“Make good boundaries your goal. They are your right, your responsibility, your greatest source of dignity.”~ Elaine N. Aron, author.
‘Tis the season where expectations by and from others (OPPTE)* reaches the annual crescendo. Holidays, ‘mandatory’ gatherings with families or at workplaces, religious rituals, financial or commercial inundation, guilt about too much or not enough, blah-blah-blah.
Not much dignity in that!
However (and those who know me know…..) ’tain’t nuthin’ goin’ on that a good dose of boundaries can’t cure. Ha!
An invitation to ____, is simply that. An invitation. Basically, a question; a request (which is still a question) asking something from you. The answer CAN be “no.” Saying ‘no’ is your right. Politely, yet none-the-less, ‘no.’ Don’t fabricate, make up excuses, evade, fib, prevaricate, mislead, invent, concoct a drama-story, or fake an illness-soon-to-besiege you. In other words, don’t lie. Kindly, graciously, say ‘no.’ You can even add “thanks for asking though.”
Depending on what the ‘what’ is, it may be you would enjoy spending time with ____. Then go ahead and engage. No second-guessing or what-if’ing. Say ‘yes.’ Whole-heartedly. Saying ‘yes’ is your right. Enjoy the heck out of it!
Also depending on what the ‘what’ is, maybe a part of you would enjoy spending time doing and being with ___ (and ___ and ___). However, if the entire cast and crew of Seussical the Musical feels a bit much, then counter-offer with your own invitation just for those few folks (or event). Mean it. Follow through. Ball’s in your court. That is your responsibility.
You know what feeds your spirit. You know what drains it. (If you don’t know, then spend time with yourself finding out!) Boundaries are the Knowing. Speaking them is the responsibility.
Living in truth and integrity means others can trust you, trust what you say, rely on your word, and can respect those boundaries. (Not necessarily because they like ’em, simply because you stand in the solidness of honesty and consistency.) Therein lies your dignity.
So go ahead. Make good boundaries your goal this holiday season. You’ll be glad you did.
Psssst….* OPPTE (other People, Places, Things, Events)