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Every New Moon and Full Moon, I lead a call for those in my mentorship program.
On a Full Moon a couple of months ago, we were reflecting on relationships, balance, and moving forward in alignment.
In a series of accountability questions to help us all move forward, I inquired about boundaries, asking, “Are boundaries currently being overstepped in your life?”
While a few people didn’t find it as challenging, it seemed to be something we all agreed we’d like to explore more.
I am not a boundary expert. Quite the opposite may be true as I journeyed through many years with fuzzy boundaries, tolerating the intolerable. It was easier to be a people-pleasing, “nice” girl who abided.
A few years ago, I realized I didn’t particularly appreciate where that landed me. I noticed many signs of weak boundaries in my life and noticed those around me shared some of the same symptoms.
The following are signs that we can benefit from building stronger boundaries:
>> Not speaking up when someone makes a sarcastic or snarky comment
>> Saying yes, when we want to say no
>> Find ourselves drained in gossipy conversations
>> Suddenly feeling frustrated or annoyed out of nowhere
>> Giving away too much time or doing other things that aren’t a priority (to keep people happy)
>> Experiencing feelings of underappreciation and feeling taken for granted
>> Feeling guilt for putting ourselves first
>> Experiencing anger, which is always a call for stronger boundaries
When we begin to notice some of the above points repeatedly, it may be time to set firm boundaries.
It’s essential to know our values. I treat the value process with more care than I did my college thesis statement.
If we are going to stop tolerating the situations that aren’t important, we need to be impeccably familiar with what is.
Doing a quarterly value review can be beneficial. Values do change, and learning our priorities helps us to honor boundaries. If it isn’t aligned with our value system, it’s a hard no.
When something doesn’t feel good, our bodies or minds typically signal us. We can inquire and notice where we may need to set a boundary—mental, emotional, financial, sexual, spiritual, time, or physical.
It can be helpful to remind ourselves of a few points: it never feels good going into it, but it always feels better coming out, boundaries are healthy to set, and we don’t have to apologize for aligning with our truth.
We can commit to an honest, firm, direct, and assertive statement. We don’t have to overshare or overexplain.
Here are scripts that may help:
1. This __ was not okay for me, so I am going to (hang up/leave/exit).
2. __ doesn’t align with my values, and therefore, I am (saying no/leaving the conversation/walking away now), and I mean no offense by doing so.
3. I understand __ is important for you; it is not a priority for me, however.
4. Can you give me an overview of what you would like to discuss before we meet in person/speak on the phone?
5. I am not taking on further commitments at this time.
6. Let me think this over, look at my schedule, and I will get back to you.
7. I am not a good fit for __; however, I can connect you with someone who is.
8. I am not interested, and that is a nonnegotiable for me, but thank you.
9. This doesn’t feel like a right fit for me, but thank you.
10. Gossip doesn’t feel good to me. Can we shift this topic to something more positive?
11. I want to be supportive, but I am out of advice. I don’t want to enable you to go down a rabbit hole. Therapy has worked for me, and I have a great therapist. Would you like her information?
12. From my perspective, that won’t work. I would be open to finding a different resolution. Let me know if other ideas come up.
13. I have a different perspective than you, and I am going to honor that.
14. I understand that my rates may not be in your budget. I am happy to give you referrals for other options.
15. I would benefit from a pause in this conversation.
16. I would love to spend time together. I am saving for __ /being more conscious with spending. Can we stay in and cook dinner and watch a movie instead?
17. I understand your perspective and concern. I can take it from here. Thank you.
18. I am not available to give that much time at the moment. What I can give is __. I’ll check my schedule and get back to you with options.
19. __upsets/offends me, and I know it isn’t your intent to be offensive, but it’s better this conversation stops. It doesn’t interest me.
Number 20 may be my favorite!
If a conversation becomes combative or aggressive, we can try saying, “I will only continue this conversation constructively, so we can either reset or continue at another time.”
Setting boundaries can be challenging, but life without them is much more difficult.
I would love to learn about your symptoms of weak boundaries and the scripts you use. Please share in the comments!
May we all be inspired to set a new boundary for a more beautiful life!