• Is It Mean To Set Boundaries?

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    Is It Mean To Set Boundaries?

    For some of us, the idea of setting a boundary equates to being mean. 

    But the thing is, setting boundaries and limits with people, including with ourselves, is the nicest thing we can do.

    Setting a boundary is teaching someone how you’d like to be treated, and at its core, its compassionate education.  

    That sounds nice and all, but why is it so hard to set them?

    The most basic answer is discomfort.

    When setting a boundary, it can be uncomfortable for the person who needs it and as a result for you. They now must readjust to the parameters of what they need to do, or not do, to be in a relationship with you, or for _____ to happen from you.

    Often what happens is they may pout, get mean, beg, negotiate or do whatever their style is. And this can be uncomfortable.

    Have you ever read the kids book: Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!?

    *Spoiler alert.* In beginning of the book, the bus driver leaves and tells the reader, “I’ll be right back, but whatever you do, don’t let the pigeon drive the bus!”

    In the subsequent pages, the pigeon does everything to get you to let him drive the bus. He begs, he pouts, he pleads, he negotiates, he yells, and he even shares how sad he feels because it’s so unfair.   

    The reader must deal with the Pigeon’s discomfort of having that boundary.

    Here’s something that may help with this if you need to set a boundary with the Pigeon or loved ones: 

    You’re the only one that needs to be OK with your boundary.

    And the relationship may need to end if they can’t do it. All that’s uncomfortable.

    So, the first step in establishing a boundary is understanding why you need one.

    Maybe if a certain behavior doesn’t change, you’ll continue to feel uncomfortable or unsafe, and if one or both of those feelings exist, we can’t really be ourselves and so we compromise who we are.

    The next thing is understanding what the boundary is and then communicate it. Remember this is compassionate education. 

    Finally, we have to hold to it. 

    When we set compassionate boundaries and limits, it could be the best thing we do for ourselves, others and our kids if we have them.

    That’s the opposite of being mean.  

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