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How to Place Healthy Boundaries with Compassion

    Often when people want to place a boundary, they become rigid, forceful or detached. In other words, they withdraw their love. It sends out this message: “if you don’t behave the way I want you to behave, I don’t love you anymore.” That is not compassionate, it’s manipulative.

    There is a way to share your truth and protect your needs without force or withdrawing your love. While still loving the other unconditionally, you can place firm boundaries on behaviors that don’t work for you.

    Follow our 7 step formula to express your boundaries firmly, without rejecting the other.

    Our free handout is available for download here as you listen in: https://relationshipalkemy.com/free-downloads/

    Audio Version

    Video Version

    Hi. Welcome back to our podcast RelationshipAlkemy. I’m Jordan Bessaignet.

    And I’m Olivier Bessaignet.

    And today we’re going to be getting into a really fun little subject here.

    We are going be talking about boundaries. A very hot topic. Who’s super hot? A difficult topic because it can be very elusive. Yeah. What do you mean boundaries? I need to give up on my codependency. Oh, no.

    Yeah, boundaries. And specifically placing healthy boundaries with compassion.

    Yes.

    That is the little key to success here.

    So why? Because when people are not used to place boundaries or they are unsure with themselves on how to place boundaries, they’re either tough, rough, this is my boundary, or they go away. I don’t love you anymore because you’re not doing what I want. So I don’t love you anymore. And they disconnect. So how can we place a boundary? How can we place boundaries that create connection instead of disconnection? I think that’s the challenge.

    That is the challenge. And I can say from my own personal experience, I’ve definitely been both of those people before. Just a little bit of background information on me. I grew up in a household where there were no boundaries, no Privacy. Everyone had access to my life. And specifically, my dad would tell me, I mean, he did sometimes, I guess, but he never outwardly said, I run your life. But that was what was going on. And the message, the underlying message that I received. And yeah, I didn’t have any boundaries. And so I remember being super deep in codependency when I first heard of boundaries, I was like, oh, my God, you can do that. You can place the boundary and state what you don’t want someone to do. And so that’s when I slipped into the super aggressive because in the past, nobody has ever respected my boundaries. So I thought I had to place boundaries, enforce them, enforce them. Like, if you do this, you’re out of my life. Right. And also would turn into taking my love away. Oh, you don’t fall into my boundary. We can’t be friends anymore. Super disconnected. So I can say that I’ve struggled with both of those before.

    You know, what I love about your little story is that if we ask your dad or the person who have this kind of behavior that are kind of controlling and pretty clear about what they want and they don’t want for you to do, they would say, I’m really good with boundaries, but the fact that he’s jumping your boundaries means that he’s not good with boundaries. Right? So if somebody is either letting others chomp their boundaries or they’re chomping others boundaries, that means they really suck about boundaries. They have no idea what they are.

    I think that was a key piece of information there. And so before we get any further into this talk, what exactly is a boundary like? How would you define a boundary?

    So we have a little handout. And that’s going to help. We’re going to follow that handouts.

    Surprise, we have another handout.

    So I keep adding it to. So if you go to the website relationshipalkemy.com, you have the podcast tab where you can it’s all refunded today, the little colors. You can find our previous podcast. You can go to free downloads and you can download the main podcast worksheets. And every week we keep adding stuff. So if you redownload it, you can redownload because we just added a couple of pages. And now you can go to the buy book tab where you can buy the book. And on page 74, you have the whole thing. So you can find all those handouts inside the book as well with examples and a little more breakdown on how to do it. Right. So those are the resources. And so your question was, what are boundaries? The first thing I would say is that so far we’ve been talking about there’s no right or wrong person. So we really bring forward this mindset that like in an intimate relationship, who’s right? Is it you or is it me? If I’m right, you’re wrong. And if you’re right, I’m wrong. So we’re letting go of that. There’s no right or wrong person, because each person is doing the best they can to meet their own needs.

