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For inspiration and motivation to create connection and better relationships with confidence

Take back your power

Do it your way,
in your own time.

Louise VN Liebenberg

Human being, Artist, Life Coach, Counselor
And now Author…

Click the pretty, pretty buttons below if you want to know more! And I made a little personal video for you if you want to get to know me better – look for it a bit lower on the page.

Do you love me enough to love my “NO”?

I find it hard to choose between the books that had such a profound influence on my life, but “Boundaries” by Dr John Townsend and Dr Henry Cloud is definitely top 5! I call it my Boundaries Bible with good reason.

Say we actually have good, healthy boundaries – which many of us do not have – what happens if we are in a relationship that is important to us, and the person who receives a “No” from us has a (hectic) reaction to our boundary?

Reaction could be all sorts of reactivity: name calling, blaming, victimhood, manipulation, finger wagging, anger, or the most effective one – withdrawing!
And people are very quick to figure out what works with you and will continue using the most effective method to get you to “toe the compliance line”, so our loved ones will subconsciously keep doing what they need to do in order not to experience our “no”.

You see, injured people perceive “no” as a rejection of self, as proof that they are inherently unacceptable.

A bit of a bugger up if you want to be self respecting and self caring, with healthy boundaries. Sometimes the reaction is so severe that you just cave under the barrage and comply. Sometimes you will end up just locking that person out of your life, as it is just easier than having to face the drama over and over and over.

Lose/lose situation.

What we really have to do is explain that we want to  be loved for our “No’s” as well as our “Yes’es”. Loved for our self respect, not for our compliance. It is our job as self respecting adults to find a way to say it. And if we cannot, to find help in the form of someone who can help us improve our communication skills, or find a good couples counsellor whose job it is to help both parties feel heard. Main thing is to become aware of how you participate in the cycle and take responsibility for changing what does not work for you.

Now what if we have by now figured out that it is actually something we are guilty of ourselves?
Let’s face it, most of us much prefer getting a “yes” rather than a “no”.
But are we accepting and respecting another adult’s, or are we so hurt and feeling rejected that we handle it less than gracefully? Will we bully someone into submission, or cow them into compliance with a huge outburst? Will we pile on the guilt and “poor me’s”?

And are we ready to crawl under a rock feeling completely shamed and humiliated by someone’s “No”?

Here is the thing – if any of these reactions are true for us, it is a great indicator that we need to work on improving our self esteem, on processing unresolved childhood hurts and on re-framing shame.

Now we know what to work on!
And…
It is completely fixable. I am forever grateful that I have gone from doing and experiencing many of these things to now being able to rejoice when someone puts a boundary on me. Make no mistake, I often do not like it!!! After all, we all like getting our own way. But what it means to me when someone owns their boundaries is this: I am in the company of an adult! And that is worth getting a “no” for.

Those are the people who are worthy of my time, my affection, my trust and my energy.

If you love me enough, you will love my “No”, not my compliance.

Feel free to share!

Looking forward to hearing from you.
Louise

 

 

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Our relationships with our fathers will have a significant influence on how we see men. It will determine whether we think they are trustworthy. It will influence whether we will be fearful of being abandoned by men. Through our father’s eyes we look at ourselves – this is how we imagine men will see us. Do we measure up? Or are we always going to over-compensate to make up for us not feeling worthy. And how much bad treatment will we take simply because we fear being abandoned?

If we are lucky enough to be treated by our dads like Princess Cheesecake, the One and Only, but with respect for our separateness, our entire view of ourselves changes. We expect more for ourselves, and we are faster to dismiss relationships that are toxic for us.

Wanting our father’s approval is a very normal desire for a little girl of any age. I remember how my father ridiculed people with normal fear, so at the age of six I decided I was not scared of his pack of ferocious Alsations. They did not eat me, so there must be some truth to the notion that dogs smell fear and will attack. But that experience of trying to impress my father meant that I could not connect to feeling fear. I did not know that I had fear of abandonment triggers, as I simply could not connect to any feelings of fear!

Leoni decided that she would have to be her two sisters’ caretaker. Her dad told her as the oldest they were her responsibility to make sure they were not bullied. So she built herself a bulletproof, tough attitude. ”It was very hard to make friends, as I did not let anyone see the real me. I was longing for a relationship in which I was accepted. I did not realise that my relationships kept failing because my bulletproof attitude meant I was pushing them out of my life. I had to learn all over how to let people see the real, soft me inside.”

Sandra’s dad died when she was very young. He was her hero. They had fun. He was one hundred percent on her side. She tried to recreate that relationship all her life. Problem was that …

 

 

 

 

 

 

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