Daring to set boundaries is about having the courage to love ourselves, even when we risk disappointing othersBrene Brown
(For my complete article, please see: How to Preserve and Protect Our Yum from Others.)
Most of us know that it’s our own responsibility to take care of ourselves emotionally, and this includes protecting our yum. Although others in our lives may have the potential to affect us in negative ways, we don’t have to allow this. One primary way of protecting ourselves is by setting healthy boundaries with the people in our lives.
What is a Healthy Boundary?
A healthy boundary is telling someone directly, clearly and from my perspective kindly, what is okay and what is not okay, what we need and what we don’t need.
When something is being asked of us that is not do-able, we need to let people know that, too. Alison Paulsen, PhD and communication expert, says that specificity is key, i.e. asking for a specific need, as in “I really need to be alone right now.”
When it comes to protecting our yum, boundary-setting is particularly important. For example:
- If you are eating a cheeseburger, and are thoroughly enjoying it, and your sister says, “Do you know how much cholesterol is in that?”, ...
- Then it is okay and important for us to say something like, “I know you have my best interests in mind, however I need for you to not comment on what I’m eating. It is my decision to eat this.”
Any time you feel that sense that someone is trying to bring you out of the great mood or feeling, then it is not only acceptable, but also important to your mental health to calmly and kindly let the other person know your preferences.
It’s not unreasonable to want other people to really know that what they are saying or doing is not okay in this moment. It’s really up to us to let them know that and open up that communication.
When Strangers Disrupt our Yum:
We don’t often think that we have control over the outside world, whether that be at the DMV, in traffic, or at the grocery store. We can’t help it if people are crazy drivers or if the person in front of us has a negative interaction with the cashier. But we can protect our reactions to these things.
Some non-traditional methods of protecting our yum include:
- Imagining a protective purple light around us.
- Putting our attention on our breath.
- Washing our hands, and letting go of anything not in our highest good. A guided daydream.
- Connecting with our heart chakra (through breath or imagination).
- Carrying around a protective stone (or crystal) – put our hands in our pocket or purse and connect with that.
- Using guided imagery: really staying connected and feeling grounded and connected to our glorious feeling.
- Finding a mantra that can bring us back to our yum.
- My wish for you today is that you are able to keep a part of your “yum” throughout your day.
---- Kathleen Dwyer Blair, LCSW, BCD, Director.