    Right. But this is where it’s a little different. There are things that are right and wrong for me.

    Yeah. I think that’s a key point of knowledge here.

    So that’s how I would define boundaries, like what is right and wrong for me. And if you heard us say before, there’s no right and wrong, it doesn’t mean everything goes.

    Yeah. I think there’s this idea out there that I see especially in the spiritual community of being peaceful and loving and open. And yes, we can be all of those things and we can still have healthy boundaries and tapping into what works for us and what doesn’t work for us, and that doesn’t work for us. I’m like, sorry.

    Yeah. So this is really the fundamental, the core of this mindset of boundaries. It’s like, you’re free to do you and I’m free to do me. And we love each other, which means we’re trying to adapt and understand each other. But there are things that do not work for me, and there are things that do not work for you. Right. And those are the boundaries. And they’re not disconnecting, because I want to know what doesn’t work for you, and I want you to know what doesn’t work for me.

    Right.

    We went to our friends who had offering a little Puja.

    Yeah.

    And we had a little practice where people so people were practicing their boundaries. And this particular exercise, the person was supposed to say no. Whatever I would say. She would say no to it just for practice purposes. And I remember, like, I knew the other person would say no. So I was allowed to be assertive. So instead of going, Would you like to do this with me or would you agree, will it be okay for you to I knew the person will respond with strong boundaries, which means it allowed me to be assertive. So I want this. And I knew that they would say yes or no. In this case, they would say no. But then boundaries open for a more like, if I know you have strong boundaries, I can be more definite. Right. I don’t need to tiptoe. Or is it going to be okay? Because I’m not sure if you know it’s going to reel. No, that’s another benefit of it.

    I was going to say I view boundaries as like we’re playing a game and the boundaries are the rules of the game. And then once I think of it, like when we play the board game together, we read the rules first, and then that gives us total freedom to play this board game together. And I really like to think of boundaries as like, the rules to the board game.

    Yeah. So for me, there are two levels. All right? There’s the level of that you just explained, which is, okay, what are your boundaries? What are my boundaries? And then we can interact. Then there’s the other level, which is we’re beyond win wins. We’ve tried to come together, we’ve tried win wins. And this is still not working for me. So I need to place a healthy boundary with compassion, which means I’m not saying you’re wrong. I’m not saying you should not do what you’re doing. You have full agency to do whatever you’re doing. But this is not working for me, which means I’m going to need to decide a new course of action that removes negative impacts you have over me. So that would be like when you’re not getting your needs Mets and it’s detrimental. And when I say my needs mats or your needs Mets, remember, if you’ve watched previous episodes saying, I need you to do the dishes, it’s not a need, unfortunately. So I can’t force a boundary on that.

    Yeah, definitely.

    So my needs are not being met and it’s detrimental for me. So how can I change the scenario so that you continue being you? I still love you. I still love our connection, but I’m removing myself from being on the shortest end of that stick. Whatever, not being negatively impacted.

    All right, so let’s head over to our handout.

    Right.

    And let’s dive more into this topic. So first, we already discussed the right wrong mindset. And if this is something new to you, I definitely recommend checking out our other podcasts. We dive into this mindset really deeply, so I would check out some of our podcasts. The next one we’re going to get into is trauma.

    Yeah.

    So this is really interesting, this concept, and we see this particularly with our son. He is a great teacher, for boundaries because if he doesn’t want a kiss or a hug, he just puts his hand in our face and goes like, no, I don’t want it. He doesn’t say that, but it’s like, very clear, energetically, physically. Like, I don’t want this right now. I try to offer him a strawberry.

    He loves strawberries. Yeah, right. But sometimes we offer the strawberry because it pushes it away. It’s like his hand is an extension of his guts. Guts are yes or no. Right now it’s no. So it pushes it away. And so the key point here is right now.

    Right now.

