $20 was their food, or their gas. Maybe that’s all that they could do, and that was the best that they could do in that moment. They wanted to participate, and they wanted to give.”  I said, maybe that $20 was your best gift because they were truly giving from a loving place, rather than from a place of scarcity.

The key is the more that we can come from a place of love, and graciousness, and in self-love, the more that we can share and shift that out to the world. The next time you’re in a room with negative people, just talking up the storm, or really lowering the vibration, send them love and graciousness.

“ I allow myself to set healthy boundaries. To say no to what doesn’t align with my values. To say yes to what does. Boundaries assist me to remain healthy, honest and living a life that is true to me. ” ~ Brene Brown

I encourage you to be the bold one… to be the leader… to be the person that sets the tone and shifts the conversation to a more positive, loving, nurturing one. You have a lot of choices on who you spend your time with. How you spend your time is a reflection of what you value. That’s the bottom line. We value what we invest time in. You value health and fitness, you are going to invest time in health and fitness. You really value relationships, you are going to put a lot of value and time on building your relationships. What do YOU stand for? Here’s a visual of what I stand for. This guides me in all I do.

Tandy Manifesto

 

Boundary Tip #3

The third boundary tip is to stop saying yes to shit you don’t want to do.

Take a stand for the things that you value. Know ahead of time that if somebody asks you to do something, and you get that internal gut check feeling that says you really don’t want to do it, say NO!  I get it. Sometimes you feel like saying yes out of obligation. Stop it. Say no. When you say yes, you aren’t honoring yourself in that situation. When you say maybe, you leave the door open to saying yes. Maybe is the death of productivity.

Maybe is the death of productivity. Click To Tweet You’ve got to say yes or you’ve got to say no. If you say yes, remember that that yes is a yes for your values, for your beliefs, for your goals, for your dreams, for your belief system. It is a huge yes for how you choose to invest time.

So many people ask for volunteer help with a variety of things. I know they are all amazing causes. You do what resonates for you. Remember that saying no to the wrong things makes room for the right yeses. The more that you fill your schedule, fill your planner, fill your day with stuff that doesn’t resonate for you, that stuff that you’re doing out of obligation, you’re perpetuating that more and more. Have more of THIS on your to-do list this holiday season!

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Some Gracious Ways To Say NO

I know it may be difficult to say no.  Here are some gracious ways to say no:

  •   No, thank you.
  •   I really appreciate you thinking of me, for X. I’m committed, and check me out next time.
  •   I really appreciate you thinking of me. I’m honored. This isn’t in line with where I want to go right now.
  •   I have other commitments.
  •   I’m honored that you would ask me, however, my answer is no.
  •   I’m going to say no for now. I’ll let you know if that changes.
  •   I’m unable to commit to that right now.

The first time you say no to something that you didn’t want to do, you will feel so empowered and inspired. It may make you want to say no more. I know this. I’ve been there.

This time of year in particular, we generally spend a lot of time with both work and play parties, networking events with clients and friends. Of course, we spend time with family. For some, it can be an experience that you’re not  looking forward to. I hope this article has helped you navigate boundaries during this holiday season and beyond.

Regardless of what’s going on around you, always stay true to yourself. At the end of our lives, we’re going to ask, “Did we truly love? Did we live a life that matters?”  Make sure the answer to these questions is a big, fat, huge YES!

Regardless of what's going on around you, always stay true to yourself. Click To Tweet

 

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Tandy Elisala

Founder and Chief Inspiration Officer at Center for Inspiring Greatness
Tandy is passionate about empowering entrepreneurs to lead their business like a rockstar CEO. Tandy has studied, taught, led, coached and spoken for over 30 years in the fields of leadership, human resources and life success. She helped the University of Phoenix grow and scale from 13k - 480k students while saving millions in costs and having one of the most highly engaged team across the organization. Tandy spent 25 years as a corporate executive, 10 years as a faculty member and successful entrepreneur and did all this while kicking cancer's butt 4 times. Tandy is spiritual woo-woo with a 5-point business plan wrapped into one. She is a 6-time bestselling author and a mom. She believes to expand your impact, legacy and influence, you must learn how to scale as you grow, lead high performing teams and lead yourself. This is key to making more money, saving precious time, having creative flexibility and serving the world the way only you can.

Tandy lives in Tempe, Arizona, with her three kids and amazing angel dog. Order Tandy'sbooks at http://www.tandyelisala.com or www.amazon.com.

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40 replies
  1. Lorii Abela
    Lorii Abela says:

    Yes, people are so much in to “looking good.” Most of the time, we have stopped saying “no” because we want to be the good friend, or we want to be the “in” person in a group, etc. The ugly truth is we suffer the consequences of over committing one’s self and not being happy as we are forcing our way to be in a place where we are not going to be happy. It is like forcing our selves to eating in spite of the fact that we are already full and we do not like the taste of what is the food in front of us.

    Reply
    • Tandy Elisala
      Tandy Elisala says:

      Great analogy, Lorii. I love the food story. It’s a great comparison of consequences of doing things we don’t want to do.

