This is part 2 of Chapter 5, for the first half, see the link at the bottom of this post. Thanks!
This is a summary of Real Self Care by Dr. Pooja Lakshmin, these are her ideas, I’m just the summarizer…
Silence the Killjoys
After addressing your guilt situation, you need to think about how other people in your life may influence your decision, especially anyone you want to impress, i.e., teachers, people in ministry, family members- people who take a lot of consideration in your thoughts- The Killjoys.
Thinking about how other people perceive you is connected to boundaries. The longer you stay in a mistake marriage, or a bad fit job, the higher the emotional cost if you don’t set a boundary. There is no shortcut for setting boundaries… the longer you let the fear of other people’s judgement or reactions dictate your decisions, the more devastating the destruction is in the long run… You really need to put your flag in the ground and consider, then voice, what are YOUR parameters. If you don’t practice disappointing others with the little things, you’ll end up betraying yourself on the big things, i.e., long-term relationships and employment opportunities.
How to Silence the Killjoys:
- Be careful of who you choose to listen to when it comes to boundaries…
(don’t try to get approval for setting a boundary from someone who is not capable of giving it to you.)
- Pay attention to your own needs and preferences.
Author Nedra Glover Tawwab, in her book Set Boundaries, Find Peace: The Guide to Reclaiming Yourself, says, " "your boundaries are a reflection of how willing you are to advocate for the life that you want."
Critical Skill: learn how to separate your needs and preferences from the opinions of other people who have a vested interest in your life.
Explore how certain decisions feel- i.e., when observing one group of people who have made certain boundaries in one direction- does it make you feel more open, lighter, eager, and energized? Or does it make you feel tight, dreadful, or nauseous? Listen to how your body feels as your intuition will rarely fail you. The fear you feel when setting boundaries is linked to whether it is emotionally safe to express our truths or if we will be rejected for expressing them. Depending on the first family you came up in, you may have more or less fear when setting boundaries. In my case my parents maintained a highly critical environment, therefore, I have had a difficult time exerting a boundary because it hasn’t felt safe and might create a break in the relationship. To gain my “freedom” I moved to another state.
Families with addiction and trauma (hello?) often lack boundaries. There is usually one person who dictates how the group responds. If a family member tries to set a boundary, if it is not in keeping the the behavior accepted by the group as a whole, that person is ostracized for stepping out of the fold.
Healthy adult relationships should be able to accommodate the needs and preferences for each person. You wind up putting MORE authenticity into your relationships because you are sharing your needs, values, and preferences.
To Practice: Putting the Self back in Self-Care
HOT FACT: The way a person responds to your boundaries tells us more about them than it does about you .
Think about this in terms of navigating through a week with a person struggling with an SUD. I’m sure we’ve all been on the receiving end of a hearty rejection or attempt at negotiation.
Visualize the people in your life who are upset with your boundaries and instead of focusing on their negative feelings-- reflect on what their anger tells you about them. Perspective taking helps give you more space to make decisions that will work for you based on their unique history and situation.
Know Your Three Choices
In this case, negotiation possible means gathering more information: asking questions, reflecting on potential risks/benefits before saying YES or NO
Even though boundaries are not co-created, how the boundary is communicated and solved is a negotiation between people.
When we state a boundary clearly, it helps other people understand how we expect them to behave.
Resentment and rage await women who mistakenly decide it is easier to do more little jobs because it’s easier and faster than to share the work with others. It’s a little power and control trope waiting to trip you up.
Clearly Communicate Your Boundaries
1. Start with low-stakes situations.
Be clear in your language about what you need.
Don’t ask for Permission- don’t say, “Is it ok if…”
Try Not to overexplain- be concise
Use an email if needed as it gives you time to compose your thoughts and lends itself to a more measured response.
It’s ok to be angry at the situation. But, afterward you need to see if there is any little space where you can let go of something on your plate . Consider during a time when you are calm and relaxed if your situation is sustainable in 6-months or a year from now.
Keep a log of your activities for work, home, and personal, and every 3 months decide which are valuable and which are no longer needed
You can only enjoy the NEW things in your life if you’ve cleared out the obligations that no longer serve you.
For part 1 of Chapter 5, visit the earlier post: