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.
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.
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.
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!
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
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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