Just Say No

Family Bridges

Just Say No

Contributed by
Sarah Pichardo

Do you all remember the anti-drug PSA from the 80s with the egg frying on the pan – “this is your brain, this is your brain on drugs”? (If not, please educate yourself RIGHT HERE).

This blog isn’t about drugs, though, it’s about boundaries. (For the record, drugs are bad for you. Just say no. Boundaries, on the other hand, are really good. Just say yes.) I will, however, be using a version of the egg analogy because the effect is pretty much the same.

For my visual learners, this is your brain with and without boundaries…


See the difference?

When you have boundaries in your life, you are more likely to maintain your sanity. I’m not saying that you won’t experience circumstances that do inevitably fry your brain a little, but boundaries allow you to stay intact. Plus, they are essential to having a healthy relationship and a healthy life.

No boundaries, on the other hand, just scramble your brain. And while I do prefer my eggs scrambled, I would rather keep my brain in one piece.

So what can you do to keep yourself sunny side up? Here are a few tips:

Name your limits
What are your absolutes? You need to identify those things that you can accept and those that you will not tolerate so you can clearly name your limits.

Right along with naming your limits, identify what things you can do without. What are those areas in your life that are driving you insane and starting to mix your brains more than you like? Get rid of it.

Be direct
Some people live in their own world and have no idea that they’re crossing your line. Other people don’t share the same values, views, personality, etc. as you and their boundaries may be completely different. Be direct about your boundaries and let others know what’s ok and what isn’t.

Give yourself permission
It’s okay to say no. You shouldn’t feel guilty about setting boundaries; they are healthy for you, for your relationships and they show that you have self-respect.

Start small
If saying no totally freaks you out, then start small. What’s one area that is non-threating to you where you can start setting limits?

There you have it. These are just a few ideas to get you started. I’m sure some psychologist out there has this down to a 12-step program; and if you’re going through some serious problems, it may not be a bad idea to go see one.

But if you’re like me and a bunch of other people I know, you may just encounter situations in your life where you honestly feel like your brain is getting scrambled past well done. Sometimes we just need to step back, think about what we’re comfortable with, say thank you but no thank you, and move on.

Just say no to scrambled brains!

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