Setting Boundaries: Saying no to drugs, older male figures, guys your age, and your friends!
HAPPY MONDAY!!!!!! I am SO glad that we all made it through… one day closer to the weekend. So last Friday I went live on Instagram with Carmen who hosts the Girly Girl Podcast and we had a really fun conversation with some of you guys. I wanted to base this blog post off of an extremely important topic Carmen and I discussed which I know is crucial to reiterate more notably in it’s own blog post.
Let’s talk about setting boundaries:
Saying No To Drugs:
Let me guess, you were around 12 or 13 when your parents or teachers first explained to you about peer pressure and staying away from drugs. Now you’re wrapping up middle school or starting high school and everyone around you is beginning to dip their toes in the world of puff bars, vapes, stizzies, wax pens… and that's just the beginning of it. You want to say no, but you’re also maybe a little bit curious and feel like you have to say yes to fit in. This is all NORMAL and I feel that discomfort and angst right along with you. At the end of the day, I’m not here to tell you what you can and can’t do but just remember that doing drugs is dangerous to your mental and physical health. Don’t take a chance on chemicals that can ruin your life. Here are a few ways you can say no to drugs: “Sorry my parents drug test me”, “I can’t for my sport”, “I tried it and it’s not really my thing”, “I’m not into that stuff”, “No thanks, lets go get some food”. It’s so important to surround yourself with people who respect your limits. Maintain good eye contact, speak in a firm voice, and stand up for yourself.
Physical Signs Of Affection to Older Male Figures:
In my self defense class 2 years ago at school, we discussed a whole unit on setting boundaries with family members, close family friends, older men, and really anyone in your life. Maybe you used to kiss your parents on the lips, sit on your uncle’s laps, or embrace your parents' friends in huge hugs. While showing signs of affection to male figures once might have felt completely comfortable, something definitely shifts as we start to grow up and it’s ok to want to set some boundaries. You can go in for an elbow bump or closed off wave if that feels easier. An effective strategy to redirect an impending embrace by someone who is approaching you with open arms is to lightlighy clasp both of their hands and collapse the space between you so the would-be hug becomes a little 4 handed bundle handshake. If your parents or family member asks why you don’t give them kisses anymore, tell them that you’re growing up and don’t love to touch as much or say i’m not in the mood to hug. It's important to let them know that they should definitely not take it personally and it’s an individual preference. Sometimes the people who have known you since the day you were born might expect that nothing is off limits and so watching you grow up and having this new boundary imposed can be difficult. Be respectful but don’t be afraid to say how you actually feel.
Boys Your Age
Similar to what I talked about above, other people might not be able to intuit your comfort if you don’t say something. If a boy starts rubbing your leg and you don’t like it, move his hand. If he puts his arm around you and you don’t like it, scooch over and allow for more space between you or take his hand and remove it from your shoulder. That should be a pretty obvious signal to him that you don’t want him touching you like that. To confront the issue more head on, say ‘I’m not really ready for that right now but I’ll let you know when I am”. You don’t have walk on egg shells to protect their feelings. Don’t accept anyting that just doesn’t feel right.
Boundaries With Friends:
I’ve found that compared to my closest friends, I like to get things off my chest and rant. I am not afraid to shed all my feelings and release my insecurities, personal stresses, or any other emotions wholeheartedly. However, I’ve found that my very infrequent but most often troublesome disputes occur with companions of mine who are slightly more introverted than I am. While I’m an extrovert and not shy to point out where my boundaries are in a friendship, for anyone who isn’t as loud: it can be difficult on my end to even know a line exists when I inch up too close to crossing it. It’s important to let your close friends know what is uncomfortable for you so they can respect you and treat you the way you want to be treated. While being up front can be a challenge for many, think of the consequences and the toxicity that comes from shielding your peers from the truth about the way you would like things to be. “Hey girl, can u just text me if I have food in my teeth instead of telling the whole group”. Smooth sailing relationships, platonic or romantic, thrive off of good communication.
Carmen ended our live talking about respect and I want to end this post on the same note. You deserve respect. There is not a single boy or bestie worth ever being a part of your life if they can not respect your wishes and requests. Feeling comfortable and feeling safe are of utmost importance. Prioritize your own security over potentially hurting someone’s feelings.
NIGHT Y'ALL MWAH!
We got this,