Webster’s dictionary defines boundaries as: Something that indicates a LIMIT; a property line. Remember the adage, “Give them an inch and they’ll take a mile.?” It’s true. From kids to co-workers, family members and friends alike, if you don’t set a firm boundary and learn to say “NO”, you’ll find yourself frazzled.
Ever notice how sweet a person can be when you say the word “yes” to their request or project. It’s like seeing a little girl skipping through the meadow. Cue the music, The person you said “yes” to is so happy, but the minute you say “no” it’s like a scratch on a record, a slow motion deep voice sound in their ears, nnNNNOOOO! – it’s not going to be pretty. If they’re a true friend, when they hear the word “no” they should respect it and move on. If they’re not, they will not respect it and you’ll see a facial expression to match it. It’s as if you’ve snatched a lollipop from a 2 year old . . . it may not be pretty.
‘NO” is one of the smallest words on earth, but one that can wreak the most havoc. Tell a baby NO, and watch them scream, roll on the floor and pitch a fit. Tell an adult “NO” and they may have a similar reaction, just a little more subtle.
People want to get rid of their responsibilities, so they try to throw them on you. The whole world is like a game of “Hot Potato.” If you catch it, there’s a good possibility that you’re gonna keep it and believe me, you’re not going hear from the “potato thrower” again. They’re long gone.
This world is full of Yes-es. Your boss gives you a project last minute, the class mom says you need to handle the Christmas Play. I’ve seen it time and time again. We want to please people, to the detriment of our own lives. You water and fertilize all those around you, except yourself. But we can’t please everyone. Heck, if we can please a third of the folks, we’re onto something. There’s only 24 hours in a day, and we’ve got to sleep, work, eat, do homework, bathe kids, get lunches ready, go grocery shopping, COOK and the list goes on.
That’s not to say we shouldn’t be involved in a charity or out reach and help others when need be, that’s another article in itself, but when it causes you frustration, stress, anger and takes away from the time you should spend with your family, that’s a red flag to step back, pause and learn that 2 letter word, NO!
Did you know that the word “NO” is a complete sentence. A friend taught me this once. When you say “NO”, you don’t have to follow it up with other excuses: Just say . . . No. And with a smile, leave it at that. You owe no one a long reason behind your answer. Besides, those really good manipulators will take the reason you give and move heaven and earth so YOU can STILL do it. Don’t walk into that one.
Let peace be your guide. I’ve found that when I don’t want to do something and say “yes” anyway, I try to justify that it is for a good cause and not that I caved in, was suckered in, because I was too scared of their reaction. Your priority is to your family and those around you, come 2nd.
My choice to please, overwrote my chose to enjoy time with my family. Do you NOT have enough on your “to do list”? I’ve never met a mom who’s “to do list” wasn’t a scroll. Please, we’re not lacking for things to do in this world. When you say “Yes” to something you should have said “NO” to, it’s like someone throwing you a bad cough and you’re catching it. You have to take ownership of something that wasn’t your responsibility and it’s going to sideline you.
Jordan Sparks sings: Love is a Battlefield, you better go and get your Armor, but you could also add that Protecting your Boundaries is a battlefield. People are coming on all sides to get you to say “Yes. “If you begin to say yes to things you should say no to, it becomes a weak link, on the wall of your castle, and before long, everyone will be scaling up the wall.
The world loves it when you say “Yes” because their list just got SHORTER! If the person you say “NO” to, truly respects you, they’ll understand and move on. The manipulators aren’t gonna like it; they’ll try to make you feel bad. DON”T let them.
Time is something you will NEVER get back. Water your garden, don’t feel obligated to water everyone else’s, out of guilt. That would be for the wrong reason. I’ve heard it said: You can never get back a word, after it’s said or time, after it’s spent. Use your time wisely.
You have to protect your boundaries. Protect the Fort. Train others to respect them, but this also means we have to be consistent. If one wall is weak, that is the door they will always try to enter.
Hold your ground, protect the FORT and learn how to say “NO.” It’s a complete sentence that will give you your life back.
Recommended Reading: by: Henry Cloud
Boundaries with Kids