    Not now. No. Right now. Five minutes later is going to be maybe yes, maybe no. It’s just in the moment that’s nothing to do with the person.

    Yeah.

    Also, the key point is, with our son, boundaries are natural and easy. Did you know that everyone’s like, hey, how do I learn boundaries? Guess what?

    You learn boundaries, probably within your first six months of your life and something happened that taught you that boundaries are not okay.

    Yeah.

    And this is kind of where we get into the trauma aspect of boundaries. So. Yeah. Who taught you that your boundaries were not valid? What has been normalized and who has overpowered you when you are trying to express your boundaries?

    That’s exactly the story you were telling us before.

    Yeah, definitely.

    So our son, seven months old, is like, no, an adult is trying to kiss him or I’m holding a kid and trying to hug somebody and the kid is like, go away.

    Yeah.

    So if somebody goes, take it personally, for example, I go, oh, your kid is so rude. Six months rude. Right. The kid has just rejected me. And so I go like, oh, bad kid. Don’t reject you need to be nice with people. Don’t reject them. Kids earthly confused.

    Yeah. I think this happens. I see this happening more frequently than you would think. Not happening. I mean, growing up, it was, go give Grandma hug. A hug. A kiss on the cheek. It’s like, I don’t want to do that. But it’s like, oh, be polite. You have to be a polite little girl and you have to do this well mannered. Yeah, well mannered.

    Think of your upbringing and think of all the moments. I mean, it’s totally natural for a six month old, for a year old, for a two year old to express their boundaries, to express their know, even just to practice it. Think of all the moments and all the people that might have overpowered that and try to think what are all the ways that I’ve been overpowered or denied my boundaries. So now I struggle with them. Makes sense.

    Yeah. All right. So the next part of healthy boundaries with compassion. I love this.

    Yeah.

    For me, this statement has allowed me to reframe taking things personally. Yeah. But basically the statement is, what are you saying yes to? So when you’re saying no to something. You’re saying yes to something else.

    Right. So if somebody is like, Come with us, we’re going to have fun. Let’s go hang out and do some drugs or go steal a car or something. You’re like, oh, peer pressure. What now or not? Something even closely dramatic to that. But if something I’m tired and I need rest. So you are saying yes. People don’t like to say no because they’re afraid of rejecting others. So instead of focusing on the no, try to find the yes. What are your yes to? So your yes to self care, your yes to private time?

    Yeah. I think a good example of this is in one of our workshops, we had this super cute couple, and they came to our boundaries workshop and they wanted to resolve one of their problems, which was talking in the morning. And one of them, she didn’t want to talk. She wanted only lightness. And the other couple was like, or the other person. And the couple wanted to do intense processing. Like, as soon as he woke up, he really process things verbally. So she would wake up and just be like, super overwhelmed. Like, Yo, I just woke up like, I need time and reframing this.

    So it’s like, don’t talk to me. That could end up with rejection.

    Yeah. And pointing. They were definitely triggering each other.

    They were on different rhythms.

    Yeah. They were just on different rhythms. And we brought this concept up like, okay, you’re saying no to him doing intense processing, but what are you saying yes to? And once she shared her yeses, and there was so much more harmony between the two of them because he stopped taking it so personal and they were able to get to like, okay, so what is acceptable? And once again, going back to the board game concept, like, okay, now they read the rules for the board game, and now they’re able to engage with each other in the morning without being super triggered.

    Yeah. So if you have somebody around you that is asking you for too much of your time, of your money and you’re feeling dried out, if you’re afraid of saying no because they might become manipulative and like, oh, why? But I need it. Won’t you do that for me? Don’t you love me anymore? Well, either you say no, and it’s a little hard to say no, but you can at least think, Well, I’m saying yes to self care, and I’m saying yes to me to nurturing my own energy. I’m saying yes to saving money for vacation, for my kids, College fund, for ease in life. Right. So if you’re saying no, it’s probably because you need to prioritize another value. And that’s why we have a list of values. Actually, you can go in the current documents if you download it.

