I was talking with a friend of mine last week, a fellow female entrepreneur. Her business is delivering aesthetic services at reasonable prices. She makes it financially feasible for her clients to feel a little more beautiful.
She was lamenting to me about some issues she is having around some recent changes to her business hours.
Over her 5 years in business many clients had repeatedly asked for favors, like late evening appointments and weekend appointments, which were outside her posted business hours. She'd been known to try and accommodate and to stop at the office with her boys in tow, seeing a client on the way to a sport tournament or other family outing. She told me about a client who had asked to come in on Christmas Eve for services. Wanting to help, she said “Sure” and did the clients botox at her home. She want’s to take care of people.
But, one day on one of those after hours appointments she looked at her boys and realized they won’t be home forever and she just didn’t want to miss anymore.
So, she’s finally taking control of her hours, and setting a boundary,
“I work my posted hours and that is it” she says. “If you ask me for an after hours appointment, I will say no.”
She’s much happier but, not all of her clients are happy for her. A couple have protested on Yelp having issues with her new hours and her new badass attitude. Yep, leaving negative reviews. (I think everyone should understand how damaging negative reviews can be online think before you post my friends, but I digress…..)
I applauded her for her new boundaries but cautioned her to be sure to not cave for anyone. “If you give in and see someone outside of your hours, even once, your boundary may never again be respected” I told her.
You see, people who don’t have boundaries themselves don’t like them, not at all. But , you’ve got to stand firm, if they don’t honor your boundaries then the relationship may need some rethinking.
You see Lovelies, boundaries are a crucial component of your self love tool kit.
Boundaries at their best teach people how to treat us. Sometimes there are consequences but, ultimately, a good boundary will benefit you and the boundary offender.
Do you need to set some boundaries in your life?
Where do you feel stress?
It may be an area that needs a boundary.
Boundaries may be needed around your time, energy, talent and how people treat you. Boundaries are never to be used as punishment or manipulation. They are to protect you physically and emotionally.
Do you allow people to yell at you?
Smoke around you?
Drink and drive with you in the car?
All areas where boundaries may be necessary.
Ultimately boundaries are self love but they are also good for the person you are setting the boundary with sometimes they aren’t aware they are causing you any discomfort.
For example, maybe you have a friend who is always texting and driving with you in the car. Whenever you ride with her you are stressed, this is a good place for a boundary. Now, this could be a sensitive conversation, your friend probably has no idea that you feel like this. You could be worried that expressing your boundary will be uncomfortable, you don’t want to hurt her feelings or damage your friendship. But, ultimately it shows how much you care about preserving the relationship by speaking up.
Your boundary may be "If you text and drive with me in the car, I am going to get out of the car and call an uber" . Whatever your consequence is you have to be totally prepared to follow through on it.
Here are some questions to ask yourself if you are considering establishing a personal boundary.
What is the boundary violation?
What is the boundary you want to set?
The Request: If you…
The Consequence: Then I will…
Do you have any fear around establishing this boundary?
How will you feel after you establish this boundary, how will you benefit?
How will you set the boundary?
How will you ensure you honor your boundary?
I’d love to hear if you decide some boundaries are needed in your life and how you go about setting them. xo
ROBIN MCALLISTER ZAAS IS A LIFE COACH IN COLUMBUS, OHIO.
She focuses on weight loss in a new way that breaks the typical "dieting" mold. With products like Not Your Sister's Diet, Robin can help you discover a healthy relationship with food and most importantly—with yourself. To kickstart your (re)self-discovery journey, try Robin's free Coach In My Pocket for daily inspiration that will encourage you to be born brave again. (Hint: You were always born brave.)