Don’t feel guilty about protecting your boundaries!


Published: 9 Feb 2019

Compassionate Assertiveness

Imagine a future where you live the life you want. Where your everyday challenges in communication are easy to navigate.  You don’t have to feel guilty about protecting your boundaries, values and ethics. Where people choose humanity, humane communication towards others as a default, not a last resort.

Compassionate assertiveness can get you there. It changes behaviour – yours and others. It shifts mind-set, and it’s as simple as this: if you invite it in, you accept it, if you accept it, it becomes the ‘new normal’……then you live with the ‘new normal’.

The problem with the ‘new normal’ is that as time goes on it becomes harder and harder to do something about it. Humans are predictable, we will suffer rather than deal with something awkward.

The world has reached a tipping point. People are suffering like never before. They are paying with their mental health. They are paying with their relationships. They are paying with their time.

We are more than our DNA. We are a collective consciousness – in other words, we are all in this together. I believe that every person, every single action makes a difference …….for good, or bad!

If you choose compassionate assertiveness it means that you are assertive 100% of the time, but not at the expense of others, or at the expense of yourself. Choose compassion towards yourself!  Protect your time, boundaries, values, beliefs, sanity! Whether that be standing up for your own rights, or by believing with all your heart that you are doing people a kindness by calling out poor behaviour.

Why does it matter? It matters because people matter. If history has taught us anything, it’s that one person (left unchallenged) can change the course of history, change whole cultures, generations. Leave a scar on humanity that will never be erased, a scar that lives on in the DNA coding of the next generation.

Yes, one option would be to let it go when you are pinged (and that is always an option). However if you do that, then understand something ………. that behaviour is not going anywhere. That tone of voice. The words used. That eye roll. It’s like feeding a kitten one day and then not expecting it to come back the next day. Good luck with that!

Compassionate assertiveness is the antidote to modern day living. A breath of fresh air in a jaded world.  It can bring humanity back to communication.

It creates better leaders, mothers, fathers, partners. Helps people to articulate what they really want, mean, and feel. Sort things out rather than walk away. Fully express how they feel. Live their life, not someone else’s.

You might think it doesn’t matter now, but when you let it (whatever ‘it’ is) go, you start a chain reaction.

In workshops I do an exercise where I ask people what is ‘pinging’ them, and then ask them to go back in time to a point where they could have made a choice that may have prevented it. People rarely go back days, or even weeks, or months. Most people go back years!

So, the mother talking about a disrespectful son who doesn’t do anything around the house or even pick up his own clothes or cup, showed him at some point years ago that was ok, because she did it for him instead of making him do it.

The employee who feels angry and hurt everyday by how the boss talks to them, let that in on day one when it went unchallenged. The ripple effect now affects her marriage, because instead of going home and talking to her husband about other stuff, the first half hour is always  a whinge about her shitty boss.

Poor behaviour left unchallenged by communication is not sustainable. There will always be a ripple. That ripple spans across time. Time that could have been different. Lives that could have been different.

We either want to be human…or we don’t. What will it take?


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