Does that phrase give you cold chills down your back as you think about HOW you may possibly stand up to someone in your life who is belittling you, placing their expectations on you, or otherwise crossing into territory you don’t feel comfortable with letting go any longer?
What about the thought of setting boundaries on your own thoughts. so you don’t keep torturing yourself? Does that sound impossible?
Sometimes we put up with poor behavior from others for YEARS before we reach a point where we say “No more!”.
The other person will look at us in surprise and ask “Why now, why are you telling me this NOW when you have tolerated it for so long?”
This is where we have 2 choices: 1) to cave into their expectations and hopes that we will “Fall in line”, as we did before and allow them to walk over us, or 2) to find a way to stand up for ourselves.
I’m a little tied up right now, I’’ drop you a note once I’m free.
I’d rather not discuss my relationship/ body/ choices right now.
Thanks so much for the invite, however, I’m not available in the evening.
It sounds great but I’m really feeling like I need some time to myself this weekend.
I’d really like to help you out but I’ve got some pressing things I need to attend to for myself/first.
I can see you’re upset + I’d love to help you,however I don’t have the space/ capacity right now.
You have every right to feel the way you do, however I’m not comfortable taking sides/ with this conversation.
Look at the above phrases for inspiration. Which ones apply to you?
Practice saying them. Over and over!
What other ones could you add to your list of possible things to say in response?
By repeating and practicing the phrases we would like to say, we have a chance of remembering something in the midst of those very uncomfortable moments when we get put on the spot and all good responses flee from our brain!
When I wanted to change how I responded to someone, I’d practice what I wanted to say.
I know it sounds corny or trite, but if you’re like me and your brain goes blank when put on the spot, either by getting humiliated or just plain embarrassed, it is helpful to have some phrases in our back pocket to fall back on.
Under no circumstances are we required to immediately answer if we are so shocked or hurt by something said to us.
In fact, taking a moment to look steadily at the other person as we collect our thoughts, underscores the weight of responding to them when we set a boundary in place.
We aren’t required to argue our point, to prove why the other person is being unreasonable or hurtful.
Getting into those kinds of arguments only gives them ammunition to use against us when they twist our words against us, making us feel even more helpless. That is part of their tactics they use against us, if you haven’t already noticed!
I have found that being slow to respond, then speaking in a measured and calm tone, that people take my words much more seriously and don’t tend to brush them off as easily!
As far as setting boundaries with ourselves, please check out the links below to posts where I have spoken about this concept.
Remember, there is a fine line between practicing phrases ans simply falling down the rabbit-hole of imagining how the conversation might go. In my own experience, I have seen that 99.9% of the time, nothing goes how I had imagined it.
People will surprise us, continually, and determining ahead of time what we are prepared to do and where the line in the sand lies is very helpful.
Trust your gut too. When your stomach starts to clench or feel sour, listen.
It is telling you something isn’t aligning with you. It doesn’t mean it is bad for you, but maybe it just isn’t something that will work for you right now.
Please be gentle with yourself if you do allow your boundaries to be crossed. Please don’t berate yourself, or tell yourself “There you go again! Why can’t you ever learn?”
Remember, we’re all a work in progress, and we need to learn to give ourselves grace, to see ourselves where we are right now and not constantly expecting ourselves to be able to respond at a level 3 steps ahead of where we currently are!
If you’ve been reading my posts, the positive messages have been slowly percolating through the different layers, helping you to change and to become the person your working to be.
I hope you’ll poke around my Archived Posts to find a wonderful trove of supportive and encouraging posts!
I’m sharing more posts that may be helpful for you:
- 10 Steps to Owning Our Happiness
- Setting “Boundaries with consequences”
- Making a change… “How do I take that first step?”
- Affirmation: Today is a new day! I can do this!
- As we practice being gentle and kind with ourselves, we actually help to speed the process of helping our lives become more positive!
- Always believe that wonderful things can happen!
- A healthy outside starts from the inside!
- Brain Rewiring
I have created some Guided Journals help you work on a particular issue by answering questions to help see patterns and to find solutions:
More good stuff:
Please go to my Archived Posts page to find more wonderful posts to check out!
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