A healthy relationship is built on trust, respect and communication. Slowly I heal.
This week and in the past weeks I have been working on setting boundaries, saying no, and what a healthy relationship is. I found out at my drop-in center that I am a passive passive communicator. I tend to avoid confrontation and put other’s needs before me. There is hope as you can see in this article called 9 signs of passive behavior. I tried to be more assertive with disastrous results. I came across all wrong and got mad when I would have liked to educate instead of argue. I had practiced saying no but then lost the argument when I said something negative afterwards. It ended up in an argument. Also the person is so used to me saying yes, that no was difficult for them to understand. That’s part of the reason it ended up in an argument. I will try to be more assertive in the future. But I will use baby steps in saying no. I will start with small “no”s and see how it goes. Also if someone mocks me, I will try to say something right away. I have my own struggles at home even though others may not see them.
Another thing that came up in the drop-in session was setting boundaries. That’s part of saying no. Establishing boundaries can be stressful and difficult but important in any relationship. Be it with a partner, a family member or a friend. Here is an article called 10 ways to build and preserve boundaries. In it they discuss important points such as naming your limits, tuning into your feelings, being direct, giving yourself permission to set boundaries, practicing self-awareness, considering your past and present, making self-care a priority, seeking support, being assertive and starting small. Give yourself permission to set boundaries. If you feel uncomfortable chances are a boundary is being challenged. Seek support in counseling for setting your boundaries and being assertive. Be assertive in a respectful way. And remember to start small. This will build your confidence for those bigger boundaries.
We can think of boundaries protecting us and they form a circle around us. In the center is you who needs privacy, an identity and has rights and choices. In the next circle close to you are people of emotional closeness to you. There is comfort, respect, flexibility, shared values, dependability, balance, non-judgemental, sharing by choice, predictability, and unconditional love. In a third outer circle are friends. There is limited emotional closeness, shared interests, information exchange, mutual friendship, and camaraderie. In the outer circle are people with no emotional closeness, strangers, acquaintances, people you choose to keep at arm’s length.
This is a work in progress for me. And very difficult. It tires me greatly to say no and to stand up for myself. I had to stop and summarize in this blog what being passive and the need to be assertive meant to me. Thank you for being there. It really helped to write this blog. Remember, when communicating, it’s what the right answer is for the situation and not who is right! 🙂