We talked in the podcast today about how important it is to guard and take care of your personal space. To set boundaries and create healthy habits each week so you are less stressed. But what about all the other fabulous and not-so-gracious folks in your world each day? Well, it’s up to you to navigate safeguarding your time and space.
Be Kind But Firm. So many clients I have worked with worry that if they aren’t a pushover then they must have to be a jerk to set limits but neither persona is necessary. Neither, in my opinion is healthy, because being kind yet firm is in the middle. You are grounded in your boundary (you mean it, and they cannot manipulate you out of it), yet you don’t have to lash out to express it. You can simply say, “Sorry but I don’t have time right now, but I can chat later today if you can.” Your boundaries around your personal space are about you not them. When we make it about them we are manipulating back! Yuck!
Follow through and mean it. When you say, “Hey I have to get back to my work – I’ll see ya later!” actually turn away or walk away pleasantly. Otherwise you aren’t being serious. If the other person says “Yeah me too” it’s much easier. It’s the folks who keep standing there, keep talking or say “Wait – one more thing…” who struggle with boundaries. Here is where the test happens.
If you struggle to say No start small. I’m a big believer in the concept that Empowerment Comes from Doing. So start where you can in tiny ways so you can desensitize the anxiety and experience the freedom as you go. For example, if you don’t feel strong enough to kick someone out of your workspace or the kitchen, then taking yourself for a walk removes you from having to confront. One caveat here – you don’t want to stay here avoiding forever – you will eventually want to become more courageous ?
Let others and circumstances help you. Like I just explained, at first it is helpful to just let circumstances help give you distance, until you are ready to be bolder. I also think it’s less stress on others, because it just makes it easier for everyone to take care of themselves. For example:
Take time when others leave the home or the room.
Go for a walk or a drive.
Close the door.
Turn your back.
Take your work somewhere private if allowed.
Certain times to do certain work. Some go in early to get things done.
It you Sign Up for Yes then own it – don’t blame them!
Remember, we are responsible for owning our “yes” and our “no”, and it is not up to others to figure out what we need – We are. We need to be mindful and think things all the way through before we sign up so that we are less likely to be upset when the time comes to show up and follow through on our commitment. This is a process and can take time to make into a habit. It’s ok to change your mind and renegotiate at times. Just don’t renege too often or others will struggle to trust your word.
I encourage you to take a look at some of these aspects of guarding and minding your personal space. Often it’s the little things we don’t notice that add up to serenity ?