Setting boundaries – saying No!

Just say No!  It makes you happier!

Do you think that statement is true?

If you’ve tried saying No to something you didn’t want to do really when you were asked/expected to do it, but in the past had hated it or resented it then you will have a resounding YES!

If you haven’t tried it yet and feel ‘nasty’ if you do, then you will have a weak and unwilling No.

Why would saying no make us happier?  You and the person you are refusing?!  How?

Well, because:

  • You are getting back the time and space to use more effectively for YOU and what you WANT to do. That might mean need to do so that you hold off stress, or it may mean something more enjoyable that benefits you directly – spending fun time with the family, watching the football game, going to the gym or meeting up with friends.
  • You are letting the other person know they need to look elsewhere for the help they need – or the option they are choosing.
  • You might also be helping them realise there are other options that doing that job, that, way at that time that may also help them find the time to do nicer things for themselves!
  • You help them to prioritise and prepare for whatever they are choosing to commit to. Or not.
  • You are simply stating your needs and meeting those rather than someone else’s
  • You are simple asserting your needs over and above those of someone else
  • You need to have boundaries, a bottom line to measure choices on maybe, and awareness and understanding of your values that make your life worth living
  • You are also possible putting someone you love and care for above the other needy person asking for a favour – your children over working Saturday, you partner over the shopping that simply ‘has to be done’ (really? Now, today – or Monday after work for a half hour)
  • You are making yourself worthy and showing people how much you are important to yourself and to the world, including them! You have worth, you have needs to be met and you are strong and capable enough to assert them.   Yet you respect their needs but just can’t help this time – or any time in future.
  • You are making a choice…and explaining this to them

So we are back to the issue of boundaries and how to set them – and mostly, WHY we should set them – space for your needs and wants, time to do all that you have to do and only you can do e.g. be a parent to your children, meet your needs in being happy, healthy and effective in your own life and your family’s.

Not stretching yourself so far that you collapse and can’t help anyone, including yourself!

  • Know what is a priority in your life that needs to be a priority for you alone
  • Know what is important for you and those you care for/are responsible for
  • Know who you are and why you do the things you do, ensuring that is right for you
  • Know what you are unwilling to do or be so that you can avoid the negativity around it
  • Know that you do have the right to choose for yourself over others
  • Know that boundaries are essential for well-being and happiness!

Value and Principles to live by

When you live by clear principles it’s easier to make decisions and people are more likely to respect your responses.

  1. So when you feel pressured for a yes relieve the pressure and simply ask for time to make the decision. Step
  2. away – put the phone down, close the email, leave the room or ask them to leave, and you can calmly and properly evaluate whether you really want to agree or not.
  3. When you live by clear principles it’s easier to make decisions and people are more likely to respect your responses because your body language belies your beliefs
  4. Because you know you are a worthy priority in your life
  5. You ARE justified in choosing not to do that extra task on top of what you do now
  6. You ARE justified in following your goals and not someone else’s
  7. Removing unwanted obligations from your life frees up mind, body and soul
  8. It clears the way to do other things – like what?
  9. It lets go of resentment and guilt around someone else’s needs
  10. It builds self-respect and respect for others too