Tag Archives: wants

How to Create Balanced Boundaries: Say “Yes” to Your Heart’s Desires

The other day I heard from a teacher of mine something about boundaries that I hadn’t heard before.

She said that for many of us when we are learning about boundaries we interpret it as if it’s about knowing when to say no.  We think its about checking in with ourselves and knowing when to say “no” instead of “yes” all the time to all these demands and favors that others ask of us.  We think it’s about saying “no” to others so that we can say “yes” to ourselves.

But, as she said, that’s not what boundaries truly are.  She said that boundaries are about knowing when to say yes as well as no.

To set boundaries means to make it known what we do want in our relationships rather than what we don’t want.


This got me thinking — and, upon further reflection, I find this to be incredibly true.  I have seen many people (myself included) get caught up in setting too strong of boundaries by saying no so much that it cuts us off from truly having healthy, fulfilling and satisfying relationships.  We find ourselves frustrated, stressed, and unfulfilled all over again but we can’t figure out exactly why.

We think that we’ve done all the right things because we’ve made it known as to what we don’t want.  The problem is that we haven’t admitted to ourselves — and others — what we do want.

So how can we begin to set more balanced boundaries?  How can we begin to set boundaries that place equal importance on what we don’t want and what we do want?

The following steps will help you begin to establish boundaries that are more open to satisfying the desires of your heart so you can create more openly loving connections.

Check in with your heart’s desires.

Ask yourself: What is it that I desire in my relationships?  What is my soul craving to experience?  How would I like to deepen my relationship(s)?  How do I want to be more intimate with a certain person?

If you are having trouble with this, sometimes it’s easier to flip the question around by asking: What am I unsatisfied with?  What do I wish other people would do?  What do I wish existed in my relationship that doesn’t exist now?

Maybe you desire to have a deeper connection with someone.  Maybe you desire to feel like you are a part of a community.  Don’t try to make it complicated.  Just one word or a short phrase can be enough to establish what you desire.

Establish a list of what it is that you do want.

Once you have realized what your heart truly desires, then the next step is to create a list of all the practical things that you can do to satisfy your desires.

So, for instance, if you want to feel like you are part of a community that feels like a  “second family” then maybe you can to join some kind of group with similar interests.  Or if you desire a deeper connection with someone, then maybe you can reflect on what a current relationship where you would like it to be more intimate on an emotional level.  Another example could be that you simply want a romantic partner because you don’t have one right now.

Discover what it is that you can do to create more of that in your relationships.

One of the keys to remember in creating boundaries is that we want to be personally responsible for our own desires.  So if we want a certain relationship to become more intimate then we need to step up and be the guide.  We have to initiate it.  For instance, that doesn’t mean doing something like telling the other person to be more vulnerable (because that’s totally codependent, by the way).  Instead, it means to be more vulnerable ourselves to set the example for the other person to reciprocate.

Now, of course, that doesn’t guarantee that the other person is in the same place that you are.  It doesn’t meant that they are ready to move to that next stage in the relationship, but it does open the door for the possibility in a respectful and healthy way.

So ask yourself: What is it that I can do today, tomorrow, next week or next month to say “yes” to my desire?  What can I do to make it known to the universe what it is that I do want?

Take action now!

In the comments below, share what it is that your heart currently desires.  What desire to do you have that you need to start saying “yes” to?

What To Do When Someone Gives You Unsolicited Advice

Unsolicited Advice: We’ve all received it at some point in our lives and we’ve all given it as well. In some few cases, if we didn’t know enough about the circumstance to ask for advice then we are appreciative if someone tells us – but those moments are few and far between.

The majority of the time we feel that the other person is trying to take our own power away. We feel as if they belief that we are not capable of taking care of ourselves and knowing what we need. The advice gives us a feel that we have some of our own freedom and autonomy taken away. As a result, we get angry, we get frustrated, we think thoughts like “What gives this person the right to tell me what to do? They don’t even know what’s REALLY going on!”