    Also in our free handout, we have a list of your needs and values.

    So if you’re saying no to engaging or what the person is asking from you, are you saying yes to honesty, to integrity, to growth, to dignity? Are you saying yes to power, to independence, to self responsibility? If somebody is having a drinking problem or substance and they’re kind of not taking responsibility, they might be pushing hard, but you have a need for self accountability and self responsibility. So instead of pushing, you need to take responsibility. You’re like, well, I’m Dakini responsibility for myself, which is right now I’m going to do something else. That what you’re asking. Yeah. What is your yes. Okay, let me find out. Line again.

    So the next point that we have is a right to self agency. So you have the right to determine what is best for you.

    Yeah. Because boundary pushers tend to have us believe that what they think we should be or do is better. I’m thinking of your dad, maybe.

    Oh, yeah, definitely.

    I’m running your life because I know more than you. Okay. And because you don’t know as much as I do. Yeah. You don’t know enough for yourself.

    Yeah.

    Therefore, so right there. Chomping right to self agency. Did you say self agency or just agency? Right to agency. I wasn’t sure. I’m French.

    I mean, I like self agency.

    Yeah. It’s clear. Make it extra clear.

    Yeah.

    So try to track where the other person is stealing away your right to self agency.

    And I love this because it really feels empowering right now. I know what’s best for me. You know what’s best for you, and I’m going to respect that about you. But you need to respect this about me.

    Exactly. If you decide that for yourself, I believe that I know what’s best for me and that you know what’s best for you, then I’m going to empower that. I’m going to embody that, and I’m going to demonstrate how it looks like.

    And I think it’s really a gift to other people coming from relating with people who didn’t have as much self accountability or self agency. I think it’s really hot.

    Wow.

    You are responsible for yourself fully. Wow. That is so hot. Because I’m fully responsible for myself. And, yeah, that really turns me on.

    It doesn’t mean self reliability in the sense of, well, you know, I’m on my own and you’re on your own. We come together as equal, powerful people.

    And I think there’s I’ve heard a little bit of some people arguing, like, codependency isn’t bad because we’re meant to rely on each other. But code dependency really takes away self accountability and self agency versus, like, interdependence, which is. Yes. We don’t need to be 100%. Like, I’m Super independent. I don’t rely on no man, which I’ve definitely gone through that phase before. And we can still be interdependent. We need to be interpreted literally the most normal thing out there. But don’t mix, like, interdependence with codependence of there’s no self accountability and now suddenly we become accountable for someone else’s lack of boundaries or someone else’s drinking problem or et cetera. The list goes on.

    So good dependency is going to be a whole other surprise. It needs to have its own place. But just a little nugget here. What is the difference between codependency and interdependency, right. To self agency?

    Yes.

    Right.

    Write that one down in your notes, folks. So our last point and I think this is the best point, is there’s no justification like your boundaries are not to be questioned. And saying because I said so is a perfectly okay response.

    So there’s nuance to that.

    But yes, let’s go into that because my dad, I would ask him why do I have to do this? And my dad would say, because I said so. Let’s go into this.

    Yeah. If I say, well, I need you to do the dishes. Okay. I need you to do the dishes.

    Why?

    Because I said so, right? Because I said so would be like overpowering her. Like my will is more important than yours. You need to submit or rebel. So we’re definitely against that. Big warning on that because I said so for you to XYZ. Big warning on that, either for you to do or to be on the receiving end of that.

    However, if you are engaged with someone who might be a boundary pusher and not like in a malicious sense, but there is a lot of programming out there and it comes from a deep ingredient program. Just saying, yeah, because I said so.

    Yeah. If I say no, I’m not going to do that and the other person goes, Why? Because I said so and there’s no justification beyond that. Well, because I think it’s more important than because I would like to know all that will be justification. So if you want to do something for yourself, then if you want to do something for yourself or you don’t want to do something for yourself just because I said so. No need for justification.

