In my life, there is almost NO consistency. Which can be awesome for spontaneous journeys or trips and fun nights-in doing silly things with my daughter and husband. But it can also be an absolute pain in the butt when it comes to the simple things in my marriage like who is cooking dinner, or who is picking our kid up from school or even who is going to be home that weekend!
To minimize the chaos (and keep us both semi-sane), my husband and I have LOTS of conversations about these things that most people would already know well in advance because their life is… well, consistent!
This has been a learning journey for both of us and it’s gotten better as we’ve grown and found out more about ourselves and each other. This is especially true around us setting and honoring boundaries and being really clear about them.
When our boundaries are clear, it’s a lot easier to manage the other stuff.
This episode is really about how to set boundaries like a Buddha – saying no and making requests while standing in your power, being clear, compassionate, and full of love… and NOT trying to control people, which can be a really “sticky” part of this.
One thing to understand when setting healthy boundaries is the concept of “The Manual.” This is all the expectations we have of how we want others to behave in order for us to avoid being uncomfortable.
You may not know what’s in your manual until someone isn’t following it. Then suddenly you’re like “Oh, shit. You’re not who I thought you were.”
Well, it would be more correct to say, “I had certain expectations and thoughts about you that are no longer valid.”
Not sure what your manual looks like? You can start by asking yourself some of these questions whenever someone stops following yours:
• How did you expect that person to behave and why?
• How would you feel if they behaved in that way?
• Do we want them to behave like that, even if they don’t want to?
(Head to BoundariesTraining.com for a free training I did to explore The Manual more)
What’s important to remember about the Manual is that trying to control people does not work. Trust me. I’ve tried it.
We also need to remember that we are all completely 100% loveable as we are. And when we accept that, we can stop putting so much weight into how others behave because we don’t need that external validation to experience worthiness.
What about healthy boundaries vs unhealthy boundaries? Healthy boundaries come from a place of accepting the other person gets to be who they are instead of trying to force them to act a certain way so you can control them. It’s really about what we do in a situation where we wish that someone else wouldn’t act how they are, and also accepting that we cannot control or change their actions ourselves. Not legally anyway.
Healthy boundaries aren’t for the little things, like your partner not putting his dirty socks in the laundry basket or the way your friend tells annoying jokes that you find boring. The truth here is that they can do that and we can focus on managing our minds so we can get over it.
A healthy boundary protects your physical space, health, and safety and your emotional / mental space, health and safety. It’s for the bigger things. This is REALLY important to grock, because there’s a difference between protecting your emotional space and not wanting to be uncomfortable.
We also see this come up with people who invade your space like coming over unannounced all the time, or who verbally abuse you when you talk to them.
We are also seeing this come up a lot these days in how people with differing values have to navigate their friendships, family relationships and community with boundaries around their preferences for COVID mitigation, right?
Here’s another super important point: healthy boundaries are focused on YOUR actions, not on making someone else behave a certain way. It’s about what YOU do if someone violates your physical or emotional space, health, and safety.
It’s, “If you come over unannounced, I won’t answer the doorbell even if I’m home.” “If you yell at me, I‘m going to leave the room.”
Let’s say you’re someone who does not want to hang out indoors without a mask on. You can tell a friend, “If you want to hang out inside without a mask on, I’ll have to decline, or I can suggest something outside for us to do.”
Your boundary should also be something you will follow through on. Often, we create a situation by not enforcing our boundaries, and yet we blame the other person (BTW this is not applicable to situations like IPV where enforcing boundaries can literally be life-threatening – more on that in the pod). Think about the parent who constantly threatens a kid but never follows through. Adults respond the same way a kid does if they think a boundary won’t be enforced. They will push it and not take it seriously.
Some people ask me if they have to actually tell someone about a boundary they have. This isn’t always necessary, but it can be helpful with clear communication. Other times, you can just keep it to yourself. Trust your inner wisdom on this and remember that the boundary is for you.
In this episode I also give you 5 questions you can ask yourself when you see the need for a boundary to help you set up and maintain a healthy boundary.
There’s a lot more in the episode, but here’s the final thing I want to say about boundaries here:
None of this means we can’t make requests. We can say “Do you mind picking your dirty socks up and putting them in the laundry?” “Could you cook dinner twice a week? I’d love that.”
But we cannot make our emotional well-being dependent on whether people meet those requests or no, because I really really want you to be putting your energy towards things you can control (which is not other people). They can love you and NOT want to do that. Or even NOT love you and want to do that! Those are separate things.
Trust me. When you can set healthy boundaries – when you can say NO from a place of self-love and compassion and calm – you are saying YES to your inherent worthiness and love-ability which is already yours 100%. You’re saying YES to the life you were meant to live.
So, get out there and set some boundaries so that you can spend your energy on creating an amazing life – and NOT on trying to control other people’s behavior!
Life is too short for BS like that, amiright?
In this Episode you will learn:
// What The Manual is and how to identify it in your life and relationships
// 5 questions to ask yourself when setting a healthy boundary
// The difference between a boundary and an ultimatum
// What is “worthy” of a boundary vs something you could make a request for (and how to deal with it if they say, “No thanks.”
// If and when to tell others about your boundary
// How to enforce a boundary from a place of love and compassion and not anger and resentment
// Check out Episode 16, How to Improve Any Relationship
//Want to know more about how to create boundaries like a Buddha? Grab my free training on how to set boundaries that actually work – and how to do this from a place of kindness and compassion. www.BoundariesTraining.com
// If you’re new to the squad, grab the starter kit I created at RebelBuddhist.com. It has all you need to start creating a life of more freedom, adventure, and purpose. You’ll get access to the private Facebook group where you can ask me questions! Once you join, there’s also a weekly FB live called Wake the F*ck Up Wednesday, where you can ask questions that come up as you do this work – in all parts of your life.
// If you’re interested in finding out more about how to free your mind and free your life, join Freedom School. Enrollment is open, and we are diving DEEP into ways to cultivate clarity and courage so you can create your best life. There are also some sweet bonus courses for you there. It will set you up to live the best version of you in the year to come. Learn more at JoinFreedomSchool.com.