Though these thoughts and emotions are very much so real and should be acknowledged, its not like we want explode all of those raw feelings out to the other person. The trick is in making our feelings known through a boundary, while also doing it in a respectful manner so the other person doesn’t immediately feel attacked.

The way we respond can vary greatly depending on the context: who the person is, what they are giving advice on, the nature of your relationship with them, and so on. However, there are some statements that can work pretty universally. Here are some examples

– I appreciate your concern, but I don’t need your advice.

– Sorry, but I don’t need advice with this right now.

– I know that you care, but all I need right now is a listening ear – not advice.

– I know you are concerned about me in this situation, but I do not feel that your advice is helpful right now. I’d really appreciate it if you would just listen

– I know you’re trying to help, but I don’t feel that I need advice right now. I’d appreciate it if you’d just accept it and let me learn on my own. I will ask you for advice when and if I feel that I need it.

Though you can use these exact statements, you can also create your own based on the guidelines of the statements I’ve listed above. Here are some guidelines to follow:

Acknowledge the other person’s feelings.

By acknowledging the other person’s point of view, it helps to “cushion” things a bit so that they are more willing and open to hear what you have to say. If we don’t do this, the other person is much more likely to get defensive and not hear you.

State your feelings.

Please make a special note with this that I said your feelings rather than thoughts. I feel that this is key. If we say things like “I don’t like your advice” then that’s a thought that we have. If we shift it around and say “I feel that I don’t need advice right now” it becomes much less attacking. In some rare cases of more intimate relationships, we may be able to go so far as to say something like “Your advice makes me feel like I’m not competent in taking care of myself”. This is MUCH more vulnerable (both for you and the relationship in general), so I wouldn’t encourage to jump into that right away. However, I do feel that it is something worth striving for relationships – especially the ones that are more intimate by nature, like with a partner or family member.

Say what you want instead.

This can be optional, but in doing so it helps to lighten the load quite a bit. If a person is giving you advice, then obviously its because on some level they really care and want you to be okay and do well. If you tell them what you would like for them to do INSTEAD, it gives them the opportunity to still be helpful. It also helps to clear out any confusion that they might have.  Stating what you want instead also HELPS YOU because it encourages you to stand in your own personal empowerment. Doing so encourages you to really fully take charge by knowing and saying exactly what you want.

Overall, when it comes to figuring out how to set a boundary and make you feelings known with someone who has given you unsolicited advice, ask yourself: “How would I feel if someone said this to me?”

This method isn’t “bullet proof” because we are all very different in our preferences. We can also be skewed in our honest opinion of how we would react if someone told that to us because we are more focus on our own aggravated feelings right now. Yet, sometimes doing the whole “put yourself in someone else’s shoes” can help us figure out the best way to word things because it encourages us to step out of ourselves and look at it from an outside perspective.

Finally, pick your battles. If you feel that some unsolicited advice has really aggravated you, then say something. ESPECIALLY if the relationships is very important to you. The reason I say this is because if we don’t say it it becomes repressed and those angry feelings may come out in some other way in the relationship down the road. By sharing what you genuinely feel and want, it helps to “clear the slate”.

Unsolicited Advice

Click to Tweet: It’s better to let your thoughts and feelings be out in the open rather than to hold on to them and have a “blow up” later. @jenilyn8705.

If the relationship is not necessarily a close one, then really check in on how you feel. It may actually be EASIER or a good way to “practice” if it is someone you don’t know very well. Yet, if you know the person may have some toxic behavior patterns and doing so may cause you too much stress, then you may want to hold off. Ultimately, it’s up to you and how you feel. Just remember to be mindful.

Set your boundaries today!

Think of a time when someone has given you unsolicited advice.  Imagine the situation replaying in your head.   FULLY imagine it — make it as real as possible.  Now imagine what you could have done differently that would’ve worked.  What could you have said or how could you have responded to make this person understand how you feel and what you’d like from this person instead without hurting them.  It may take a few tries to fully get an idea.

What did you come up with?  What could you have said differently?  Share below!