Jelly-o gummi bears wafer. Oat cake cupcake bonbon toffee. Jelly tiramisu gummi bears jelly beans dragée dragée cupcake fruitcake. Jelly beans pastry toffee halvah caramels. Jujubes chocolate cake croissant powder marshmallow lemon drops jujubes gingerbread gingerbread.
HANGING OUT WITH FAMILY AND FRIENDS OVER THE HOLIDAYS?
HERE ARE SOME TIPS ON HOW TO SET BOUNDARIES WITH THE FAMILY AND FRIENDS YOU MIGHT NORMALLY FEEL TRIGGERED AND HIGHJACKED AROUND EVERY YEAR.
Have you struggled to find ways of setting boundaries without feeling like an asshole?
Have you ever been envious of the people who just say “No” confidently, without any fear or remorse?
Have you ever gone home to your family and been sucked right into the roll you played as a teen? And then super frustrated because you promised you wouldn’t do exactly that?
or maybe you come in hot trying to change and educate your family or friends creating conflict and frustration. leaving them feeling angry at you or ashamed or their lifestyle?
This is why so many of us have failed to set boundaries.
I’ve been guilty of all of the above But the truth is you get to take up space in this world. And you do not have to be disrespected or emotionally abused.
Take these tips with you this holiday so that you can create some healthy boundaries for yourself to not repeat old patterns, feel drained, and hopefully avoid (inner and outter) conflict.
FIRST OFF, WHAT ARE BOUNDARIES?
Heathy boundaries are decided consciously before you enter into any space energetically, emotionally and physically.
Leaky boundaries are when you negotiate your values and comfort for someone else’s comfort, to please them or simply not cause discomfort in them.
Essentially you are willing to twist yourself into a knot to make them comfy- and that aint it. So I think we can agree- we all would like more heathy boundaries. I will cover some topics or scenarios that come up alot around the holidays:
KNOW YOUR EXPIRATION DATE:
SET A QUALITY TIMEFRAME TO VISIT YOUR FAMILY OR HAVE GUESTS AT YOUR HOUSE
Make it short and sweet. I used to try to stay as long as my schedule allowed at my parent’s house, since it is quite a far drive. But what I learned was that the longer I was home, the more room for triggers and unhealthy habits to creep in- leading to shaming and resenting family and the visit, tainting any good.
Also- it is ok to ask someone to stay elsewhere or for you to grab an airbnb down the street. Or to not go at all. Blood is not thicker than water.
While not all triggers are emotional abuse, some are simply complex family dynamics, belief or lifestyle differences, some triggers are an indication of emotional abuse. Neither have to be tolerated. While creating boundaries can actually create healing between parties, the empowerment that comes along might reveal that the relationship is too toxic and harmful at the moment to submit yourself to that treatment. You have total permission to say NO.
DON’T TRY TO CHANGE PEOPLE:
BOUNDARIES ARE WHERE YOU END AND SOMEONE ELSE BEGIN
That may be obvious, but what’s that mean? That means you are in control of your body (and life) and I am in control of mine. That goes both ways. Honoring, truly finding a deep compassion and respect for other people’s opinions, beliefs, and lifestyles is first before anyone can respect yours. It is a mirror. I know that’s the hardest pill to swollow- aunt sally may never respect you and she might tell you about it. But this practice will help you grow your reverence for yourself and others.
If you are going into your families space, it is really important to remember that. As a self help, conscious millennial on a mission to “break generational patterns” I know just how hard it is to not come in swinging, trying to fix, heal, and teach my family my ways of living, thinking, and especially eating (that’s a big trigger for me).
DON’T GIVE UNSOLICITED ADVICE:
DECIDING HOW SOMEONE SHOULD FEEL AND TELLING THEM TO FEEL IT IS A VIOLATION.
Often there will be family drama, or conversations that feel like gossip or someone going on and on about a problem, instead of trying to fix it try to just witness them. This often soothes or calms the feeling of angst.
Phrases to to find more understanding and empathy:
I understand how you feel
It sounds like you feel “….”
What has lead you to feel that way “….”
I may not understand exactly how you feel, but I am here for you and still love you
Simply “I get that” “I understand” goes a long way in helping someone feel seen and heard
DECIDE + WRITE A LIST OF WHAT IT IS YOU WILL AND WONT STAND FOR:
GOSSIP, ARGUING, FOOD OR ALCOHOL BEING PUSHED ON YOU ETC
Holidays are historic for bringing out the pusher in everyone, someone wants you to just loosen up, someone wants to rant about the family gossip, food = love…
Once you write this list and decide within these are your boundaries, really meditate on them and find your inner strength around them before you walk into a space with anyone else. If you are going into a party or someplace you can leave easily- remember that you can just leave, you have the power to remove yourself and I give you the permission to excuse yourself at any time with NO excuse. If you are staying with family- remember that there are other rooms.
Phrases to stop someone from pushing something on you:
I understand you want me to have a good time, I have decided I don’t want to “xyz” I need you to respect that, thank you.
I understand you are “(a feeling they’re experiencing)” but I don’t want to gossip/talk about this behind their back, I’d like to change the topic?
When you ask me to “xyz” it is really frustrating, I don’t do that or want to do that.
To excuse yourself:
I am so frustrated that if we try to keep discussing this I’m going to say something hurtful. I’m going to take a good walk (or break in another room, at least 30 mins) When I get back, I might be able to talk then. (don’t make promises and avoid engaging in harmful dialogue).
CREATE AN OUT TIME AND STICK TO IT:
HOLIDAY PARTIES, DINNERS, EVENTS
These events can go any direction, and when you have a business, a halthy lifestyle you are committed to the easiest way to get in and out unscathed is to have an out time for yourself. That way it is easy to leave. Sign up for a workout class or schedule a meeting for early the next day. If you have done either of those, the out will be clear and easy, if something comes up that makes you uncomfortable here’s a few phrases to get you moving.
Phrases to leave:
Thank you for inviting me, I’m feeling that is time for me to leave. (don’t give any reasons or excuses, unless they are valid) “but don’t you want to stay for… or … you always leave early… or come on… why?”
I know, I appreciate the invite, I’m committed to health, my sleep and my routines though…
or (be honest) I understand, but it’s starting to get rowdy and that’s my que.
I could go on and on, but the one thing I want to leave you with is; this is your life, you only get one.
You are worthy of being treated with love and respect. As are your family and friends. Boundaries don’t have to hurt, but some people will receive them as pain- and that is not your responsibility. You are responsible for you.
It is important to set your boundaries with kindness being firm while also respecting the humanity of the person on the other side. Your boundaries aren’t wrong just because someone else does not like them.
Enjoy your holiday however you decide to! Let me know if any of these came in handy!