Better Boundaries

Interesting to see this today. I’m noticing some shifts in my boundary setting this week. Being more clear on what is right for me and expressing that. In some small ways. And not beating myself up for it soooo much after but trying to support myself through the feelings of shame and regret and berating myself and fearing relationship repercussions of punishment in some form. Tapping and reminding myself that these people DO value me and our relationship CAN stay in tact without me fawning, pleasing, backpedaling, checking in, connecting, seeking reassurance, being available. Understanding that my behaviours of the above haven’t just been because I have felt I can’t cope alone/ by myself and am needy and hopeless but are possibly more driven in fact by fear of being left behind and forgotten because I am not needed or important to them/others. Attachment seeking preservation behaviours.

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Attachment Preservation is certainly an aspect of Thriving for me. I like to be pleasing to others I care about. (But not at my expense doing things that harm me.) Checking in is useful in moderation, after I calm and confidence myself that we matter to each other.

Connecting is delicious – unless the person needs space more than connection, which I cycle through, too. Reassurance is a form of recalibration, like two instruments each playing a note and hearing whether they are in sync. Professional musicians do this when they sense something is “off” – but don’t stop everything to do it when it would be unnatural to do so.

There are people who learn strategies to get what they want which are harmful to connection and preservation of love connection. I mean, who doesn’t?!? If I am around someone who punishes me for disagreeing with them, that is ON THEM. And… I’ll tend to be more agreeable – extending my own range of YES – to keep from being punished.

We’re animals, too. I’m not one who enjoys being punished.

Better Boundaries to me includes evolution at the edges. “I have this belief I can’t say NO here without you being angry with me. Is that true right now?”

“I’m adapting here and saying YES because you matter to me and this sounds important to you. If there was another option, it would be better for me to ____ instead.”

“What my body really is asking for right now is ____, and I understand that isn’t convenient or possible right now. I’ll adapt.”

“As much as I want to come through here in the way you want, I cannot without doing harm to my recovery. Let’s see if we can come up with an alternative.”

Is this new language? Yes. But for fuck’s sake the old ways of dominance and demands and punishing (and reward bribes) just isn’t all that savvy for thriving. It blocks people long term.

It’s hard, though. So much of these words don’t find airtime. By noticing what I might say or like to say, saying that internally, it changes so many things from something that grows in resentment or stress into a choice I am making aligned with what matters to me.

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Yes. Yes. Yes. Have I mentioned I love you? :smiling_face: I love how you can do this. Speak to what I’m working with and experiencing and bring more to it. Including more light, understanding and movement. Movement towards something else. Something new. I always have to re-read and take what you write in. Coming back to it as I feel the importance of it inside.
Thank you for the range of language and statements you’ve offered. As these ways of communicating are so new to me and don’t come to mind in any given moment easily, I have taken to writing your words out, so that I can read them over and try them and build memory and capacity towards them, also so that I can share what I am working towards with a few others sometimes.

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I’m warm and hearty hearing that. Appreciate you!

Ever since I wrote this, I feel a strengthening in my inner articulation of these attitudes and energies.

Noticing that when I speak inside, even when the words do not get spoken through my voicebox, they get spoken energetically.

“It would be optimal for ME right now to ____, and I am adapting to what is alive for Us right here, right now.”

It’s strengthening my resilience. Releasing resistance to what IS.

“I imagine that if ____ were different, right now I would be ____. And it’s okay that it is not different. There are other opportunities I have here.”

Example: Jem and Adira left for Alaska yesterday. I am tending to The Boy over the coming 12 days except for 4 where he’ll be with his father. If I were alone, yeah, I’d have gone someplace different to eat last night. I might have gone to a dance or the gym. Today I would have gone for a walk at sunrise!

There’s something in my nature that knows what would be “optimal” for me… if it were “just me.” But I’ve also chosen to live predominantly in a We-Space and to exercise my adaptability to also tend to my Me-Space in savvy ways.

And I can.

If I adapt my boundaries to INCLUDE him. That we’re now both navigating a we-space that is just us two, rather than 4. How do we tend to ourselves, each other, and to our relationship?

So yes, I woke super early and felt the YES to get out of bed and meditate. I felt the desire to connect here with you and our community. To write an email that matters to me, too… and to the we-space I co-create with you all.

The boy is still asleep. I know at some point today he will be “doing his thing” and I will take a nap. Instead of a walk alone in the woods, he and I will likely walk together. While he’s doing “his thing” at Tae kwon do, I’ll do something for me – like go to the gym for 30 minutes.

Yeah, I wish my “first reaction” wasn’t that “Dang, I can’t do what I want to do when I want to do it!!!” – but it is. The better boundaries, for me, in this case mean exploring ways to get my needs met, and his, and ours. Imperfectly, of course. Yet, I sense it can be quite beautiful, too.

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Constantly saying yes when you’d love to say no is the most famous boundary problem.

That “when you’d love to say no” is a really interesting approach. I’d LOVE to say NO here… and I’m not. That focuses me on the key areas where a better boundary would make a difference.

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Standing up for yourself without getting emotionally worked up is a superpower.

Set boundaries with this 5-step script:

  1. Ask: “Is now a bad time?”
  2. When you _____, I felt _____.
  3. I have a personal rule where I only allow/don’t allow _____.
  4. If you keep doing _____, I will have to _____.
  5. I hope we can make this work and continue to _____.

You are worthy of being stood up for.

https://x.com/SystemSunday/status/1799797711044255924

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