During dinner I overhear a young girl asking the server if she could have some tape to write on, just like what was all around us in every direction. The server confidently replied, "Sure just don't write bad words and don't put it on the windows." Seems reasonable enough, right? I noticed what the girl and her family did NOT say back to their server. She did not say,"How could you think of me that way accusing me that I would write a bad word on the tape?! And do you think I'm a total idiot and would put it on the windows where I see no other tape?!" The parents didn't say,"How dare you think my child would do such a thing!" No! Of course that wasn't their reaction. You know why? They didn't take it personally and they had the emotional IQ to understand the server was just allowing engagement but putting it out there that there are a couple of boundaries if you want to engage in the fun.
I sat there realizing this is really all there is to setting forth healthy boundaries and also what it looks like to respect others' boundaries.
1- The young girl and her family never even gave it a second thought to be offended by the server's boundaries. The boundaries were reasonable and not personal.
2- The server wasn't worried about if she agreed to the boundaries or not. She knew she was the one who had possession of the super fun colored duct tape and markers. She understood that if they threw a fit about it, which would of course be absurd, she could just confidently deny the request.
Wonder how differently our lives would look if people didn't take our boundaries personally. Wonder how much less we would be held hostage if we simply confidently unapologetically stated our boundaries and let people engage within those boundaries or not. Wonder if we would just go right on to "wait on the next table" in life if they didn't reasonably cooperate understanding it's on them not us.
True. It's a lot harder when it isn't a stranger but rather someone really close you love dearly. But guess what, it's the same principle and it's something I'm just now learning that it's a choice for relationships to work and that choice is on both sides of the table. Who is someone who you may need to confidently lay out some boundaries with? Who is someone who put their boundaries out on the table with you and your feelings are hurt by it because you took it personally instead of respecting their lines to be drawn for engagement?
May I propose something to you? If Tacky Jack's has boundaries in all of that mess of a duct tape chaos surely we can cut down on our chaos with putting a few boundaries in place, communicating them clearly with boldness and firmness. There will be the occasional crazy and they may even be someone you love but most reasonable people will respond beautifully and connection can happen creating fun relationships to be enjoyed!
Lessons today to be learned -
***Confidently set boundaries you need to have in your life.
***Respect others' boundaries when they set them & don't take it personally when they do.
“Love is not easily offended.”
(1 Corinthians 13:5)
God = Love = Happy
PS Hey be watching for the Laugh Love & Live Early Bird special before it ends and hotel Early Bird Rates for the conference Sept 22-23!! Go ahead now and take that Friday off work, book your hotel and get in on the Early Bird with Lisa Young and myself and other pastors' wives from the Gulf Coast region! It's going to be So. Much. Fun. Register right here at happyanyway.org Click on Conference Registration!!!