Compassionate Boundaries: How to Say No with Heart

Explore five steps to creating compassionate boundaries⁠—in a way that considers all parties with kindness.

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Do you have a pattern of saying yes to others, but then feeling resentful later on? Do you believe that you must come to the aid of others and often give to get?

You are not alone.

Many of us have developed a belief that we must be nice, pleasing, or helpful to the exclusion of our own feelings and needs in order to be worthy of love or appreciation. This belief is, of course, not true and furthermore an impossible goal to meet. When we give to get, we can often end up feeling angry and as a result we don’t create healthy boundaries or compassionate boundaries at home and work.

A few years ago, I was presenting to a group of 100 employees on the topic of increasing resilience to stress. During the seminar, I asked employees what was causing stress in their lives. One of the employees, named Cheryl, said, “ My boss stresses me out.” When I inquired further, she told the group that a few times a day, her boss would text her a note with an alarming tone in the order of “Get in my office…