Welcome back to another episode of No Whining Wednesday! Today, you cannot whine, criticize, or complain.
If you are new to this blog or new to this segment please visit the NWW page here for past episodes.
If you have not noticed, I come up with these NWW’s based on something that struck me earlier in the week. This week I was struck by the following quote by a poet I follow on Instagram:
This made me stop and think because it is me or has been me before.
Everyday I am learning to be okay with telling people no.
This series is called No Whining Wednesday, where we try not to whine, criticize, or complain, but we cannot always control what happens around us. Setting solid boundaries and being consistent with those limits is a great way to protect our peace.
“A boundary is a personal property line that marks those things for which we are responsible. In other words, boundaries define who we are and who we are not.”
By now, everyone who has known me for a significant amount of time knows I don’t celebrate holidays. People are not allowed to wish me a Merry Christmas or Happy Thanksgiving. Telling people, “Oh, no. I don’t celebrate,” when they wish me a happy holiday may seem to be mean at first, but this is how I teach people who I am and how I expect to be treated. It all starts with me. If I waver on what I say I believe or let things slide I once set limits to, it confuses people and opens the door for them to disrespect me in the same way I have disrespected myself.
There are some things I am not highly iffy about. My name is Yecheilyah, but I am not upset with family members who still call me by my birth name. I also have no problem with people wishing me a happy birthday.* But then there are things I am particular about. More importantly, I need to follow my own rules before expecting other people to follow them.
*Many people who believe as I do, don’t celebrate birthdays. I am not one of those people. I acknowledge birthdays, but that’s a conversation for a different day.
It helps us not to complain if we are firm and consistent with our intentions. No matter what happens around me, I will not be negative today, and I won’t allow other people to change my mind. I won’t get upset with the traffic, I won’t curse the Starbucks lady for getting my order wrong, and I won’t huff and puff when the line at the grocery store is too long.
Remember, the challenge is not figuring which boundaries are appropriate to set. The challenge is setting those boundaries consistently. When you set inconsistent boundaries, you make things complicated, and it confuses people.
To be consistent, you have to first be firm. What you have decided not to allow in your space is not a suggestion. It is not an option. For the sake of this conversation, it is law.
What I am not saying:
I am not saying that you are responsible for other people’s reactions or perceptions about your boundaries. Your boundaries can also change as you live and grow. What you believed before might not be the same as what you believe today. People are allowed to change. We are allowed to grow.
I am saying that people will walk all over you if you set boundaries you are too afraid to enforce.