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10 Things Only Couch Surfers Would Understand

10 Things Only Couch Surfers Would Understand

Couch surfing has recently taken off in the past few years and has proven as a great way to learn about different cultures. Here are some things that only couch surfers would appreciate.

1. They know how important it is to be a good match with their host

When you are sharing such close proximity with someone you have never met, it is important to find someone who shares similar living habits with yourself. If they are very social and like to have people over often, but you prefer a quiet night at home, it is important to realize these differences before you finalize your stay with a host.

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2. They know to read the fine print

It is important as a couch surfer to read all the requests that the host lists in their profile to avoid any future conflicts. If a hosts says that they go to bed early for work, but your flight gets in after midnight, then it would be ideal to find someone who can greet you and help you get settled when you arrive.

3. They know that communication is key

It is important to notify your host of any special request that you have before your arrival. If your host has a pet bird, but you are deathly afraid of anything with wings, make sure you do some research before finalizing your stay.

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4. They know that cleanliness is crucial

Couch surfers know that it is important to not be a slob when you are a guest at someone’s home. They know it is important to clean-up immediately after themselves at all times and not treat their host’s house like their own.

5. They know that respect is important

A couch surfer knows the importance of maintaining respect the moment that they step into their host’s home. They realize that they are a visitor in someone’s private space. It is important to maintain that level of trust, whether it is being quiet at night, or not bringing extra guests back home without running it by their host first.

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6. They know to always have a complete profile

Mutual respect goes both ways. It is important as a couch surfer to fill your profile with as much background information as possible. The last thing you want your host to do is to have to Google your name to find out basic info about their visitor. This rule also goes for any significant others or friends that will be guests with you as well.

7. They know not to overstay their welcome

Couch surfing is a privilege. It is important for visitors not to stay too long in one place. You are empathetic because you know how tiresome out-of-town visitors can be when they overstay their welcome at your home. The rule of thumb for the appropriate duration of a stay is one to three days maximum. If your hosts invites you to stay longer, than this is a different situation, but always have a back-up plan just in case.

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8. They know the importance of sharing a part of their culture

One of the main purposes of couch surfing is the opportunity to learn about one another’s respective cultures. As a couch surfer it is important to share a piece of where you came from, whether it is through cooking your host a meal or telling a story about your life back home.

9. They know that there is a chance of rejection

With couch surfing being a free service, there is always a chance of being rejected by your host. This can happen for many reasons, including not being seen as a good fit or simply because there were too many applicants during the time.

10. They know the importance of bringing a gift

The number one unspoken rule of couch surfing is that you never arrive at your host’s home empty handed. The gift does not have to be elaborate, and can simply be a bottle of wine or a small gift from your country.

Featured photo credit: Flickr via flickr.com

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Last Updated on July 10, 2020

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

Boundaries are limits

—they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

1. Self-Awareness Comes First

Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

  • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
  • When do you feel disrespected?
  • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
  • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
  • When do you want to be alone?
  • How much space do you need?

You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

2. Clear Communication Is Essential

Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

Sample language:

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  • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
  • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
  • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
  • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
  • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
  • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
  • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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Final Thoughts

Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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