In this week’s episode of  The Baggage Reclaim Sessions, I share a recent experience with our new dog walker and trainer that reminded me how everything is contextual. When people talk about someone in a way that really doesn’t fit with what we know of them, we can experience doubt, confusion, blame and shame. The truth is, though, they might not have experienced this person in the same context as us.

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5 key topics in this episode

  • If others don’t know the person in the way we do, they won’t understand where we’re coming from. It’s easy for people to think well of someone when they have limited experience and knowledge of them.
  • We have to be careful of being over-simplistic with our comparison. Dynamics, agendas, boundaries, timelines, circumstances, intimacy levels, including lack of experience or knowledge, patterns, power balance, and whether life’s inevitables–conflict, criticism, disappointment, loss and rejection–have been experienced, are just some examples of differing factors.
  • When we insist that someone who has different boundaries from us ‘should’ have the same experience, we’re ignoring context. Different boundaries, different dynamic. If we don’t have boundaries and so we don’t know where we end and others begin and are codependent, we are not seeing things in the context of somebody who’s coming from a place of boundaries.
  • We need to have an honest conversation with ourselves. What was my context? Am I being honest about the nature of my relationship with this person? It doesn’t mean that we deserved any mistreatment, but if we more loving relationships, we need to start creating boundaries that reflect this so that we don’t accept less than what we need, desire and deserve.
  • A date is not the same context as a relationship. A job interview isn’t the same context as the job itself. Childhood isn’t the same as adulthood. We need to allow for different contexts so we have room to grow, but also so we don’t deceive ourselves.

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Are you ready to stop silencing and hiding yourself in an attempt to ‘please’ or protect yourself from others? My book, The Joy of Saying No: A Simple Plan to Stop People Pleasing, Reclaim Boundaries, and Say Yes to the Life You Want (Harper Horizon), is out now.

The Joy of Saying No by Natalie Lue book cover. Subtitle: A simple plan to stop people pleasing, reclaim boundaries, and say yes to the life you want.
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