Learning To Set Limits

June 8, 2010 by  
Filed under Blog

our orchidsNow that’s a hard one if you are like me.  Setting limits without anger or fear means we respect ourselves enough to say “yes” to certain things and “no” to others.

I’ve always had a hard time doing that because I have always preferred to suck it up than to confront others and risk arguments or ill feelings.  And because I am someone with a great amount of personal resilience, I’ve done some heavy duty sucking up.

But as I dig into who I am and the life I want to live, I realize that at the bottom of my sucking up is a deep seeded feeling that I have no rights.  It doesn’t matter where that comes from.  It matters how I am going to deal with the feelings now.  So I ask myself, why the needs of others – right or wrong – take prevalence over mine?  And I realize that if I don’t look out for myself (read: respect) why would I expect others to do so?

I am right now going through a situation that I can, as I have always done, just suck it up or I can with love in my heart say: I can’t do it.  Because in this particular situation I’m dealing with my family there is a lot at risk for me.  But not changing my habitual response to these types of situations will keep me stuck. And that I can’t allow any longer.  So this is what I’m doing and will do:

1                    -  I’m calming myself down so I can actually think before I respond in frustration and anger.

2                    -  Once I decide what course of action I should take, I’ll sit quiet with myself and will play all the possible scenarios in my head, and in each situation I’ll see myself responding firmly, calmly and with love and respect.

3                    -  I’ll acknowledge that my decision and actions will feel uncomfortable because they will be foreign to my psyche.  But I will also know I’m taking a firm step towards my healthier life.

4                    -  I’m going to remember that by changing my reaction, I will offer the other parties an opportunity to change as well, because once the dynamics change so do the relationships. So my actions can in the future promote healthier connections.

5                    -  Most importantly, I’ll remind myself I’m only responsible for my actions and can not take responsibility for other people’s reactions.

Wish me luck.  And if you have any advice or find yourself in the same conundrum, drop me a line.

  • Winsor Pilates


2 Responses to “Learning To Set Limits”
  1. The first time you behave in a different way, will be really scary. You may want to go back to the old ways. But tell yourself you’ve decided to change and so you’ll go through the anxiety that being different will produce. After a few times of responding to situations in a different way, you’ll find that you have survived and the relationships that didn’t only existed on your sacrifice.

  2. GG says:

    Thank you for sharing Deborah. I am in the same boat and ready for a change, as scary as they may be.