Tag Archives: friends

Boundaries. GET SOME!

1 Apr

So, I am learning a lot lately on the concept of BOUNDARIES.  And so far, I’ve learned two important aspects that I need to implement now.  Like YESTERDAY.  More like, “WHY in the HECK didn’t I think of this before?”  I feel like if I had done something like this earlier, I could have saved myself a CRAP TON of heartache.  Ugh, don’t you hate that?!  Learning something after the fact, after it really could’ve come in handy.  Argh!  Life can really aggravate me sometimes!  Well, to be more honest, I aggravated myself by the way I lead my life sometimes………..

Boundaries.  For me.  For you.  For everyone.  Jump on my new Bandwagon with me. We’ll have fun.

Aspecto Numero Uno – To protect other people from you:

I need someone to tell me when to stop.  I can be too forceful.  Too opinionated (thanks goodness for blogs right?!). Too BOSSY.  Too quick to make up my mind.  I NEED someone to shake me by the shoulders and say, “Enough already!!!!!” I am learning that most times, NO ONE in my life really wants to hear what I THINK they should do.  If you’re bossy like me you KNOW it’s true!! PEOPLE ARE GOING TO DO WHAT THEY WANT TO DO.   I think they just ask for advice to make themselves feel better about the choice they’ve already made in their head.  How would they feel better?  Because now, they can give themselves reassurance that indeed, they asked for advice!  Whatever decision is made, it’s not impulsive!  So WHY, WHY, WHY do I keep telling people what to do???  Who made me Queen of the world? No one. But I do think I would make a great Queen if there are any countries looking. I’ll need a clothing allowance.  Just sayin’.

It stinks when people ask and don’t take your advice doesn’t it?  That phrase, “I told you so.”  It sucks.  It sucks to hear and it sucks to see someone struggle when, IF they had ONLY JUST LISTENED, it could have been avoided!!! If you like saying, “I told you so” I would like to know why, because I HATE IT!

Example: “Cecilia, my husband and I are fighting a lot over _______.”  (Money, kids, sex, religion, in-laws, ex’s, you name it)

The old me: “Well, you should get it together and stop doing _______.  That’s why you guys are fighting and if you don’t do _____ it’s just gonna get worse and then ______ will happen and it be worse and then you’ll get divorced.”  That’s a summed up version, because basically, I can talk for muuuuuch longer than that.

The ideal me: “Man, I am really sorry to hear that.  How can I help?  I will pray for you guys.  I can watch your kids when you’re in marriage counseling.  I can make you dinner to take the pressure off for a night. Is there anything in the BIBLE about that, it’s pretty much the bomb diggity as far as life lessons go. Let me clarify, are you wanting an opinion or are you just wanting to vent?”

Somewhere between the ideal me and the old me, is where I am right now.  Where are you?  You might not be bossy.  Maybe you’re smug.  Maybe you’re judgemental.  Maybe you’re an emotional roller coaster. Maybe you give and give until you’re empty. Maybe you gossip. Maybe you’re a narcissist.  We’ve all got our flaws.  You know in your heart of hearts what yours are.  Pray about it and ask God for a solution to save your relationships.  I did and boy, we came up with an answer!!  For whatever reason, God made me exactly the way I am.  It’s my challenge to find a way to channel that into something that reflects LOVE.  One of my son’s favorite books says this phrase, “I’d rather be helpful than hurtful.”  I had to start asking if I was helping or hurting with my opinions.  Here’s what I figured out with a little help from praying about it:  Ask people for a boundary and respect them.  I actually did that just today, and I really think it’s going to ease some tension in my friendship.  I asked my friend to tell me whether or not she wants my opinion and I promised to stick to it.

A woman I know offered a little advice on boundaries, “If we start out our relationships with boundaries, we stay in control. It takes more work, more effort and carries more risk to create boundaries after things go awry than if we do it ahead of time.”

Aspecto Numero Dos – To protect yourself from others:

Who takes advantage of you? (One friend had a person stay for five days when they only agreed on three!)  Who hurts your feelings?  Who makes you feel less than the super cool person you are?  I am hoping that it’s not someone you call a friend.  Read my blog on Friendship, and release that person into the ACQUAINTANCE ZONE.  I’m guessing it’s the people you can’t get rid of.

