Answer these questions with a score from 1 to 10.
1. Do you prevent people from taking advantage of you?
2. Do you stick to your No decisions?
3. Do you mostly feel free from imposition?
Discuss the reasons for any noteworthy score, and your relationship generally with the word No.
Do you prevent people from taking advantage of you?
“That’s not fair!” we proclaim as a heartfelt complaint against injustice in the world. And we do it again and again as though we are surprised, unable to grasp a simple truth that actually life doesn’t dish up justice very often. People mostly take what they can and somehow find a way to justify that as OK… unless we stop them. It is for us to make our boundaries clear and enforceable so that others respect us and our choices. If we don’t do that, well then actually it’s our problem.
Do you stick to your No decisions?
A true No is strong and consistent, not often changed by the persuasive voice of another. If it isn’t, then it’s just not real and will be frequently challenged or ignored. It doesn’t work to offer a wishy-washy hint at No. Let it be said clearly, firmly and once, then the tone of voice, the posture of body and expression of face will convey certainty and be respected.
Do you mostly feel free from imposition?
Whatever we may think we’re doing to keep strong boundaries, it is important to notice how we feel. If unable to be true to the inner self, then somewhere our personal boundaries are compromised. This could be because we are projecting a false image – one that pleases parents, bosses and peers – and pretending all is well instead of clearly refusing to play their silly game. The resultant discomfort and inconvenience of making a stand is temporary, and more than compensated by the sense of dignity that develops within us.