Oftentimes, perhaps unintentionally, our loved ones or people we know will begin to project their stuff onto us. And then that round of comments becomes a predictable storyline. We think, “ah, hell, I don’t want to go home for Thanksgiving because Aunt Edna is going to lament yet again that it is such a shame that I am not married yet” (meanwhile, Aunt Edna just wrapped her fifth divorce– see, totally her stuff, I tell you!).
And you are right to think that Aunt Edna is going to say something to you because, well, that’s what Aunt Edna does and no one has ever told her that that wasn’t okay.
Oops. I think your stomach might have just flip-flopped. I promise it is going to be okay.
The thing about people who make inappropriate comments is that they just don’t know they are inappropriate (or this is what I am telling myself) and they can’t know it until someone teaches them. And so it is on you, dear one. As much as you want your mom, dad, sister, brother, niece, nephew, someone else to stand up for you, it is up to you. You are the one who has to teach people how to treat you. You are the one that has to set boundaries. But here is the good news. Notice I said boundaries not chasms. I just want you to give Aunt Edna just a little bit of gentle push back not a big ole shove that will leave Aunt Edna in the bathroom crying.
Today: Consider the sometimes biting remarks you hear from other people that really just reflect their own stuff (revisit yesterday’s list). Now, I want you to consider a suitable comeback to each one of them that sets a boundary with that person that says, “This isn’t an okay conversation to be having” but doesn’t alienate the relationship (because, let’s face it, these comments often come from people we have to continue to see in some context– a co-worker, sibling, in-law, etc.). Write a comeback for each remark.
Here are some examples that might help you (or that you are welcome to use).
This isn’t an appropriate conversation to have. I am not mad at you, but I am getting off the phone.
I am actually quite happy with my life right now. I am sorry that you aren’t. (or I wish that you would be).
I like my body. Fortunately for both of us, I am the one who most needs to be happy with it.
Now, periodically practice your comebacks so you are prepared to use your boundary setting language
1. What is your favorite boundary setting language?
2. How did it feel to consider setting boundaries with others?
3. What more do you need to be prepared to teach people how to treat you?
Remember your comment here about your completion of this challenge enters you into the giveaways for great prizes!
Excited about this journey? Want more? Pick up Beautiful You: A Daily Guide to Radical Self-Acceptance for a year long plan and guidance.
Want to give feedback on your shine experience so far? Take just a few minutes to answer this survey to help me determine how to improve shine and other experiences like this in the future!