I recently got back into the Showtime series, Shameless, which is about this family that is a complete mess. It follows 6 kids (ranging from school age to full grown adult) and their drug addict, father. Fiona, the eldest of the Gallagher children, had to assume the responsibility of raising her younger siblings, due to the absence of both parents. Recently, Fiona has learned to set up boundaries for her siblings, telling them No and making them become responsible for themselves. In the empowering and bold move, she decided to make changes to pursue a better life for herself (and ultimately her siblings) and is working to discover herself and find her peace. Of course this major change came with a lot of resistance from her siblings but I am looking forward to see how her story continues and what benefits she will reap.
Like Fiona, many of us need to learn to set up boundaries and tell people 'No'. This is an important part of self-care, that unfortunately a lot of us do not learn. Here's a crash course on setting boundaries so that you can learn to enjoy your peace.
1. Understand your limits. Figure out how far you are willing to go and stick to it. For example: When it comes to lending money to someone, I will do so one time to see if the person is going to pay me back as promised and in a reasonable amount of time. If that person does not, then they will never receive another penny from me again. That is my personal limit for lending money.
2. Get in tune with your feelings. If something makes you feel resentful or uncomfortable then pay attention to that. Constantly saying yes to people is a fast way to end a relationship with them. On the outside you may be all smiles but if you are calling that person everything but a child of God on the inside, then it may be time to change the dynamic of your relationship.
3. Establish proper communication based on the person in front of you. Try being direct but remember your good home training. If Molly at work is constantly asking you to help her with something and you finally reach your breaking point, don't go full on raging you-know -what. Kindly state that you can no longer help her with this task and go on about your day. Get your point across, but have some couth. Avoid passive-aggressiveness also.
4. Let go of guilt! Saying 'No' is hard. Oftentimes, we feel guilty, are scared of how a person might react, or doubt ourselves when it comes to setting boundaries. Give yourself permission to set and hold your boundaries. Respecting yourself by saying 'No' or speaking up for yourself goes a long way in getting other people to respect you.
Remember that you should be your number one priority. Taking care of yourself is important. Find your peace and enjoy it. Do the things you want to do and stop doing the things you don't. And with all the new time that you find by not taking on so many other people's things, you might be able to finish that book you started or learn that skill you were interested in or travel to the place you always wanted to see. Take the time for yourself, you're worth it!
What are some boundaries that you have set for yourself and how do you honor them? Leave a comment below. Share and subscribe.
Reference: Tartakovsky, M. (2016). 10 Way to Build and Preserve Better Boundaries. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 5, 2016, from https://psychcentral.com/lib/10-way-to-build-and-preserve-better-boundaries/
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