Try to: Keep a People Boundaries List

people boundaries

The past two days have been trying days for me negotiating my friendships. Or I thought they were friendships. (It's no longer clear one way or the other.)

Regardless, I've had to figure out how to deal with these relationships. Particularly the sadness, abandonment, and rejection. 

So, I fired up Evernote (you can use whatever app you prefer, obviously!) and put down a heading, Decisions about Boundaries. Let's call it the Boundaries List

Then, I wrote down some subheadings -  Focus on, Beware, Be Cautious, Acquaintances, Non-Starters One-way Streets, and Let Sleeping Moments Lie.  Under each one, I put in as many as names as possible, including the two people from the last two days' roadtrip through Disappointmentia.

  • Focus On - Budding friendships or relationships that I am going to focus on, rather than wallowing over all the ones that went belly up. Funny how all the sad memories come clamoring against barricades when one friendship hits a bad note.

  • Beware - stay away from these people or treat them like a pair of dead socks. Distance.

  • Be Cautious - they didn't intend to hurt you. You just got pushed down the pyramid of priorities. Your expectations are high these ones because they're probably great people who bring beauty to your friendships. But they dip into life like submarines.

  • Acquaintances - this could be the hardest group to do, too. This is where you should put people like mine, or those who have long made you question who you are to them. There will be pain. But seeing their names here will help let go.

  • Non-starters - you tried to strike up a conversation or shoot for a coffee, but ended up with a bag of nothing. Oh well.

  • One-way Streets - There may be some overlaps here with previous groups, but this one should really be for repeat-offenders.

  • Let Sleeping Moments Lie - I feel like this is the artsy sister of Be Cautious, that sister who has wanderlust and seems too busy notice that you've let her crawl into your heart. Sometimes, like flings or affairs, it was just a moment between two friends. And now that moment must sleep. Let it sleep.

At first, I had Focus On at the bottom of the list, but I found that that made me focus on the negative. So, top of the list, it went! And what a difference. I get to mourn what was lost but set my sights on the new friendships that may perhaps be those ones that will outlive all the rest.

Try this experiment and let us know how it went on the forums, or be a trooper and join Slack! It's wondy. 

Mina Demian lives in Stockholm, Sweden where he Writes, Codes, and Plays Music. He also Invents Amazing Words in the Beautiful Voyager Slack Group.

Mina Demian lives in Stockholm, Sweden where he Writes, Codes, and Plays Music. He also Invents Amazing Words in the Beautiful Voyager Slack Group.

Try to: Stop Using Certain Phrases

It can take years to figure out the simplest things. It took me years to realize that there are certain sentence beginnings I’m simply not allowed to finish. It took me a long time to realize that those phrases are not good for my mental health.

When I was first figuring out this technique for myself, I would ask myself, “What sentences should I stop saying?”

When I was first figuring out this technique for myself, I would ask myself, “What sentences should I stop saying?”

Here’s an example. I used to use the phrase “If only…” all the time. Then I realized it was a toxic phrase for me.

If a sentence starts “If only…” I’m not allowed to finish it. It's simple.

Give it a try yourself. Think about which sentences lead you into unhealthy thinking, and make a simple rule for yourself that you will not use those words together. I know it sounds kind of silly but it actually works. I find myself often saying, “Oh, I can’t start a sentence that way.” It works!

Let us know if experiment worked for you by hitting the heart so others know they should give it a try!

Try: Using the Phrase "Don't Compare"

comparing yourself to others

Since you're a human being and you're alive in 2017, I'm guessing you're aware of the "comparing yourself" problem. You know, the situation where a person wastes time worrying that their neighbor/friend/coworker has a better life / things more figured out / a better job than they do?

It's a cancerous thought problem, and this experiment is meant to tackle it head-on.

You're hearing this from the frontlines: it's possible to dent the "comparing" problem.

Change the habit.

I've lessened the amount that I compare myself to others in the past three years by building on my mental habit. At first it took brute force. Over time it has gotten easier and more natural. Here's how it works: If I feel my mind start to bend toward comparison, I literally say the following two words to myself,

DON'T COMPARE.

 I then think about how I couldn’t live like others even if I wanted to.

Keep it simple, build the muscle.

It can be very hard to put theoreticals into action. That's why this experiment really is just about saying these words aloud to yourself:

“Don’t compare.” “Don’t compare.”

I hope this experiment works for you! Sending you good, non-comparison thoughts.

If this experiment works for you, hit the heart (no login required) to let others know they should give it a try!

Try: Spritzing!

Everyone loves a spritz.

Everyone loves a spritz.

About a year ago, a friend gave me a fancy makeup gift that included this great "mist" that prepares fancy people's skin for fancy makeup. Since I am neither fancy nor a makeup person (unless forced, like a little boy in a Sunday suit), I ended using the mist more than everything else. I realized the cooling feeling of water on my skin along with the gentle smells would distract and change my thinking. It's almost like a mental Pavlovian trick. You don't need to buy this mist to get it to work. I bet even rosewater in a little spray bottle would work. 

This is where you can find  mine , but others work just as well, I'm sure.

This is where you can find mine, but others work just as well, I'm sure.

If this experiment works for you, hit the heart (no login required) to let others know they should give it a try!