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Speak Up For Yourself

“Boundaries create focus and order”- Unknown

We have all had, or heard this complaint going around; you or someone you know who does not like the way they are being treated. It could be at home, work, and school or with friends. Setting proper boundaries is important to create harmony in all your relationships.

What are boundaries? A boundary is a limit, or a behavioral line which cannot be crossed.  The manner in which you allow others to interact with you is governed by personal boundaries you’ve defined in your life, and your enforcement of these lines is the primary way you protect your emotional self. Your ability to speak up for yourself, and to say no are directly related to your ability to set boundaries. 

Do you have your own rules about how you expect the people in your life to treat you? Are you comfortable speaking up for yourself when someone crosses one of those lines? Are you able to say no when you don’t want to participate in something you’ve been asked to consider? 

Unless you tell them, people will not know how to treat you. Most people are living in their own world and are focused on their own concerns. Expecting them to know how to treat you is to set yourself up for failure. You need to teach others with assertive behavior or you will end up being misunderstood or mistreated.

When you let them know how you would like to be treated, you give them the opportunity to understand within themselves the importance of doing to others what they would like done unto themselves.

You can never really tell someone exactly how you truly feel. But you can explain yourself as close as you can and you can take action to show how you feel. Unless you show how you feel people have their own perception of what you say. To tell your side of a story is your side. People assume what they want unless told otherwise. When it is important to be heard don’t miss out.

When the wrong idea goes too far it can uproot the very foundation of many relationships. Going the extra mile to clarify when communicating with loved ones can build solid trust and respect in all relationships. Keep things simple and to the point to ensure all your relationships are on course. Action speaks louder than words and when you want to be heard in your relationships, here are a few actions you can take to be understood:

Say NO:
Say it when you feel it. Don’t beat around the bush with maybe or not right now. No is simple and to the point.

Show your feelings with actions:
Practice expressing likes and dislikes directly, body language is stronger than words. People will understand you physically clearly. If you allow someone to tell a joke at your expense, laughing on the outside while hurting on the inside, you’re teaching them they can bully you. If you allow your mate or children to leave their personal items all over the house, cleaning up after them as you move through your home, you’re teaching them you’ll clean up after them. 

Watch what you say
Statements like, “It’s your fault this happened to me!” may come from your heart, but it is not accurate. You choose your emotions and you control what is happening to you. Pay attention to the language you use and realize that you are the one in charge of your emotions instead of blaming others.

Stop Blaming
Beating up others or accusing them for ruining your day or life is not the best way to establish boundaries. Stop playing the victim. Pay attention to what is really going on when your emotions start to run high. Look for the emotions behind the actions.

Create rules for when things get out of hand
Disagreements and conflicts can escalate when alcohol is involved. Have a plan in place to not bring up certain past action when under the influence of alcohol. Set time limits on heated discussions and agree on a cool off period.

Reward with gratitude
When someone respects the way you want to be treated and make changes to accommodate you, let them know by rewarding them with gratitude. This reaffirms and allows them to respect your choices.

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