November 9, 2021

I have a friend that I can always ask to give me a ride to the airport. I can ask her if I can swing by her house at a moment’s notice, or if we can go to a different place for dinner than the one that we had originally planned on. The reason I can ask these things of her is not because she always says “yes.” In fact, she may say “no” more often than “yes!” The reason I can ask her is because she has incredible boundaries. I know that she will say “yes” if she means yes and “no” if she means no. When I pick up the phone to call or text her, there are no worries in my mind that I’ll be putting her in an uncomfortable position, because I trust she’ll say “no” if she can’t do something or simply doesn’t want to. This makes me feel incredibly free.


I share this story to illuminate how establishing boundaries can actually help us love better. I used to believe that the only way to show people that I loved and cared for them was to say “yes” to everything that was asked of me. What ended up happening though was that I would be left exhausted, grumpy and resentful. 


By being clear about what we can and can’t handle, the people in our lives feel freer to ask for what they need. They don’t need to hold the worry that if we are saying “yes,” we may actually mean no. 


Boundaries are tough because we live in a society that is always telling us to do more and more. Oftentimes, we may even feel our worth comes from how much we can do for others. I want to invite you to reframe this narrative. What if by saying “no” when we meant no, we gave others permission to do the same.


When we show someone that our needs are important to us, we are reminding them that they get to prioritize their needs too. Now imagine a world where we all felt free enough to sometimes say “no” so that when we said “yes,” there was love, energy, and enthusiasm behind it? That sounds pretty darn beautiful to me! 


Join Us for a Holiday Survival Workshop


Avoid the emotional hangover and make a game plan at our Holiday Survival Workshop with Amy Gartenberg (LPC). Learn how to find time for yourself in the chaos by using boundaries, self-compassion, and emotional intelligence. By doing the work now, you’ll be on track for a low stress holiday season.