So often, we get into arguments with those we care about, and we don’t even know why we are arguing after a while. This usually happens when we are not doing great job of negotiating what we want and need. It usually also points to our struggle to honor the same for them. In order to negotiate effective and loving ways, we first need to get very clear with ourselves what’s negotiable and what is it, and why. Here are few ways we can do that.
Stand in Your Truth. First, we have to get clear about what we want and need…and why it matters to us. Identifying this may sound easy, but for some of us it may not be. Usually due to years of disowning these things while people-pleasing in relationships. Or chronic exposure to toxic environments and manipulative people. Either way, it just takes awareness and some coaching to reconnect with what matters to you.
Know Your Values. If you don’t know what you value, it’s hard to know what you want. For example, if you value being kind to others, this will drive how you behave. If you value honesty, then what you require of others will demonstrate that. If you value family and well-being over career success, then that will help you negotiate at work. When we practice actually living out our values, it’s a no brainer when we are negotiating what we need.
Know Your Non-Negotiable Boundaries. These are the ones that will never change, no matter who is in front of you. You won’t lie, cheat, steal or kill even if your boss wants you to. Boundaries around how you allow yourself to be treated, and how you will treat others will be sustained no matter the context.
Honor What You Need. We first have to value that what we need is not a want, and necessary for our well-being – and sanity I may add – so therefore we take responsibility for getting needs met. We ask for help when we can’t carry everything or need support. We confront our spouse when we need them to clean up after themselves so we can have a healthy partnership. We take a break and practice self-care when we are worn down.
Knowing what matters most and what we are committed to stand firm in helps us know what we are willing and not willing to do. I think it also helps us to respect the others in our life who are trying to practice the same, and so we can detach, have empathy and acceptance around their needs and boundaries. We no longer make everything about us and take things so personally. They are simply doing what we are. The more we honor ourselves, the more we want – need – the important people in our life to do the same.