Don’t Go There… It’s Out of Bounds! (When Your Personal Boundaries Require Yellow Tape)

memeboundariesYellow Tape

There are times when my boundaries definitely require yellow tape. I can be a one-woman, walkin’-talkin’, boundary bunglin’ crime scene! Seriously, I’ve got some work to do on designing, setting and enforcing my limits. My sand needs some lines drawn in it! My fences need mending. My territory needs marking and my barriers need an integrity check!

It’s not that having yellow tape around me would actually keep anyone away or be a warning of eminent danger (there probably isn’t any… well, not for ‘them’, anyway). I want the tape as a reminder for me that I actually have boundaries – even though they’re sometimes ill defined and difficult to see. That tape would serve to remind me to take care of ‘me’ business; define who I am, what I want and what I value. Then, and only then, can I decide what I require and what I can allow, in order for me to be, do and have it all!

For me, wrapping myself up in yellow tape would be like wearing a body condom. Mmmm. I like being safe. I like feeling protected. Look, I don’t require that life be ‘comfortable’ and totally benign. I do like to step out of that zone and be challenged. And yet, I’ve noticed that when I identify a limit for myself and decide what I want –what I need to support my highest ‘me-ness’, I speak that limit and set a boundary.

  • I don’t like when people keep me waiting more than 1 or 2 minutes. After 15 minutes I’m done and I’m gone.
  • I don’t tip as much when service is not good.
  • I’ll spend an extra 5 minutes on a coaching call, but after 12 I’m feeling ‘used’.

WHOA! Did you catch that? I see my boundary bungle, do you? Clearly, the way things are in my life right now… that stuff that isn’t working, not what I want, disappointing or even down right annoying, is truly a function of what I put up with! My life (great as it is) IS the lowest common denominator between what I say I want and what I have been putting up with; what I’m resigned to accept.

Here’s what I “say” I want:

  • People should be on time. I don’t want to wait more than a minute or two.
  • I want excellent service and I will tip well when I get it.
  • I want half hour calls to be over in 30 -32 minutes.

Here’s the reality of what I have:

  • People around me are frequently late.
  • I tip a lot for mediocre service.
  • My coaching calls are often waaaaay longer than planned.

And here’s WHY:

  • Although I say I don’t want to wait, I do. I wait 12 – 15 minutes (or more) – until I’m really pissed off!
  • I tip almost ‘no matter what’, even though I claim to demand excellent service.
  • I don’t ‘mind’ a coaching call that goes 5 minutes over time, and yet I routinely keep going for waaaaay longer – without charging.

Yes, the yellow tape is definitely for ME. It’s a warning to me. If I ever expect to actually get what I say I want, I will have to STOP accepting anything less. ‘Almost’ is not a win and neither is ‘close’.  Enough can’t be enough if it’s not truly enough for me!

Quick, I need more yellow tape!