Loyalty to self helps communication flow. Establish a loving and supportive inner climate so you can weather others’ responses.
One thing that makes boundaries difficult to set is that while you are gaining time, others lose your participation. Can you empathize with their feelings while remaining true to yourself? If so, you will be able to calmly hear people out. And you won’t become agitated by their response or try to control them.
Interestingly, your calm acceptance of their feelings signals that you do not require their permission in order to move forward with your plans.
Preparing for each encounter individually is hugely helpful.
Make 2 tally sheets of gains and losses that your new plan will bring about. One page for you, and one for the person you’ll be taking your time back from.
Draw a line down the middle of the first page. On the left side, list the benefits you’ll enjoy, and on the right side, note any losses your new boundary will create for you. Repeat the process on the second page, considering the viewpoint of the other person.
What do you learn? Does this give you an idea of the response you might receive? You are much less likely to take their reaction personally, if you understand what changes they face. And your ability to see both sides of the situation will help you negotiate a win/win solution.
Finally, create a mantra that affirms your right to take charge of your time. Use it generously to support yourself, and gently let things unfold.
Using these tally sheets carries a side benefit: you deepen your decisiveness. You will see right in front of you how any time choice you make is a dynamic interplay of gains and losses.
Grounding yourself in this fundamental equation fosters realism, and it helps you empathize with others, as well. In other words, you will be tempering your assertiveness with flexibility.
Ultimately, this is mobilizing. You needn’t wait for the stars to align to “get it right”. Instead, honor the intricacy of your important relationships and move mindfully.
Then, taking back your time becomes an exercise in clear vision, loyalty to yourself and cooperation!© Copyright 2011 Paula Eder, Ph.D.