Have you noticed that personal boundaries seem to be more easily crossed at those times?
Because there are usually more people and stress levels are higher, it seems to be…
Personal Boundaries that Get Crossed
- Over indulging in food and alcohol (crossing your own personal boundaries)
- Comments on people’s financial or employment status
- Weightist comments “You’re too fat. Don’t eat that” or “You’re too thin. Eat something!”
- Responsibility for the main celebration thrust onto one person’s shoulders
Even if someone doesn’t intentionally cross your boundary, it hurts. My mother-in-law from my first marriage was a lovely woman. She unfortunately had some very negative beliefs about weight. Her idea of helping me and my then husband was to WEIGH us after holiday meals!
She thought she was helping us. She had NO intention of hurting our feelings. My feelings were hurt, though, very much. Needless to say, that only happened a few times until I finally mustered up enough Courage to tell her that NO WAY was she going to WEIGH me ever again!
How Do You Set Clear Cut Boundaries?
Refuse to be a victim or a doormat
Find your voice; don’t be afraid to stand up for yourself. You don’t need to be mean, just firm about how you expect to be treated
Come from a place of integrity-know that you have a right and an obligation to protect yourself
Know that you deserve respect. It is a basic human right and you do deserve to be treated with respect, don’t you?
I was talking to a client the other day, who expressed concern about even planning a Christmas dinner. She was not able to ask for help in any meaningful way that would result in her actually getting the help she needed. She was overwhelmed. Does any of this sound familiar to you?
A Simple Strategy to Take the Stress Out of Holiday Meals
If you are the one hosting the family party, the entire preparation does not need to be your responsibility.
1. Make a list of foods that you are comfortable having other people bring (potluck all the way, less work and easier on the wallet!)
2. Use paper plates if it is going to make the clean up easier (especially if you are hosting more than 10 people). Paper tablecloths and napkins fit in here, too
3. Post a roster of clean up duties and invite your family matters to sign up before you serve the meal
4. Use disposable foil pans that you can throw out afterwards
5. Position your garbage cans and recycling containers in easily accessible locations
6. Prep the food that you can, (safely), ahead of time by a day or two. You can even freeze some dishes
If your family is used to you doing everything, you might find some resistance to change from them. Be firm and accept that it is important for you to make that change.
When you have a deep seated belief that you are deserving of love and respect, it will be simpler to set boundaries for how people treat you. In fact, once you have that belief, and act on it, people will treat you differently, you’ll see, won’t you?
As a completely reformed natural doormat, I am telling you it can be done…..You will enjoy the holidays more when you allow yourself to.
“Drive your own life…you deserve to, don’t you?” Sherie Venner
**Photo by Slideshow Bruce
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