Just a reminder of what it’s all about…
For all those like me, who often times want to say “No” but feel the need to justify our boundaries because we fear hurting others feelings, This is your song:
Let’s go ahead and dispose of the context right away so I can clearly state what I’m trying to say.
- It’s perfectly fine to “hit on” someone at a party or a bar or a club or wherever.
- It’s perfectly not fine to be mean to someone for doing so.
- I don’t believe most women find it problematic or irritating when someone finds them attractive, even when they don’t feel the same way about the other person. Personally, I think that would be a mean reaction.
What I do like about this song is how it addresses boundaries. In Western culture (I say Western culture because it’s the culture I live in and have the most experience with) many people expect you to justify your response of “No.” When a person says “no”, they are drawing a boundary. The reason for drawing a boundary could be as simple as “I don’t want to,” or as complicated as a response to a deep and private emotion. Whatever the reason for your boundary, nobody has the right to demand you explain it. This is a form of boundary testing, the purpose of which is to get you to change your mind and do what they want you to, or to see how easy it is to sway you from your decision making. Insisting on a reason, or persisting in asking after someone has already said “no” is disrespectful.
Oftentimes we will want to explain our reasons because we care about the person we are interacting with. We care about their feelings and about how they perceive us. This is natural and I believe it is ok to do it if you want to. Something I strive to remember in my daily life is that “No” is a complete answer and a completely acceptable answer.
I was so pleased to be invited by Watching The Daisies to join a prompt at Haddonmusings called 52 Weeks of Thankfulness. What a wonderful way not just to remind ourselves of the high points in life, but to spread that positivity across the internet and inspire others to realize the wonderful aspect of their own lives!
That said, here is my first post of thankfulness:
Up until the past few years of my life I had adopted a defeatist attitude. Whatever happened in my life I just assumed there was nothing that could be done to change it. I got stuck in a bad relationship, a bad job, and was unhappy with my life as a result. Two years ago I reconnected with someone from my past, who ended up being the love of my life. From day 1 he encouraged me and told me I was strong and I could change the things in my life I didn’t like, and I could create a life that I love. He was right. And every day, every new decision I make affirms the truth of what he has shown me. I have moved to a different state, gotten a new job, got the dog I’ve waited my whole life for, and am in a loving relationship full of joy and support. And I know I can’t control circumstances to bring about exactly what I want for my life, but I can certainly adjust my “sails” to bring me closer to my goals.
Have you ever read the children’s book If You Give A Mouse A Cookie by Laura Numeroff? I really enjoyed this book as a child, but I think I enjoy it even more as an adult. I mean just look at this illustration by Felicia Bond: Don’t we all feel this way at some point? Someone just keeps asking more and more of us until we need 8 arms just to attempt holding everything together. I look at this book as a sort of fun and light-hearted reminder for adults. Oftentimes whether it’s our boss, a family member, a friend, acquaintance or stranger, when we give someone something (no matter how small) they are going to ask for something else. And if we don’t stay mindful it’s easy to get swept up in the demands. We want to please others, we feel we are doing something generous, we want to perform to the best of our ability, we want to produce results. Whatever the reason, we forget about ourselves, our personal needs, our boundaries, and we may even start to act in ways contrary to our values. It’s important to find the balance in life where we practice self care and live a life that aligns with our personal values. For most of us those values probably include things like hard work, being a good family member and helping others. But let’s not forget ourselves in all the hustle.
I have this problem a lot at work. One way I have learned to handle it is to decide ahead of time where my boundaries lie, and what my priorities are. During my time off, my priorities lie with my family and friends. I make a habit of speaking about my plans for my days off at work, and about whom I will spend that time with. That way if I have to turn down a request for overtime it’s not unexpected. I decide ahead of time if an activity I plan to engage in is something that I would postpone for work or if it is not negotiable. If it’s not negotiable then short of someone having a legitimate emergency (I’m talking hospital type emergency, not deadlines) I will say no to work and not feel guilty. What are some situations where you feel this way, and how do you handle it?
If you’ve ever struggled with building strong and healthy relationships despite fears, anxieties and road blocks from your past, you must read Love Me Don’t Leave Me. The main focus of this book is for people with fear of abandonment, but it also goes in depth with other common anxieties that hinder relationships. I couldn’t turn the pages of this book fast enough. Author Michelle Skeen, PsyD writes in a voice that at once makes you feel comfortable and understood . She introduces the reader to her content in a way that is never boring or judgmental. In this book Skeen explores the idea of core beliefs: how and when they are formed, emotions and reactions they cause, and the affects they have on relationships. She then guides the reader through ways to recognize when you are reacting to a core belief, how to cope with the emotions and thoughts that result from your core beliefs, the consequences of unhelpful reactions based on core beliefs, and then introduces practical and attainable strategies for changing those actions. What I love about this book is the depth of understanding I walked away with, and the knowledge that everyone can experience relief from the anxieties and fears and that relationships don’t have to be sabotaged because of them. Those of you who have read this book, what did you think?
I have a guilty pleasure, and it’s reading self-help books. I’ll be the first to admit that some are really good even though everyone expects people to say they are bad. That said, some of them really are bad. I’d like this to be a place to share my opinions on books I read and to hear your opinions about them as well! Maybe we can share some titles and inspire each other too. Welcome to my journey through the crowded streets of the self-help genre.