    Yeah. I think I definitely get trapped in this a lot. Specifically with my dad. I’m definitely still working on setting boundaries with my family members who disrespect my boundaries. But I definitely tend to jump into justification of like, well, I need you to do this because of this because of this. And then that would help me out. And it’s really just like because I don’t need to go into justification. But you know, I also feel this like sense of like, I mean this is what the person who’s overpowered me my whole life. So I feel the need to like, oh, I need to make it make sense logically. So then he’ll respect me.

    Right. Which is a hole because it’s been very reasonable and logical.

    Anyway.

    So usually boundary pushers are not reasonable and they are not logical, which means if you try logic and reason with them, it will not work so just drop it. No reason, no logic. It’s just because I have the right to self agency, and I can decide whatever I want for myself without just having to justifying it. Yeah. Feel good. All right, last point. I know I didn’t put it in bold, but the way to avoid disconnection is to differentiate the being from the behavior. So if I’m saying no, if I want to say no, and I’m like, oh, but they’re going to feel rejected, or if I want to say no, but I don’t want to disconnect and like, I don’t love you anymore. Really pay attention to this. You can love the being unconditionally, but you can place firm boundaries on the behavior. And this is key to the formula that we have following now. It’s like, I love you, I care about you, I care about our connection. And yet there’s a behavior that doesn’t work for me. So I’m going to need to reframe things for myself if I need to shoulder some things that I don’t want to shoulder, and I’m going to reframe things because that’s not working for me.

    But I still love your being unconditionally being behavior.

    And I think this is a really crucial concept when dealing with, in my case, family members. I’ve definitely had family members reach out and kind of, like, test my boundaries. And when I say, yeah, that doesn’t work for me, it’s like, oh, you hate me. You hate me. In going into this whole guilt, guilt, which I’ve definitely been guilt tripped so many times about that. But yeah, there’s just like, oh, you don’t care about me. Don’t you love me anymore? Like, you doing this shows you don’t love me.

    Disregarded my wants and my needs. Yeah.

    Like, how dare you? And this concept really helps me, like, okay, I still love you. I love your spirit, I love your being.

    And yeah, family member.

    Imagine family. There’s this really deep.

    Deep connected for life. What can you do?

    Unfortunately, not sure yet. But, yeah, you can tell them like, yeah, I love you unconditionally.

    So it starts with your own thoughts. So if you go like, wow, my brother is such a piece of work. It’s just too hard for me. You’re rejecting the being. Yeah, but if you go like, you know, I love my brother, and I continue loving him all my life or all his life, but sometimes his behavior is just too much for me. I have to remove myself from what’s happening. It’s a subtle but very important switch.

    Yeah, write that one down, too. All right, so the good thing about boundaries is it does offer some selfreflection.

    Yeah. So how can you place boundaries? Well, remember, we always advocate for that. You can’t go out and communicate before you know yourself. So first you need to do a little exercise of self refraction before you can communicate accurately.

    So the little exercise that we have here, the first step is how are you feeling?

    Always. So forget the story.

    Yes, forget the story.

    The story is just a trailhead to your feelings. And you need.

    Yes, go deeper into the feelings. Once again, we have that handy dandy feeling sheet on our free handout. It’s also in Olivier’s book, if you want to purchase that.

    So I feel frazzled. I feel aggravated, exasperated, or I feel overwhelmed, numb or frozen. Somebody’s trying to press against my boundaries. I’m blanking. Perfectly acceptable.

    The next question is what values are being crossed and what impact does it have on you? Can you explain that a little bit more?

    So feelings and needs, right? So story is okay. They stole my lunch.

    Feelings are I feel sad and hungry.

    Needs. What are the needs?

    Sustenance would be the need.

