WORDS OF WISDOM
WORDS OF WISDOM
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An observation I’ve made over the years is that people will treat you how you allow them to treat you.
Setting boundaries and saying “no” when you need to, is an important part of our lives. If you feel as though other people take advantage of you, speak to you in a way that lacks respect or are always asking you to do that much more than they do of others, perhaps it’s time for a change.
Being flexible is rather noble but it can also mean that you’re the one who ends up doing more and doing things that go against your core values. It might sound like a contradictory but boundaries enable you to feel more confident, self-assured, stronger and resilient but also much more able to demonstrate flexibility, when the need arises.
Your version of self-respect, the way you treat yourself and others including your communication style will also be a marker for how others view and treat you.
When you set clear and consistent boundaries you are demonstrating to the world around you where they stand with you, so they’re presented with a chance to better understand how to interact with you and what to expect from you.
Setting boundaries for yourself also means you are more likely to look after yourself better, feel more certain of who you are, more settled in yourself and less likely to feel stressed and overwhelmed. These factors also mean you are less likely to be taken for granted or taken advantage of.
The good news is boundary setting can be one of the most natural processes. The harder part is, if you’ve become accustomed to being open and flexible all the time and haven't been tuned in to where your boundary lines begin and end you might find it a bit more challenging to change this, especially with the people you know and interact with regularly.
I’ve observed for myself and others, you’re more likely to be well respected if you do create boundary limits for yourself and for those counterparts who’ve set out to push you, they will quickly move on and find someone else to bother.
Is this an area in your life you’d like to improve?
Some ideas for you to begin with:
Practice saying no
How often do you say yes when you really don’t want to, which ends up with you doing things, you really don’t want to? You end up over worked, over committed, or going against your valuable principles.
Start by listening to your inner voice, your instinct or intuition, if something is going against what you believe in or what is important to you or you just don’t have the time, say no. If you feel as though you want some help to get you through the first few times you say no to someone, write up your own “how to say no script”. This will help you become adept at finding the right words when you need to.
What is important to you?
What are your principles and values in life? Do you know what they are? Take some time to think about these and write them down. To start you off, they will generally be the things you feel enthused and passionate about. Begin with these and from there assess your guidelines for where you prefer to draw a line. This will help you determine the boundaries you want to set for yourself?
What can you start to do differently?
There are more questions here but your answers will determine a list for change, prioritise them and move forward.
Who are the individuals that consistently try to take advantage of you, your good nature, your time or your flexibility? If things were different with these individuals what would that look like? No fighting please….What would you change? What would you do differently?
What are the areas where you over commit or when do you push your own limits and end up not looking after yourself the way you’d prefer to?
Is it time for a revamp of how you treat yourself? What you eat? Drink? Your sleep pattern? How you treat yourself emotionally?
The answers to these can also be signs of your own level of self-respect.
If you do feel as though your boundary setting is an area you’d like to review. Start with changing one thing and see it through, if it does feel difficult to begin with please keep trying, it will start to feel more natural and become a habit.
You can’t change the behaviour of others but you can change your own, which in turn will influence how you are treated.
If you are unclear of your own boundaries then the world around you will also be unclear of these.
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I'm older and wiser than I look. After many years working in the corporate world I decided to branch out on my own.......Brave eh?