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Stop Putting Up With Stuff

by Lisa Martin
Founder & President, Briefcase Moms

Someone interrupts you while you are speaking. Your child raises his voice at you. A person speaks to you in a way you find offensive. Other people take credit for your ideas. You keep working longer and longer hours at work. Your family is constantly late coming to the dinner table. If you've experienced any of these scenarios, then it is time to stop putting up with stuff. It's time to strengthen your boundaries.

Boundaries are imaginary lines that surround and protect you and your goals from others. Anything that annoys you or makes you upset is often a crossed boundary. When your boundaries are weak, it may feel as if people are taking advantage of you or not respecting you. These feelings can often be damaging to one's self-esteem. They can also cause unneeded anxiety, stress and resentment. When you take the time to define and strengthen your boundaries, at home and at work, you will find yourself in a generally happier and calmer state.

Determining how others may interact with you, sticking to clear work hours and deciding your limits are all boundaries that will keep negative influences out of your way. Keep in mind boundaries are invisible. To effectively enforce your boundaries they must be communicated to those around you

Communicate Boundaries Gracefully

This seven-step process, keyed to the acronym RESPECT works every time. When you are communicating your boundaries, ensure you start the conversation with your voice devoid of any emotion. The tone of voice you use should be similar to how you sound when making a comment on the weather -- calm and confident.

  • R � Recognize your boundaries are being crossed. Stop others as they start to cross the line. "Excuse me."

  • E � Educate others that they are violating your boundary. "Do you realize you are yelling at me?"

  • S � Stop. Request that others stop. "I�d like you to stop yelling at me."

  • P � Promote. Tell others how your limits can be respected. "Please speak to me calmly.�

  • E - Embrace others for cooperating. "Thank you for respecting my wishes."

    If they are not cooperative, add these last steps. This very rarely happens. In most cases, people change their behavior after step two.

  • C � Command that they stop �I insist that you stop raising your voice to me.� If nothing changes, then call it quits.

  • T � Take off. Leave the situation. �I can�t have this conversation while you are yelling at me. I am going to leave the room. Let�s talk about this when we are not as upset.�
In some cases, people won't respect your boundaries even after you ask them to. But remember you are no longer putting up with anything from anyone so you might have to walk away from some individuals and situations. The only way to truly start taking better care of yourself is to let go of things that don't work for you.

� Copyright 2006. Lisa Martin. All rights reserved.

Lisa Martin, author of Briefcase Moms
Lisa Martin
Founder & President, Briefcase Moms
Lisa Martin, PCC (Professional Certified Coach), is the author of Briefcase Moms: 10 Proven Practices to Balance Working Mothers� Lives. She lives what she writes and talks about.

A working mother with 20 years of corporate and entrepreneurial experience, she is the founder and president of Briefcase Moms, an international coaching and personal development company with a mission to �make it easier for working mothers to live balanced and successful lives.� She helps professionals, executives and entrepreneurs succeed in all areas of their lives- career, family and personal fulfillment. Subscribe to her free newsletter at

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