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12 Small Pleasures Only Dog People Are Familiar With

12 Small Pleasures Only Dog People Are Familiar With

What is your description of the perfect friend? One that loves you unconditionally? Someone who forgives easily, stays close by your side, and is a really good listener? Well, I have described my dog. Who is, in essence, one of the best friends I could ask for. He brings me joy, and I know for a fact there are millions of other people who feel just the same as I do. Here are 12 small pleasures that dogs give their owners.

1. They give unconditional love

It is a wonderful feeling to be loved unconditionally. Dogs don’t care if we look perfect, say the right things, or act distracted. They love us no matter what.

2. They’re a faithful companion

Dogs don’t get tired of us. They enjoy our company. If they had their way, they would be beside us at all times.

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3. They understand us without speaking

They get us. We don’t have to explain ourselves to our dogs. If we are in a bad mood, they comfort us. If we are happy, they are happy with us.

4. They’re the best listener in the world

Anything we need to say, they’ll listen to it. If we need to blow off steam or say a secret aloud, they have us covered. At times, they seem to like our voices as much as we do.

5. They let us become a good teacher

We burst with pride when our dogs know the simplest of commands. They give us the opportunity from puppy stage to adult stage to experience the gift of being a teacher.

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6. They appreciate of nature

Our dogs get us outside. We get to witness beautiful sunrises and sunsets thanks to our dogs. We can watch how the sky turns different colors during the day and observe beautiful stars at night. We hear birds singing, the wind whistling, and crickets chirping.

7. They’re the best shotgun rider around

All we have to say is “ride” and our dogs are ready to go. They know when you grab your keys they might get a chance of coming along. When we can take them, they hop right up in the front passenger seat and sit happily going down the road.

9. They are a calming force

No matter what we are going through, they are right there beside us offering silent support. We know we all can have an awful day from time to time; however, when we stroke our dog’s head, we feel some of our stress alleviate. Their calm presence rubs off on us.

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10. They show us how quickly time passes

Our dogs teach us just how quickly times goes by. One minute they are puppies, and then we blink and they have become grown ups. While we are busy with our lives, and we know time is passing, we may not realize how precious time is. Then one day we look at our dogs and we realize they have become older, and this makes us appreciate every moment a little more.

11. They are always happy to see us

It’s hard in life to find someone who is always happy to see you. Our dogs, are. They are overjoyed just because we came home or because we are willing to take them on a walk or run. Sometimes they are happy just because we entered the same room they are in.

12. They forgive easily

We all mistakes; however, not everyone we know is very forgiving of our mistakes. Our dogs forgive us. Over and over, they forgive us. They don’t hold a grudge. They live in the moment. If we make a mistake, they forgive us and move right on.

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If you are a dog owner, you are most likely already aware of all the pleasures our dogs can give us. They are our constant companions and faithful friends. They teach us so many life lessons. They bring us much joy, and we are lucky to have them.

Featured photo credit: Arson Dog Daisy/State Farm via flickr.com

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Tomi Rues

Adjunct college teacher, notebook/journal designer, author

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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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