We talk a lot on the show about the magic of healthy detachment in your relationships, and I often ask you to look at what’s yours and let go of what’s theirs. We also talk a lot about earned vs unearned guilt. Let’s take that boundary concept a bit further and look at some limiting beliefs you may still be carrying around in your head without even realizing it and challenge them!
First, do the “who owns what” in the situation. Then untangle yourself from the lies (subconscious fears) you tell yourself that can keep you stuck and not be able to set healthy boundaries. They help you to determine whether the guilt is actual or unearned. One of the ways I work with clients on this is I introduce Detachment Phrases to practice whenever they question an action or something they have said to take care of themselves and honor their truth. I have them work on new phrases like “just because__________ doesn’t mean____________.”
“Just because I’m taking care of me doesn’t mean I’m being selfish. I’ll actually be nicer to be around.”
“Just because she chose to ask me at the last minute doesn’t mean I’m a jerk for saying no.”
“Just because I used to like our relationship doesn’t mean I can’t move on today.”
“Just because he’s angry I said no to him doesn’t mean it was wrong to have a boundary.”
We can use these detachment phrases to help us acclimate to a new paradigm of taking better care of ourselves in our relationships. They separate out what is about them from us risking setting healthy limits. They help us think about why it might still be ok to say no, to have a different need or opinion, and most importantly to let go of what other people are choosing. We are not responsible for their feelings, their resistance to change, or anything about their choices. We do want to be considerate as to how we deliver our message so that it is emotionally honest, kind yet firm, but then we have to let go.
Keeping our stuff about us helps us to be able to deliver that message with a healthy I statement. One better is also empathy for their situation WITHOUT caving and reneging on our boundaries. This is a process where we learn and get better as we go.
If you’re still afraid that’s ok…just because you’re skittish now doesn’t mean you aren’t preparing to be quite the detacher later!