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  • Regina Stafford

​Watch Out for the Monkey

This week’s blog is dedicated to all the control enthusiasts and “get it done” people. You guys ‘n gals are the ones who rarely say no to anyone, and you do more than you need to be doing. You enjoy helping others, and some of those people are only too happy to allow you. One of the pitfalls of being a nice person, a generous person, is the lack of personal boundaries and not knowing how to assess when to say no. When a nice person is taken advantage enough times, you’ll hear statements like “I’m never doing anything for anyone again”. They feel frustrated, as though their generosity has been abused.  Is the answer to stop being nice to people? How can one who enjoys being helpful and giving, do so without being taken advantage of? The answer is by having boundaries. In my life, all the roles I play, call for me to give of myself. Coupled with having a generous nature, I had to learn boundaries in order to stay true to my personality and not be annoyed with the takers. A few of the things I’ve learned that have proven helpful, are asking myself questions.  To give an example, if during a work situation there is someone who always asks for your help with something or asks you to do it for them; instead of just automatically dropping everything and doing it (as if what you are doing is unimportant), you could try asking yourself these questions:

                      This is a great question for personal relationships where we tend to take                      on the responsibility for other people’s reactions or feelings. If I’m being respectful and honoring, as I do what I need to do, then it’s up to the other person how they choose to handle it. That’s not on me. I heard an old Polish proverb years ago, one of my favorites.  It helps remind me to protect my boundaries. It says, “Not my monkey, not my circus.” Beware! Sometimes that cute little monkey tries to jump onto your shoulder and pull you into someone else’s circus. Don’t get me wrong; I do believe it’s important to be kind, thoughtful and giving to others. I also think it’s important not to be a doormat for people to walk on. Kind and generous people are usually the ones who tend to take on responsibility for a lot more than they actually need to, which causes them grief. Do you know that we teach people how to treat us by how we treat ourselves? So, here’s another question for you. Is this self- inflicted? Do I allow others to take advantage of me? If this shoe fits, it may be time to add some personal boundaries. Boundaries are not selfish. They say you value yourself enough to protect yourself and your time when you need to. And in turn you learn to respect other people’s boundaries too. The Good Book says,  “We are to love others, as we love ourselves”. If we don’t learn to love ourselves well, how will we learn to love others well? #love#boundaries#rewardscoaching#marriagebuilders#notmymonkey#notmycircus

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