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7 Dead Ends in Life and How to Avoid Them

7 Dead Ends in Life and How to Avoid Them

Everyone wants a carefree life, but few ever attain it. Since we’re bound to encounter obstacles at some point, it is wise to think ahead about how to avoid them.

Some problems in life are effectively “dead ends” that take a lot of work to get out of. Since an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, take note of these seven common pitfalls and learn ahead of time how to prevent them.

1. Getting fired

Many people worry about losing a job when things start going bad. You might get on the wrong side of the boss or realize you don’t have the necessary skills to do the work.

As soon as you realize the problem, take steps to address it. Schedule an informal meeting with your boss to explain your determination to do a good job, asking how to improve the situation. Get additional training or ask for a transfer if you can’t master your current position.

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Don’t wait to get fired. Be proactive. Make a goal right now to always do your best in every job you get hired for. You might not love every job, but if all of your employers give you good references, you’re sure to stay on the right path.

2. Being in a bad relationship.

When the relationship you’re in just isn’t working, decide whether to keep on going or call it quits.

Sometimes a little extra effort can repair a troubled pair, but other times it’s best to amicably throw in the towel and go your separate ways rather than wait for tensions to escalate.

3. Receiving disappointing health news

Most people will get an unwanted health report at some point in their lives.

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Whether it’s something they can individually control like the need to lose weight or a newly-discovered congenital disorder, the goal should be to stay as healthy as possible to either prevent bad news over things you can control or minimize negative effects by being in the best physical and emotional shape possible to deal with something that pops up eventually.

4. Choosing the wrong college major

After selecting a major and taking several classes you may realize a particular career path is not for you.

By then you’ve already invested considerable time and money. Before enrolling for classes, take a major aptitude test to find out what you’re naturally good at or what interests you before you start working on earning your degree.

5. Buying the wrong home

No one wants to make a sizable down payment and end up in a home they don’t like.

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Make a list of essential home qualities you must have, such as a fireplace and a finished basement, along with a list of those you won’t tolerate, like a small lot or noisy neighbors. Then when you shop, you’ll be less likely to fall in love with a home that has plenty of charm but few of the amenities or necessities that should be X factors.

6. Making a bad investment

It’s easy to be lured into investing in a killer new stock that’s predicted to explode and make tons of money for investors.Due diligence is critical before putting money into an unknown stock, bond, or other investment.

Study the stocks on a regular basis to see which perform well before sinking your money into one. Then be prepared to sell off if it begins to nose-dive. Don’t leave all the major decisions to a stock broker.

7. Getting a really bad deal on a purchase

Most of us worry about getting ripped off on a significant purchase, like that new 40-inch television you bought a month ago that blows up, without a warranty.

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For peace of mind, you can buy an extended warranty on major purchases. To avoid buyer’s remorse, it’s also important to compare models of things you plan to buy to see which has the best ratings and performance record,

With some added thought and effort, you can avoid some of life’s major issues and frustrations, and keep yourself on the right path, far from dead ends. If something does happen, you can take comfort knowing you did your best.

Featured photo credit: Pixabay via pixabay.com

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Dixie Somers

Freelance Writer

All in the Family: The Importance of Holiday Traditions 6 Ways to Just Get Things Done Already 7 Dead Ends in Life and How to Avoid Them

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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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