      Reply
    • Tandy Elisala
      Tandy Elisala says:

      LOL – That’s hilarious, Jennifer. A year of NO. Interestingly, Shonda’s book actually digs pretty deep around boundaries and saying no. It’s important to say no to the wrong things to make room for the right YES.

      Reply
  2. Kristen Wilson
    Kristen Wilson says:

    Super tips and I have learned this a lot in family over the last few years and the life of my teenager, my oldest, who is now 20. She has learned all of her lessons the long/hard way and now, here at 20, she is living with my mother because I kicked her out due to boundaries and tough love and sadly, my mother wasn’t on the same ship as she acts like the worst kind of grandparent thinking she needs to do it all… BUT responsibility. I know I did my part and eventually my daughter will learn how to adult when she moves out of that house.. huh, maybe my mother will learn how to adult and respect others… eventually.

    Reply
    • Tandy Elisala
      Tandy Elisala says:

      Oh my, Kristen, it sounds like you have done a great job – as tough as it has been for you. My kids are 27, 23 and 21 and, because they’ve seen me set boundaries, they are pretty good at it in their own lives. Your daughter WILL appreciate what you have done for her, Kristen. Big hugs –

      Reply
  3. Beverley Golden
    Beverley Golden says:

    Wonderful tips, Tandy and ones we all can embrace and practice in our lives. Boundaries have always been a big challenge, as I have a mother (and even at 100) who rarely says no to anyone. It seemed I was expected to be able to do everything and that took a toll when I was younger, on my health. Someone posted on FB this week “No, is a complete sentence”, as quote from Anne Lamott. If more of us could learn this and not feel the need to explain our answer away, we would have a healthier and happier society. I love the story of the baby shower too! It is so important to be able to flip the conversation, by being a stand for a different and more objective perspective.
    Beverley Golden recently posted…You Say You Want a RevolutionMy Profile

    Reply
    • Tandy Elisala
      Tandy Elisala says:

      Hi Beverley, thanks for your comments. I used to say “yes” and people please, myself. No is definitely a complete sentence, yet, a lot of people have trouble just saying “no”. They tend to justify and apologize which isn’t good for anyone!

      Reply
  4. Robin
    Robin says:

    My favorite is the last one. I don’t want folks to say YES, when NO is the correct answer. A long time ago, a friend said this to me: “If you say YES, and really don’t want to, you are depriving the right person for the right spot.” This perspective has made it much easier for me say NO.
    Robin recently posted…What is Steampunk?My Profile

    Reply
    • Tandy Elisala
      Tandy Elisala says:

      Robin, absolutely! Saying yes when you really want to say no deprives the RIGHT person from the RIGHT opportunity! Thanks so much for sharing this perspective.

      Reply
  5. Jackie Harder
    Jackie Harder says:

    Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes! Boundaries are a sign of strong self-esteem and good mental health. I agree with all your points. We women, sadly, too often have permeable boundaries and get taken advantage of. Your gracious ways to say no may be too gracious! I know that when dealing with exceptionally manipulative people, anything other than a strong and simple “no” will open up doors that you don’t want opened. They are really good at getting people to do what they want them to do.

    Reply
    • Tandy Elisala
      Tandy Elisala says:

      Yeah, Jackie, there are ‘professional’ manipulators that take any opening and run with it! I agree it’s best to be firm with your NO. Everyone needs to find a way that works for them.

      Reply
  6. Meghan Monaghan
    Meghan Monaghan says:

    We need healthy boundaries all year long, and I love the advice you’ve provided. Over the past few years, I’ve learned that not setting boundaries results in unhappiness, stress, and bad feelings. Yet, saying ‘no’ is sometimes still an issue for me–although, I have gotten much better at it. Society today seems so against boundaries, but I think we need them to survive, excel, and have better relationships. Terrific article!

    Reply
    • Tandy Elisala
      Tandy Elisala says:

      Thanks so much, Meghan! Boundaries are king:-) You are spot on that not setting boundaries results in unhappiness, stress and bad feelings. I hope the various ways I shared of saying ‘No’ help you say it more often with ease.

      Reply
  7. Sonya Kolodziejska
    Sonya Kolodziejska says:

    Boundaries are so important. I have got it nailed in my business, but i am finding it a little harder at home. My kids know mummy needs a little ‘mummy time’ but my daughter doesn’t always let me have it, but she is getting better. She is very needy of me, but at the age of almost 7, she is getting there.

    Reply
    • Tandy Elisala
      Tandy Elisala says:

      Sonya, it’s interesting how we can sometimes set boundaries in one area of our life yet don’t in others. The key goal, I believe, is to consistently create boundaries for ease, grace and joy. 7 year olds are the perfect age to learn about boundaries as it’s connected to self-love. Keep up the great work!

      Reply
    • Tandy Elisala
      Tandy Elisala says:

      Yes, yes, yes! Staying out of judgement of others helps us stay connected to joy and love. When we stay in this space, it’s easier for us to do what honors us.

      Reply
  8. Lori English
    Lori English says:

    Tandy

    Excellent article on Healthy boundaries and it really shows how people have to find boundaries to make their life easier to communicate with and have more meaning relationships. I like the examples you gave in the post it was well accepted.

    Lori English

    Reply

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