Setting Healthy Boundaries

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SUMMARY

• You CAN set your own boundaries. Boundaries don’t separate you from life; in fact they enrich it. Boundaries give you the freedom to become the person you desire to be.

• If you desire to be in charge of your own destiny, you have to learn how to speak up and tell others what is acceptable and what is unacceptable to you.

• The first thing you need to do is make some decisions about you and your boundaries. Decision 1: Decide what you want and don’t want from other people. Decision 2: Decide to enlarge your boundaries.

• 4 steps to enforcing boundaries in your life. Step 1 Have conversations. Step 2 Tell people what you want and don’t want, and how you feel. Step 3 If you do not see anything change, give a warning. Step 4 If after all this it still remains the same, distance yourself.

• You are not here to live up to the expectations of others, and neither are they here to live up to yours. Use assertiveness in balance or seek the the middle path.

• The purpose of setting boundaries is not to be separated from others, but to gain the freedom and strength to live your life to its full potential. It is only after we learn how to protect, honour, and love ourselves that we are able to do the same for others.

• Join me again next week when we continue the conversation by taking a look at saying Yes and No appropriately.

FULL TRANSCRIPT

Our homes have locks so we are in control of what we let in. Not only do we have the right to lock our doors, we also have the responsibility to protect ourselves and our loved ones.

Hi, this is Grant Herbert, International Influencer and Sustainable Performance Coach and today I want to continue our conversation around Personal Power by speaking about Setting Healthy Boundaries.

Just like protecting our home, the same is true with our personal boundaries. We have power to say no, to not take calls we don’t want to take, to not spend time doing things we don’t want to do or to spend time with people we don’t want to be with.

You have the power to insist you are treated respectfully and appropriately. You can define what you are willing to put up with and you can establish what is and what isn’t acceptable to you.

You CAN set your own boundaries.

Now, boundaries don’t separate you from life; in fact they enrich it.

Boundaries give you the freedom to become the person you desire to be.

If you desire to be in charge of your own destiny, you have to learn how to speak up and tell others what is acceptable and what is unacceptable to you.

So let’s take a look at what I mean by exploring 2 Decisions and 4 Steps.

The first thing you need to do is make some decisions about you and your boundaries. This will give you the information you need to set healthy boundaries that serve you well. Let’s have a look at them.

Decision 1

Decide what you want and don’t want from other people. You can do this both in general or with any particular person or situation where certain boundaries are needed. You will know your boundaries have been violated when you are feeling frustrated, angry or hurt. Invest some quality time and prepare yourself a written list.

Decision 2

Decide to enlarge your boundaries, be extremely sensitive about them, and to be constructive about enforcing them.

So now that you have made these decisions and have committed yourself to making them non-negotiable, let me take you through the 4 steps to enforcing them in your life.

Step 1 Have conversations to let people know about what they are doing that is not acceptable to you.

Step 2 If the same behaviour continues, tell them what you want and don’t want, and how you feel about that.

Step 3 If you do not see anything change, give a warning that you will separate yourself from them and their negative behaviour either temporarily while it continues, or if necessary, permanently.

Step 4 If after all this it still remains the same, distance yourself as you said you would, either short or long term, whichever is necessary.

Here are some tips to help you stay strong and true to your boundaries.

Memorise your list. It may be all you can remember the first few times when you are under pressure and when you need to enforce boundaries.

Early on, this will be hard for people who already know you. They may overreact.

This is because they aren’t used to the change and also because you are not yet as skilful in its implementation. You may be perceived as heavy-handed but please be patient and bear with the present circumstance. Soon, because it works so well, you’ll probably learn to do this fairly automatically and in a more collaborative way. Eventually, it will help you both to get along much better and have more mutually rewarding relationships.

So now that you know what to do, let me show you how.

Step 1. Begin by saying, “WHEN YOU” and then state what is unacceptable.

Step 2. Say “I FEEL” and describe your feelings.

Step 3. Continue by saying “I WANT” and describe your expectations moving forward, and then

Step 4. Say “IF YOU ~ I WILL” and describe the consequences of ignoring your request.

Let’s assume you have a boss, we’ll call him Bob, that raises their voice at you in meetings and puts your ideas down all the time. Here is how the conversation could go.

“Hey Bob, can I have a chat with you after the meeting?”

“Bob, I just need you to know that WHEN YOU yell at me and put me down in our meetings, it makes me FEEL worthless and undervalued. I WANT you to speak to me in a more civil tone and hear me out before jumping on me because IF YOU continue to yell at me I WILL switch off and stop contributing and in fact if nothing changes I WILL stop coming to the meetings.”

You get the idea. I hope having the framework helps you.

By being specific, you not only make sure the person you’re speaking to understands you, but you are helping them to become aware of their behaviour, which may be automatic and done without any thinking on their part.

A new boundary cannot be established unless it is enforced. The role of Step 4 is to announce the consequences of refusing to comply with the request being made. It isn’t always necessary to announce the consequences to the person you’re dealing with, however, it is essential that you choose the consequences in your own mind and commit to carrying them out necessarily.

Everyone resists change, so if you try to set a boundary with a boss that ridicules you, they will probably try to brush it aside by saying something like, “I was just joking. You’re too sensitive.”

But don’t accept that explanation. Immediately reply, “You may have been
joking, BUT I AM NOT. If you continue to ridicule me, I will stop coming to meetings.”

In summary, you are not here to live up to the expectations of others, and neither are they here to live up to yours. Use assertiveness in balance or seek the the middle path. Never be passive, allowing others to step all over you, and don’t be aggressive, bullying your way through life.

Rather, be assertive, defending your rights and the rights of others. The purpose of setting boundaries is not to be separated from others, but to gain the freedom and strength to live your life to its full potential. It is only after we learn how to protect, honour, and love ourselves that we are able to do the same for others.

Well, that’s it from me this week. Join me again next week when we continue the conversation by taking a look at saying Yes and No appropriately. See you then.