Boundaries. A mouthful, right? We are told that boundaries are good. We are told to not let others take advantage of us. We are told to speak up for ourselves. "Don't be a door mat!" "Have a backbone!" Yes. We are told. However, many of us still struggle with this one, don't we? We're afraid to hurt someone's feelings or we are filled with the fear of being disliked. We become the "yes" people. I used to be one of those people. In fact, sometimes I stumble upon that old Mina. I say "yes" to something I wish I'd said "no" to. Then what happens? I end up doing whatever it is without joy. Is that fair to the person or organization for whom we are doing it?
Of course, sometimes we don't really have a choice, do we? Don't go talking back to your boss and saying "Hey. I can't make it to this meeting, cause you know, I need to start setting boundaries." That would be un-professional. Which is not what we should be going for. But, saying no to a party in the middle of the week? Unless we really, actually, want to be there...let's just say no. Honestly. Have a friend who always takes a mile when you give an inch? Let's stop giving an inch. Seriously. We should at least, confront the situation first, before we offer anything again. Let's be clear in our communication with others. Let's express what it is we want. Something my husband used to say to me when we first got married was, "I'm not a mind reader. You have to tell me these things." He probably regrets saying that now, cause I most definitely say things now. I set boundaries. It makes me a better person because I am now more reliable and dependent. It makes our marriage stronger because I don't harbor resentment.
Boundaries. Let's practice them today...