To have healthy relationships, it’s necessary to have healthy boundaries.
Do you ever find yourself saying yes to something when every fiber of your being screams NO! Are you noticing that you tend to give up what’s important to you so that another person doesn’t get irritated or angry or moody or sad? Are you turning yourself into a human pretzel to be there for others, who may not actually really be there for you?
Without knowing, we often compromise our true nature and override our gut knowingness in order to take the path of least resistance, which means not to disrupt the status quo. People pleasing can take a toll. But there is a way out - creating boundaries. This is a huge subject, but today we’ll talk about 5 ways out:
1.Learn How to Say No
So many people are socialized to help others out, to be “accommodating” in order to be seen as “good.” As a child that can be a way or earning love and hence feeling safe. So people-pleasing, saying yes to others at the expense of yourself, can be ingrained from a young age, and it can be hard to break out of. Here are a few good ways to say No:
2. Identify the trouble spots and what would feel better:
3. Practice, Breath, and Hold Your Ground
Some people may OK with what you say; some may feel rejected or threatened by the change in your behavior. Practice what you’ll say and be assertive in a calm and grounded way. Taking a few deep breaths beforehand helps regulate your nervous system. Try making your exhale slightly longer than your inhale.
In Nicole LePera’s new book, “How to do the Work” she suggests a template that you can use. Let’s say the example is someone raising their voice:
“I am making some changes so that we communicate better, and hope you can understand that this is important to me. I imagine you are angry a lot of the time. When you raise your voice, I often feel unsafe and shut down, and I understand that this is something you may not even be aware of. In the future, I want you to be aware of your tone, and manage it. If you raise your voice again, I will disengage from the conversation immediately.”
4. Focus on Your Changes, Not on Their Responses
You can’t control how others react to your new boundaries. They may understand, or they may be triggered. Your job is to focus on what you want and why, and to take the steps in that direction. Then practice them until they are familiar.
At the end of the day, you have to set boundaries on the behaviors you tolerate, on managing your energy and your time, and on who drains you. You will discover there is great freedom in NOT depleting your emotional and physical energy on people or situations that don’t align with your values and core essence. It may be scary at first, but it's so well worth it.
5. Cut the Cord
Another way to fortify your boundaries is to let go of any attachment to other people’s dramas.
One way to move this along is an intuitive visualization called “Cutting the Cord.” The purpose of this is to free yourself from the mental attachments that keep that person front and center in your mind, and to no longer feel exhausted by them whenever you are in their presence. The visualization goes like this: Slow down your breathing and close your eyes. Imagine there is a cord connecting your heart or solar plexus to theirs. Visualize that cord draining you of your energy while filling you with self-doubt and negativity. Then imagine yourself feeling all the tension from that relationship in every part of your body—your hands clench, shoulders tense, face gets tight. That is when you reach for an imaginary pair of heavy duty golden scissors. You take them in both hands and effortlessly cut the cord.
Visualize the severed cord just falling away. Immediately ex hale fully and feel all the tension leaving your body along with old attachments. Whether you can forgive the other person now or not isn’t the issue. What’s most important is taking a stand for yourself. By realizing how holding on to hurt and anger only ends up hurting you, you have already taken the rst step to greater freedom. After you cut the cord, notice how you can breathe more easily and experience a greater sense of peace.
Use boundaries to reclaim a connection to your true values, your wants, and your authentic needs. It is one of the best opportunities to honor the people in your life, and give them an opportunity to step up to their own best selves too.
Awareness + Better Boundaries = Better Relationships
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