Um, not that you’d want to….

Your parents, your siblings, your boss, or maybe even your spouse?  LISTEN TO ME.

wait.  Ah shucks, there I go again, telling you what to do. BUT!  You’re reading this blog so you’ve basically signed up for my opinion.

So, LISTEN TO ME MY FRIENDS.  We are getting hurt because we have no boundaries. END OF STORY.

Remember Dr. Phil?  For some reason in my early twenties I was kinda obsessed with him.  Don’t ask.  He said something that I will NEVER forget.



Lemme break it down for you:  I know you love your Momma.  And I know your Momma loves you.  And I also KNOW that it drives you bat guano crazy when she criticizes your spouse/kids/job/life/finances/muffin top/ and so forth.  I hope you like your Boss. Or at least you NEED this job.   And I hope he (or SHE!) values you.  But I KNOW it drives you bat guano crazy when he (or SHE!) gives you work at the last-minute/micro-manages/gossips about your co-workers and so forth.  So set a boundary.  And reset. And reset again.  Set a boundary until that other person knows how you want to be treated!!

For your Momma: “Mom, I love and appreciate that you have some great advice to offer, but I really NEED to figure out what works best for ME right now.  Please give me a chance to do that.  I could really use your support, not your critiques.  I’m not in a place where I can hear that with love, no matter how constructive you mean them to be.”  Something to that effect I think would really go a long way.  She doesn’t stop?  Sometimes Mommas can be persistent.  “Mom, remember when I said I would rather have your support than your judgements?  I’m not sure you heard how seriously I feel about that.  From now on, let’s put this topic on the shelf.  I’ll ask for your advice when I think it’ll come in handy.  How’s the weather?”   Sometimes Mommas can be persistent AND carry boundary-knocking sledgehammers. “Mom, I love you and I know you love me.  Please give my requests some respect.  If you can’t withhold your judgements, which really hurt me, we aren’t going to be able to talk until you can.”  Hardcore?  I know. I am not suggesting that you cut ties with your family without provocation.  But man!!  They can hurt you.  They know how.  And you can still be honorable and respectful and refuse to sign yourself up for abuse.  TRAIN YOUR LOVED ONES on the way you want to be treated.

For your Boss: “Thanks Mr. Miyagi for trusting me with all this responsibility. How am I supposed to wax on AND off, on top all this other work?  I am grateful and excited for the opportunity to show you that I can handle it.  I am going to need to prioritize to get these things to get them done in a timely manner.  Can you show me what you want done right now, and which tasks can wait until the end of the week/month/quarter?”  DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT get fired over this blog.  DO NOT GET FIRED OVER THIS BLOG.  DO NOT!!!  If your boss takes advantage of you and you need the income to feed your children, DO NOT make demands of them.  DO NOT GET FIRED OVER THIS BLOG!!!!!!!!!!!  Be persistent but not INSISTENT!  Roger that? And look for another job, WHILE YOU HAVE THAT ONE.  DO NOT GET FIRED OVER THIS BLOG!!  Ask for a plan that he (or SHE!) approves of.  If they can’t give that to you, make one yourself and then make sure you’re on the right track to complete the assignments the way they want them.  Should I say it again?  Just in case? DO NOT GET FIRED OVER THIS BLOG!

Boundaries.  They’re like well-tailored trouser pants.  Everyone needs them.  They aren’t easy to find.  And sometimes you’ll have to sacrifice something to get them.  But once you find some that work for you, you’ll never buy cheap pants again.

I hope you can be successful.  Be helpful, not hurtful. Be respectful but not a whipping post.  Train others how to treat you. DON’T GET FIRED!  

Reflect God’s LOVE. 


How to Make Friends: Part THREE.

3 Feb


So.  You’ve found your niche (see part 1) you’ve made a great first impression (see part 2) and NOW – drumroll please – you’ve made……. an Acquaintance!