    Here, let’s take an example. I love this example. We used it before, which is our friend who voiced that at one of the classes. I love it. So she was friends with somebody else and they decided to move in together because they really love each other. And so it’s fun to live together. And so they would shop for food together. I think our friend was on the lease. And so the other person would give her money to pay for rent, and then she would come home, open the fridge, and all the food will be gone. And then she would receive the rent money from her friend ten days later. Right. So feelings could be angry or blindsided or really confused and torn between the love and the negative impact. So what values are being crossed? Values are paying rent on timeliness, timeliness, responsibility, self accountability. What impact does it have on you? Well, I need to place the money for the rent first and get reimbursed ten days later. Ouch. It impacts my finances very difficult. Makes sense.

    So the next step is what are you saying no to? And what are you saying yes to?

    Right.

    Yeah. So going back to the example, what are you saying no to? I’m saying no to feeling stressed out. Yeah. I’m saying no to shouldering a large financial responsibility. That’s not mine.

    To shoulder loan to responsibility.

    But then what are you saying yes to? I’m saying yes to self accountability. To not shouldering the rent alone, to peace of mind, even.

    Financial security.

    Yeah. Financial security for myself. Right. And then we have a little bonus. What do you guess they’re making more important?

    So in this mindset, remember the very first point? There’s no right, no wrong mindset. It would be easy to go. Like this person is so irresponsible and disrespectful. They are really wrong in this case. Well, we haven’t talked to them yet. They might have a perfectly not logical reasonable. But if we start understanding the reality, it might make sense. Well, I’m really struggling and every time it’s really hard for me and I don’t know what’s the reality. So no. Right. Wrong. So if they’re not wrong, then can we be curious and understand their reality? And if they’re not capable of voicing it clearly because they haven’t taken our cars well, then try to guess if it’s available. It’s not always available when we’re angry or really like, this is really not working for me. It might be really difficult to imagine the other person’s reality and why they would be acting in this way. But this is the key to stay connected.

    And I really like this activity because when it really challenges you, if you want to push your communication skills just a little bit further, trying to guess what they’re making more important or where they’re coming from really allows for more empathy and for more connection. And I think that’s the whole point of this is healthy boundaries with compassion.

    Yeah.

    And understanding someone else’s circumstances or situation or even their mindset, you’re really able to empathize for somebody.

    It’s important to have it in your mind before you open your mouth, because if you don’t have it, you’re going to go, I’m tired of you being so disrespectful and immature and irresponsible. So if you don’t pay rent on time next time and they are going to be defensive because in their reality they’re doing the best they can. So we’re not creating connections. So just having this little hint and saying, I imagine you’re trying your best to pay rent on time and to be good friends with me and neutral connection. You’re not making them wrong. You imagine they’re doing the best they can. You imagine they’re right in their world. But there’s something that’s not right for me and the boundary is going to drop here, which is what action can you yeah.

    This is the next step here, which is super important. What action can meet your needs even if it doesn’t come from that person.

    Right. So the first idea would be, well, you need to pay rent on time. So the action that I need is for you XYZ, to prevent on time.

    So how would you reframe that in a sense where it’s not placed on someone else? Once again, going back to self accountability.

    Yeah. So they’re going to do what they’re going to do. And I praise you for doing whatever you want to do. But for me, it’s not working, which means I’m going to need to take a new course of action. Either I’m going to pay my half, we need to be both on the list on the lease. So you’re responsible for yourself and I’m just going to pay my half and it’s going to be your responsibility to pay your half and you’re going to deal with the boss or whoever you need to be responsible with. Or what am I willing to do and not to do? Maybe I need to move out. Maybe you need to move out. We need to revisit this agreement. Disagreement is not working for me. So I need a new agreement. If they’re not waiting to you still need to take a course of action that reframes the agreement and that you get your needs back.

