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Examining Boundary Pitfalls

“Health is the greatest gift, contentment the greatest wealth, faithfulness the best relationship.” – Buddha

Week Forty Three

This week highlights your freedom to choose how you want to respond to the requests of others. Protecting yourself from demanding or negative individuals may require having courageous conversation and being prepared to say ‘no’ and stick to it. Developing the ability to say ‘no’ with grace when necessary keeps you on track with your own sense of purpose.

Developing these boundaries may take some time, but it will bring freedom from restrictions based on energy levels and activities that do not serve your higher purpose.

1) Make a list of all the boundaries from previous steps that you wish to focus on and adjust to serve you better? Think about boundaries around your needs, values, things you want to make peace with, your nutrition and hydration, your rest and relaxation, your body flexion and hygiene, mentally challenging yourself, nurturing your spirit, your connections and, last but not least, your boundaries around feeling sorry for yourself.

2) For each one answer the following:
a. What will your new boundary look like and how will it function?
b. How will this tighter boundary be more true to your needs and values?
c. What standard would you set for yourself to make that tighter boundary work?
d. What part does this new standard play in helping you maintain your integrity?

3) Think about how your body responds to the affirmation, “I am allowed to say ‘No’”. If there is any tension at all give yourself permission to release it. Take some time to visualize situations where you would like to say ‘No’. You can even ask a friend to role play with you saying ‘no’ to everything they ask.
Here are some possible phrases that you might use to say ‘no’ fast if something is against your priorities.
• “Gosh I really wish I could, but it’s just (count 1 to 4) impossible” if the response is “why” then, “say, “It’s (1 to 4) just impossible. Sorry I cannot say yes.”
• “Your behaviors violate a value of mine which I cannot negotiate.”
• “Please stop. I request that you find an alternative way to meet this need.”
• “This is attractive, but not right now due to current commitments. Can you get back to me …”
• “I wish I could, but I cannot. Thank you for thinking of me.”
• “I would like to help, but I am already over-scheduled. How else might I support you?”
• “At this time, my priorities are few and focused; I will not be able to accommodate this.”
• “This isn’t a good time for me to do that as I have other commitments. I’ll let you know if I can spend time on it later.
• “I’ll have to say no to that, but perhaps you could …”
• “I must commit to my priorities that I have identified as being important to me right now. Although I cannot go along with your request, please know that I value …”

These question give you insight on exactly where you draw the line and how to keep it. This benefits you by preparing you to handle challenges to the implementation of your new boundaries. If a challenge to your boundary presents itself it is a way to learn more about how to keep this commitment to yourself. Test out some of the possibilities you have come up with to find the ones that you are most comfortable with.