BOUNDARIES - THE LIBERATION OF SETTING BOUNDARIES

Dec 07, 2020

Saying no can be difficult when you work for yourself—and even when you work for someone else. You don’t want to disappoint anyone. You don’t want to turn down work, if you need the money. You don’t want to offend or come off as uncooperative. So you take on more and more, until your calendar looks like a game of Tetris gone mad. Why is it so hard to set boundaries, and what can we do about it?

Harvard-trained therapist Jessica Slavin Connelly says that many workers often fall into the trap of thinking that saying “no” simply isn’t an option. “Often, [the guilt] is about our own self-worth, about what we feel we should be capable of or were capable at one point,” she says—expectations that might not align with reality. “Setting boundaries is not weak,” she says. She asks me if someone has said “no” to me recently. Yes, I admit. And was I mad? I have to confess that I wasn’t. If anything, I respected the person more. Connelly agrees.

The trick, she says, is to say no with tact and diplomacy.

1. Say no politely but don’t offer further explanation. “Leave it at a simple ‘no.’ A lot of people feel explanation is required, but this is more for us than for the other person,” she says. Offering too much explanation might leave openings for negotiation, and you’re back to square one.

2. Convey the “positive intention” of saying no. Often it helps to say, “I wish I could do this, but I can’t.” Make it clear that you do want to help the other person and that your decline isn’t coming from a place of malice. 

3. Understand that saying “no” might actually help the other person in the long run. “By saying no, you’re benefiting the other person by setting boundaries. If you take on something you can’t do, it might fall through,” she says. Better to decline upfront than disappoint someone later.

4. Remember that life will go on. “Think of it this way: Would you come to work with the stomach flu? No. Nobody wants you there, and work will go on. It’s the same with declining something you can’t do,” she says. 

5. Tailor the no, if need be. For instance, if you’re dealing with a long-time needy client for whom you’ve always been available, it’s possible to redraw the lines. “Say, ‘My situation has changed. I want to own the fact that I might not have been clear about this, but at this time I’m not available. However, I am available to do x, y and z.”

6. Use no as leverage, if possible. If you’re being asked to do things beyond your job description and find yourself regularly wanting to say no, it might be time to renegotiate your work agreement—and angle for more money.

7. Stop the guilt. “If you’re declining for professional, job-appropriate reasons, what are you worried about? If you’ve always done a good job, you shouldn’t be worried about getting fired. And if you’re worried that your client or employer is building a case against you, this isn’t healthy,” she says. Those warning signs might be a cue to look for work where you feel more comfortable saying yes.

Our thanks to Life Reimagined for this article. Life Reimagined provides personalized guidance to help you navigate life’s transitions and live your life to the fullest.

 

 

Women of Faith is a global ministry, specializing in the use of all forms of media & technology, as a conduit to connect people to people and exponentially grow friends and community globally and to create disciples 24/7, 365 days per year.  This allows Women of Faith to reach more people and to have more impact in growing God’s Kingdom.  Women of Faith is also committed to carrying the legacy of wisdom, story and authenticity, by providing various media, initiatives, resources, events, courses, studies, partnerships and programs.  These are utilized in delivering spiritual strength, life leadership, real relationships and to encourage and equip women to experience a deeper relationship with Jesus. Women of Faith's Foundational Voice is Alita Reynolds.

LIVE IN VICTORY

Check out our new Women of Faith Show and growing Collection of Classes on LIFTABLEtv.  Also check out our growing Keys for Living resources.

New episodes are posted weekly and we'd love to share them with you!

DIVE INTO OUR COLLECTION OF CLASSES
START WATCHING THE WOMEN OF FAITH SHOW
VIEW OUR GROWING RESOURCES
BECOME A CHRISTIAN LIFE COACH

STAY UP TO DATE WITH ALL THINGS WOMEN OF FAITH

SIGN UP FOR OUR NEWSLETTER, TO BE NOTIFIED OF NEW RESOURCES, CLASSES, SHOWS, BOOKS, RELEASES, SPECIALS, EVENTS AND UPDATES.

Be coached and equipped to boost your spiritual strength, experience real relationships, and be the life leader you Are.

LIVE IN VICTORY... Across our various Women of Faith offerings you'll find tools to help you grow in spiritual strength, real relationships and life leadership, all in one place! Alita Reynolds, President and Foundational Voice invites you to share your experience of how God is transforming your life and we will coach and equip you to guide others toward victory too. Women of Faith is a global ministry, specializing in the use of all forms of media & technology, as a conduit to connect people to people and exponentially grow friends and community globally and to create disciples 24/7, 365 days per year.  This allows Women of Faith to reach more people and to have more impact in growing God’s Kingdom.  Women of Faith is also committed to carrying the legacy of wisdom, story and authenticity, by providing various media, initiatives, resources, events, courses, studies, partnerships and programs.  These are utilized to encourage and equip women to experience a deeper relationship with Jesus.  
NOTICE: The information contained in this resource is general in nature and is not intended to provide or be a substitute for advice, consultation or treatment with a duly licensed mental health practitioner or other medical professional. This resource is intended to provide practical faith-based guidelines for balanced living and is not a replacement for medical advice. Professional services should be pursued whenever necessary and/or appropriate. By utilizing this resource, individuals acknowledge that Women of Faith is not providing direct clinically-oriented mental health treatment or therapy, and that it does not create a therapeutic relationship between any individual and Women of Faith.  Individuals who use this resource also agree to indemnify and hold harmless, Women of Faith, its licensees, affiliates, and assigns, as well as the officers, agents, and employees of Women of Faith and its licensees, affiliates, and assigns, from and against any and all liability, loss, damages, costs, charges, legal fees, recoveries, judgments, penalties, and expenses, which may be obtained against, imposed upon or suffered by Women of Faith.Additionally, certain views and opinions expressed in this resource may be those from sources other than Women of Faithand do not necessarily represent the views of Women of Faith, nor imply an endorsement by Women of Faith. All rights are reserved worldwide and no part of this resource may be reproduced in any form (print or electronic) without the expressed written permission of Women of Faith.