    Yeah. So the next part is a follow up to that of what consequence can you commit to without punishing the other? And I think the key phrase here is without punishing the other. Because just speaking on my personal experience there was this consequence punishment mindset growing up and going back to my dad saying well because I told you so and then going like why? Because I said so and then if I wouldn’t do it, I would be punished.

    Right.

    So once again, that is not a healthy strategy for placing a boundary. So in this example, maybe a consequence can be, well if this happens again, I’m going to need to move out to protect myself.

    Yeah.

    Once again, I love you.

    It’s not a punishment. On the other, it’s like I’m taking care of myself. That’s nothing to do with you.

    And I see the consequence part often times for me being the hardest to uphold.

    Yeah.

    Because I can say the boundary, I can formulate all I want but then like oh, how do I back it up? So it’s not just talk.

    Yes. And if the person say oh yeah, no problem, I will do it. I love you so much. Don’t worry. And then it happens again.

    Right?

    What’s it going to do? So words and intentions are great but actions is where it lands and the rubber meets the road.

    Yes.

    The most important part is so once you set it once, twice, you clear with what works for you, what doesn’t work for you in the consequence, not the consequence on them but the consequence that you’re going to do for yourself. Then the third time you don’t need to do or explain anything, you just do it. It’s like I love you, I’m moving out by and let’s have dinner together after I move out.

    Yeah.

    Because I really want to nurture our connection in a new way. Since living together didn’t work, that’s fine. I still love you as a friend. Let’s go hiking together. No punishment, right. No rejection of the being, just change of your behavior so that their behavior does not impact you.

    So once again we do kind of have a little formula that you can use. We kind of have alluded to it the whole time.

    So self, sorry, selfreflection tells you it’s just in your head so you know where you’re coming from and now you can speak it out.

    Yeah. So once you do that process, maybe write down Journal some stuff, what comes up, what do you see inside of you?

    I really recommend that process to not loop in the story. Yeah, right. Enough of story that’s going to feel what I can do, what I cannot do. Where are they coming from, what’s happening with them? And if that doesn’t change what I’m going to do.

    Yes. So after you have some self reflection, let’s communicate it. Let’s communicate it. So the first step that we have is give an authentic reassurance that you care.

    Right.

    So once again, this is the I love you, I care about our connection. I love when we do XYZ.

    Yeah. So for example, the rent things like I love you and I love that we move together and that gives me a much more intimate experience with you. And I revalue that. Or I love when we go out for dinner. One other typical scenario is when the other has some substance like alcohol or some substance addiction or too much for you. It might not be too much for them, but it might be too much for you. It might be right for them, but it’s not right for you. So that’s kind of by the book. Typical thing. So let’s say the person says, hey, let’s go out to dinner. My girlfriend, I want to take you out for dinner on Saturday. And on Saturday, either they show up an hour late or they drunk or they under substance. It’s like I love when we go out together because I love a connection over dinner, watching movie, or going to the theater.

    Second step is express what you care about in your values.

    Yeah.

    So this sounds like what’s important to me is and then you would insert your need or value there.

    What’s important to me is that when we spend time together, we’re present to each other. Right. So I value quality time. Quality time. I value quality time. Both sides in my heart when we have quality time, I love it for the rent. It’s like, you know, I have a great time living with you. We have dinner sometimes we Cook together, we do activities together. You know, I love all that. That was point number one. But I also value my financial stability. Yeah. What’s important to me is my financial stability.

    And so the next step here would be to reassure them that they have full agency over themselves.

    So if I’m free to do whatever I want, then I got to allow them to do whatever they want.

    Yeah.

    So for the rent thing, it’s like you’re free to spend your money the way you want. You’re free to pay on the 10th if you want for the substance, it’s like you’re free to drink how much you want. You’re free to show up an hour late if you want. You’re free to arrive whenever you choose to arrive.

    Yeah. And then the fourth step would express the impact that the behavior has on you. And this can sound like but I feel. And then you would insert the uncomfortable feeling here. Yeah. This is where you just share by this person crossing your boundary. This is how you feel afterwards.

