Author: Florence Almquist Checa
Episode 81 of the podcast, “The Tapping Solution”, discusses ways in which we can set boundaries to have better relationships with ourselves and others. Nancy Levin, the host of this episode, begins by telling us that many of us are people pleasers. We need to learn to take ourselves into account just as much as we take others into account. We need to realize that we don’t have to do certain things. Nancy explains that it’s important to generationally heal forward and backwards by allowing ourselves the freedom that past generations didn’t. For example, women had to and still have to sacrifice a lot in order to become a mother, such as career and other personal goals whilst still being expected to maintain the household. The host delineates important symptoms that indicate you might need to create boundaries which include hardcore resentment and blaming everyone else around you for how you feel.
Many women and men don’t want to be rude by setting boundaries. Nancy Levin explains that this behavior stems from conflict avoidance. When those of us avoid external conflict, we’re actually avoiding internal conflict. She highlights that this creates patterns of self sabotage. Nancy encourages us to understand that it is not our responsibility to manage the response of others. The problem she says is that some of us forget that we have a say about liking someone else, and only think about them liking us. Certain individuals are chasing external validation, which keeps them from setting boundaries. She encourages people to ask themselves, "what void you are trying to fill?".
So, how do we begin this journey? Nancy Levin suggests we ask ourselves, "what you have been tolerating and accepting that does not align with what you want?" Usually, we are the ones crossing our own boundaries, not others. She emphasizes that we enable our boundaries to be crossed. However, once we get in the habit of setting healthy boundaries, for example in dating, we no longer even attract those kinds of people anymore. Some examples of setting boundaries could be telling someone they are not comfortable having sex yet, or being upfront about not being able to make plans. Other examples could be bringing up things that have been bothering you and helping your friends fit your needs better. Nancy delineates that when we don't know our own boundaries, and instead acclimate ourselves to the other person's way of living, we have an important mechanism in which resentment builds. This tells us that something is wrong, and we need to reevaluate our approach. Not only do we have to know what we want, but also know what we don’t want.
Nancy Levin emphasizes that it is often very hard for people to say “no.” A useful strategy is if you can’t say no, to tell the person that you will get back to them. We need to prevent ourselves from doing the “knee jerk yes.” The only reason we should say “yes” is when it’s a desire. Life should not just be these situations in which you just have to “deal.” We have more agency than we think we do. Nancy underscores that some of us often override our own integrity for the high and the pleasure that comes from the other person trusting us and wanting us when the high should come from respecting our own integrity first.
What about when you really love the person? Oftentimes, many individuals love to be needed by those they love very much. Nancy pushes these individuals to realize that packaging themselves and trying to please that person actually takes so much more energy than honoring their own boundaries. She emphasizes that the goal is to have a true relationship with that person that you love. They will be thankful that they now know ways they can love you better. We need to begin showing up for ourselves.