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5 Ways To Help Bless The Lives Of Those Around You

5 Ways To Help Bless The Lives Of Those Around You

There’s no argument that modern society is geared toward the “self.” Many of the interpersonal and community problems faced by people and groups all over the world are due to seemingly unquenchable desires to satisfy impulses. Decay within neighborhoods and a general distancing of people from one another is a direct result of self-centeredness and a popular (if not fashionable) attitude of personal aggrandizement. Positively affecting the people around you requires setting aside some selfie time for exercises in reconnecting with the greater human sphere. Here are five ways to truly impact the people around you.

Notice a Common Need and Act

Several recent news features have highlighted the actions of young people overwhelmed with the need to help their community. These actions range from mowing people’s lawns, to playing piano at a local nursing home, some people even cut hair for the homeless. Identify one of your talents, or skills and offer them for free to people needing them. Consider all the times in life when someone helped you out and pay it forward to society. There are tons of opportunities out there for things like this. All you have to do is look for them. It really is amazing how much of an impact the smallest acts of service can have.

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Volunteer at Schools and in Community Non-Profits

Many non-profit education, arts, and community improvement organizations are desperately searching for volunteers to run programs and guide participants. The great thing about these organizations is that they are found everywhere (so there is no excuse). Everyone who uses non-profits is looking for help and guidance in some area. Being a volunteer enables you to directly affect the improvement of someone’s life. There is absolutely nothing better you can do with your time than to get out and serve.

Take Time to Listen and Observe

Modern society is loud and sometimes overly aggressive. Many people are looking for others who can zero-in on them on an interpersonal level. Take a few minutes each day to observe the world silently. This will slowly instill the ability to find deeper meanings in mundane things. A refined ability to listen, comprehend without judgement, and participate in meaningful conversations is a rare quality that can go a long way. When the opportunity arises, you will be prepared to provide comfort to a neighbor in need of someone who is willing to listen.

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Consider Adoption

This is not an easy way to help those around you, but it is important. While utilizing the professional services of an accredited adoption agency, such as A Child’s Dream, it might be worth considering adopting a child. Abandoned and orphaned children are perhaps the largest portion of the world’s population that are in need of real human connection and stability. Adopting a child saves a life and builds close families.

Disconnect

The original impetus behind the rise and proliferation of technology and social media was bringing people closer together quickly, but the opposite seems to have occurred. In order to discover how you can positively affects others, you may need to put down the smartphone for a while. Try to be one of the lucky few who rediscover what it is like to interact with others without the aid of a lithium battery.

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Logically, bettering the lives of other people requires certain sacrifices of personal luxuries and habits. Fortunately, helping others is a cascading endeavor. Once you start on the path of any humanitarian effort, it becomes easier and easier with every action. There’s a high probability that you might even enjoy it. Start small, but notice how every positive interpersonal action results in mutual goodwill. It really is amazing how much of a difference you will notice in your life when you take the time to find ways to serve.

Featured photo credit: www.Pixabay.com via pixabay.com

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Kara Masterson

Freelance Writer

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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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