I love the author Anne Lamott. She is brilliant, honest to a fault and a fiercely funny writer. I secretly wish that we could be friends, meeting in cool coffee shops and trading pithy quotes, like the one above. It is one of my favorites from her and I originally embraced it as a mommy motto, but it has a much broader application. Last week, I blogged about the power of yes, so this week we are going to compare and contrast with the word no. Get your Venn diagrams ready and let’s go!
As SLPs, we have the opportunity to develop many great skills. Our field is pretty broad and fluid, and we can work in and across schools, hospitals, homes, and worksites with people from neonates to the elderly. We are helpers by nature and all of this a blessing! What I learned over the years in this field, is to set boundaries for myself at work (and home). Constantly volunteering for committees, researching presentations, creating activities and juggling schedules that are like a giant Rubics Cube to fit in one more kiddo is exhausting!
Saying no is hard, I get it. I don’t like to do it either, but it is the best thing I can do for my mental well-being. I am happy to volunteer (or even to be voluntold, on occasion) and contribute to the greater good of where I am working! However, the tipping point becomes when I start resenting what I am doing, that’s never good. Healthy boundaries equal a healthy (and happier) SLP/human being. I try to share that often with my CFs, especially when they get that deer in the headlights/completely overwhelmed look in their eyes.
No doesn’t require a detailed explanation, that’s for our benefit, really (to assure ourselves we are still good people and we’d LOVE to help but….). No isn’t mean at all, because it gives us room to say yes when we really can and want to! No in therapy helps our kids understand important social concepts like not always getting your way and not arguing with adults or peers. See? There really is a lot of power in the word all by itself!
How do you set healthy boundaries as a SLP and do you struggle with saying no?