Learning to Set My Boundaries & Loving Myself

‘The Rules’ (TR) taught me many important lessons, two very important ones to me personally were learning about the importance of boundaries (what mine are, how to set them and feel confident in setting them) and how to love myself (and by that I don’t mean egotistical love, but valuing and respecting myself).

Here’s some examples of boundaries TR taught me:

Not settling for just any behaviour and determining what was okay and what wasn’t and what action I would or would not take as a result.

What behaviour to expect from a Rules BF / husband to be (what makes a man husband material).

Not getting into a ‘Pretzel Brain Twist’ as a result of the above!

Knowing when a guy was interested or not and if not that he really wasn’t worth my time. It didn’t mean he was a bad guy just not the man I was going to marry.

Accepting people as they were / are and not trying to change them. Making peace with the world and knowing what’s real, what is now and living in the now.

Not wasting time on people or things that made me feel bad.

Focusing my energy on what I wanted more of.

I didn’t need to do everything for everyone or take responsibility for the actions of others or feel responsible for their behavior / actions / how they felt. Realising I couldn’t make others happy etc… That I’m responsible for my intention and my actions and that I cannot control the outcome and I cannot control what others think or do.

Here’s some examples of ‘How TR taught me to love myself’:

Loving those who love me: I began to appreciate more and more the people who treated me well, cared for and respected me versus people who would treat me mean, not call, only call on their terms. I gave the people who loved, respected and valued me more of my time and energy.

I learned how to trust myself and what behaviour / actions I expected from others and that I didn’t need to give my time and energy to those who didn’t.

I took time for myself, I learnt to love and respect myself more and this meant I was able to open my heart to love and respect others and their boundaries and accept them as they were / are.

Do You Try To Read His Mind?

The Rules and Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) taught me something extremely powerful both in my relationship (at the time with my boyfriend) who is now my husband and in all my other relationships.

They both taught me not to try to ‘mind read’ (I can still find myself doing this and I am much more aware now of when I am and to stop, observe and be present instead).

The Rules teaches this throughout the book in the actions it requires us to take.  For example – the book says to listen to what a man is saying and that men mean what they say.  It also says to look at his actions, not what he says, does he promise and not deliver.  Just because he is well-meaning and maybe he had the intent to do what he said – for whatever reason he doesn’t ‘do’ what he says he’ll do.  Sometimes or perhaps a lot of the time (and I have been guilty of this) us ladies tie ourselves up in knots over-analysing something – maybe this is more to do with us not wanting to accept the truth?…

NLP is a vast subject – communication being a key factor.  In NLP we look at how each person experiences life.  In NLP I discovered that each person has their own ‘map of the universe’ and how they experience life.  No two people experience life in the same way – not even a specific moment.  This is because we ‘filter’ our experiences through our senses.  The way we filter these experiences through our senses also varies from person to person.

One of the (very powerful) ways we communicate is through what we do with our bodies.  In psychology you often hear of ‘body language’ – but in NLP this is markedly different and we refer to this area of communication as ‘physiology’.  The reason it is different is because in body language it is taught that ‘X = Y’, for example if someone has their arms crossed this is usually seen as ‘defensive body language’.  In NLP we call this ‘mind reading’ because you are saying he / she must be feeling defensive because they have their arms crossed, but in NLP we would just note they had their arms crossed.  We would also note what they are saying, the tone of their voice, where their eyes are looking and their breathing (and other queues) – all of this allowing us to ‘calibrate’ all of these elements of their communication.  What this gives us is a big picture, an NLP Practitioner then asks questions to allow us to calibrate all of these elements to enable us to understand and access more of how they are feeling and to understand their paradigm better.  So for example, the person may have not been defensive at all but felt cold or perhaps unwell or any other number of feelings.

As you can tell the subject of NLP is quite complex and personally I find it fascinating.  My point in explaining the above is to explain that even as an NLP Master Practitioner I can have a much clearer picture of where someone is and what they may be thinking or feeling – but even knowing and studying NLP I could not know exactly what they are thinking or exactly how they are feeling because I have my own paradigm.

For me, learning this was a ‘light bulb’ moment!  Suddenly I realised I had been mind reading all the time – I had been guessing, speculating and presuming I knew what others thought and how they felt.  This was also extremely freeing – suddenly I realised that I was often creating things that didn’t exist and this was having generally negative effects on my relationships because I was ‘projecting’ what I thought they wanted or what I thought they thought on to them.

‘Projection’ is another important topic of NLP and linked to this subject which I might discuss in another blog in the future (please let me know if this interests you or not in the comments section below or on my FB page).

In conclusion, the reason I am sharing this with you is to heed Ellen and Sherrie’s advice – when they tell you not to obsess or make excuses for him and instead be a ‘thinking Rules Girl’ by paying attention to and recording what he says and what he does and notice when you are trying to ‘mind read’.  Instead focus on doing The Rules and how you feel when you are with this person.  These are also important things to notice and note down – often we ignore our gut feeling – for example perhaps when we know something is not right.

If you’re following ‘The Rules’ why not try observing and recording what he says and does and how you feel, what you say and do with him, if you mind read, how you feel and what you say to yourself about the relationship.  Ask yourself – am I mind reading?

I hope you have a great week!

Debbie