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Never Be the One Who Waits to Give Flowers

Never Be the One Who Waits to Give Flowers

Too often, we don’t say the things that really should be said until it’s too late to say them.

When someone we love or deeply care about leaves this life, so many things come rushing back to our minds, like the things that we thought to say before, but just didn’t have the courage or the right time to express ourselves. When someone dies, it’s painful, even frustrating and confusing. And if we were close to that person, he or she doesn’t leave our minds or hearts very soon.

The importance of kindness.

It’s always beautiful to hear the kind words people who knew the person say about them at the funeral; the bounty of gifts and flowers that are given to their families or left at their graveside; the meaningful, sincere conversations always spark a fire of admiration and makes us wonder about what that person must be doing in his or her new life.

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It’s really strange why people wait to give flowers and say kind words to people until after they have died. But we do it anyway. We wait until it’s too late to say what could have been said and to do what could have been done. I hear people talk about how someone who has passed away had changed their life for the better or had told them something special or important that had helped shaped their outlook. And those words are genuinely kind and beautiful and meaningful.

However, we wait until it’s too late to say those same words to that person. How much more would it have meant to them if we surprised them with the bouquet while they were alive? Did they even know you felt they were special and thought they had a good impact on your life? Maybe they did. Maybe they didn’t think about it. But we don’t have to guess after the fact if we expressed our feelings now while we still have time.

Time waits for no one.

That person who meant so much to us can be here one minute and gone away the next. And the heartbreak compounds itself when we have so much inside that we could have said and so much that we could have given, but it’s all too late.

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Death has a way of stopping us in our tracks and bringing us back to center. It helps us to put life in perspective and pay attention to the things and people that are important. It tends to pull us and push us back together and makes us think about someone in a way that is meaningful.

Very often, we focus too much on ourselves that we don’t make the time to think about other people and what they mean to us. We’re so focused on getting ahead and being successful, and proving that we’re better that we don’t really think about what others mean to us long enough to actually act upon the thought, and thank them for whatever it is they did to make us who we are.

Act now.

So, right now, stop and think about the one person, or maybe several people, who did something special for you. Maybe they had an encouraging word for you when you were feeling discouraged, or they were the only one to visit you in the hospital, or they celebrated your success without being envious, or they loved you just for who you are.

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Tell that person while they are alive that they mean so much to you.
Bring the flowers now so they can see them. Give them the chocolate truffles now so they can eat them. Don’t wait because soon, it will be too late.

Flowers don’t mean so much to a dead person. They’re nice to buy and place at their graveside, perhaps to help assuage any guilt or hurt we may be feeling, but it means very little compared to the expression on their face when they are alive to receive them. We honestly never know how much time we have on this earth. It is up to us to never be the one who waits until it is too late.

Every day you live is an opportunity to lift someone else up. Tell them what you really think. And then you get the joy of seeing how special, loved, and valued they feel.

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Whatever you want to do for someone, do it now.
Whatever you think about someone, tell them now. However you feel about someone, express it to them now. Now is the only chance you may ever get.

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Daniella Whyte

Psychology Researcher

21 Reasons Why We Complicate Life You Can If You Think You Can: 4 Ways to Build Self-Efficacy A Letter To My 50-Year-Old Self: On Grace and Getting Older Never Be the One Who Waits to Give Flowers 6 Questions That Help You Break Out of A Motivational Slump

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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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