    What’s the negative impact on you? That’s why the self refraction is so important because you’re going to have them ready to go.

    You’re already going to have them in your mind.

    You’re free to arrive an hour late. You’re free to drink as much as you want. You’re free to pay the rent ten days on the 10th instead of the first. But I feel stressed out. Like what’s important to me is quality time. If you arrive an hour later, I feel abandoned. I feel lonely. I feel anxious around the house for an hour. This is really impacting me really bad. Ten days later, it’s like I have to show the ten days of money that I don’t have. I’m sorry. Struggling with money. Right. So negative impact on you.

    And the fifth step would be to express what you’re not willing to do and what is important to you. So this would be your. Yes.

    So this is what I can do. This is what I cannot do. Okay. So I cannot rent money on the 10th. I cannot shoulder money for ten days. I can’t do that. I can pay on the ten being an hour late. After 30 minutes, I’m onto something else. I’m done with this. I have to replant my evening alcohol. What’s important to me is that we’re present with each other. If that doesn’t happen, I need to do something where I’m present with what’s happening and I can’t be in your presence.

    And then the 6th step would be to express a consequence, not a punishment. And this sounds like if this continues, I will.

    Right. So money. If this continues and I’m not getting the rent money on the first, I need to move out. Or if you want to move out, that’s fine with me as well. Being late for an hour. If this continues after 45 minutes, I’m going to do something else and we’re going to have to reschedule. I still want to connect with you. I still love going out to the theater and having dinner with you. But after three minutes, it’s not going to happen. We’re going to have to reschedule. The door will be locked. I will be gone. Right. And for alcohol, if I smell alcohol or you have more than and you measure something, if you are more than a glass, then you’re free to have it. But then don’t come engaging with me because that doesn’t work with me for me. Right. So if that happens, we’ll have to reschedule. I will lock my door and text me and we will reschedule something for a different day when you don’t have that much substance inside of you.

    Yeah. And the last step of this, and I think this is the most important step, is being present with the other person’s response. And once again, not defending. So no justification, no defensiveness. This is just me. And this is what works for me. And if that doesn’t work for you.

    Yeah. Why? But I’m feeling like that’s.

    Why?

    Because I said so because this is what works for me. If you want connection with me, this is what needs to happen.

    Yeah. I really like this is what works because this is what works for me.

    Yeah. Otherwise go engage with somebody else and when you’re ready for me, come to me.

    Yeah. Those are all of our steps and I mean it’s. Sure it sounds good. In theory it sounds easy once we have this joke like it’s so simple. Why does not everyone do it? It sounds so simple. But once again actively doing this in your life, it does take work. It is a process.

    Which circles back to the second point which was trauma. If you can’t do any of this, if it sounds so I mean if you have the formula and you still try it, it’s not working. Probably it comes from trauma. Somebody taught you that this process cannot happen and your mind is trying to make it happen. But somewhere in your system it’s too dangerous because the consequence is going to be too dire. But not in the present. When you were six, when you were twelve and all of a sudden you’re six again. You’re twelve again. You’re 17 again and you can’t do it. Yeah, that is trauma.

    I definitely have lots of trauma around it and you can be 35.

    55, 95 and still have that same problem until you address it. It will stay there.

    Definitely. So we hope you found this helpful. I definitely recommend if you’re just listening to this, I definitely recommend checking out the handout. It will make more sense seeing it all written out. Once again it’s on our free downloads page, right@relationshipalkemy.com. Just go ahead and click on download worksheets. It’s all there.

    So there’s only one sign up and you get access to everything. Okay.

    And once again if you enjoy this podcast and it’s in the book.

    The book is the complete version.

    Yes. So once again if you enjoy this podcast please give us a five star rating. Subscribe share it with all of your homies. Share it with your parents next time I place the balls.

    Really you know what’s going to happen.

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