The Surprising Connection Between Compassion & Setting Boundaries

 In Better Life, Relationships

Have you ever had an “Ah ha!” moment where your beliefs and understanding of something were suddenly clear? That’s how I felt when I watched Brené Brown’s video on boundaries. I’m grateful that my husband saw this and shared it with our daughter and me ?.

Brené shares how one of the most shocking findings in her work was the idea that the most compassionate people she interviewed over the last 13 years were also absolutely the most boundaried.

What does that mean? Brené says it means setting boundaries with what’s OK and what’s not OK. It’s about being direct while being kind and generous.

It’s about assuming people are doing the best they can instead of getting resentful and frustrated with them. And if their “best” is outside of your boundary, you’re able to lovingly let them know. You can do this from a place of calm because you believe that they’re not trying to be rude, mean, manipulative, etc.

It may not sound easy, but Brené points out that assuming the best about others is inherently a selfish act because the life you change first is your own. She acknowledges that it’s hard because we don’t want to disappoint others and we’re worried about what they’ll think of us. But setting boundaries and being generous with our assumptions about others is key to self-care.

Has anyone ever kindly set a boundary with you? I had a friend who was trying to create more free time in her life, and she told me that she had to quit a group we were both in. I was sad, but I was not offended because she explained her goal. And as her friend, I wanted what was best for her.

What if you were to try this approach a few times in the next couple of weeks? How could it make your life easier? How could it help people better understand you and your needs?

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