(Sound of brakes screeching)

“Wait a minute, Cecilia!” you say, ” I wanted REAL FRIENDS! I’ve got lots of acquaintances! I want someone I can rely on, be real with, and trust my feelings with!”

Calm down……..

We’ve arrived!  Welcome to the third and final part of my series on making friends:

To make a TRUE FRIEND, you must BE a TRUE FRIEND!

READY?  This one is a bit long, but hang in there with me!

Here’s the magic, here’s the missing piece and here’s where you’ve been going wrong:

EFFORT people.

Have I offended you?  By assuming that YOU haven’t put enough effort into your relationships?  YES!!!!!  It is your fault that you don’t have friends.  I don’t want to hurt your feelings.  I really don’t.


The whole point of me blogging is to be able to tell the truth.  To myself, to you, and to the poor soul that accidentally stumbled upon this blog.  (I’m going to pretend that you just ended up here and can’t help but read these ground breaking and enlightening thoughts of mine.)  But FEAR NOT, God is on your side and so am I!!  So let us sally forth (!) into the realm of truthful and intentional friend making!

The CREW.  I have friends that I can depend on for anything.  I can TRUST them.  I can tell them what I am struggling with, without fear of judgement.  I can trust them with knowing my past, even the UGLY stuff, because I know, they love me for who I am and who I am trying to be.  Pretty cool huh?

I know you want that too.  Who doesn’t???? And guess what, you deserve it. And you need it.  I believe that we were made to crave friendships.  But let me tell you, each one of the people in my crew, I had to hook myself.  I wish I could tell you that they walked up to me.  They didn’t.  So if you’re holding your breath, waiting for someone to approach you with that MAGICAL phrase, that will be everything you’ve ever wanted to hear about how cool you are, let it out.  Please.  You look a little silly all beet red and oxygen deprived.  I had to ask, I had to initiate, and it was a little scary at first.

 EFFORT People!

You can only control what you do, so take control of your actions!  Make them meaningful!  Find out what that makes your potential friends tick, and give it to them. As selfish as it sounds, I believe that great friendships form out of a necessity to GET SOMETHING REAL from someone else.  No, not money.  No, not power.  I am sure that if you’ve tried to get those things out of a friendship, you don’t feel good about it.  I think that the “something”, is that special thing about you, given to you by God, that makes you feel LOVED.


Not pretty.  Not smart.  Not rich and fabulous or frizz free.  I would ask you to take a second and review some of your failed attempts at friendship, what were you looking for?  What were THEY looking for???   There is a great book out there called, “The Five Love Languages.”  READ IT!  It will change you. It was so enlightening to learn how each of us were made differently, and require different types of effort to feel loved.

Mine is “Quality Time.”

I need to have people around me that can spend REAL time with me.  Time to talk or do fun things together. Time to vent, time to feel like someone really, truly gives a rat’s fart about me.  That’s why I NEED date nights with my husband, and why I NEED one-on-one time with my friends.  My friends are busy people, all have kids and some also have careers.  I know their time is precious, but in order to be what I would consider a TRUE friend, you’ve gotta give me your TIME.  Again, if I were to see someone everyday (quantity) and didn’t feel valued (quality) it would not be a worthwhile friendship.

I knew a woman who would send little encouraging cards in the mail, or every time there was a holiday or special occasion, she’d always have some little gift to give. She was a “Johnny on the Spot”. Dinner party?  She’d bring a bottle of wine.   Hospitalized?  She’d send flowers.  Need a pen?  She’d have seventeen.  Everything she did, was exactly what the books say you’re supposed to do.  It was very nice, she was thoughtful. And always prepared.  BUT!  I really could have cared less.

Harsh right? I know, I’m sorry.

The bottom line is that I needed the investment of her time, and she could never make me a priority. While I could rely on her to have nine different books on breastfeeding, I couldn’t trust her to come over and listen to what was going on in my heart.  It hurts too much to be friends with someone who can’t give you what you need. You’re always left feeling a little inadequate.

I hear you saying, “Wait a second, what if that is how she shows she cares?!!!  Can’t you be friends with someone as long as they care about you??”

I would argue that NO, you cannot.  A true friend finds what YOU need and gives it to you.  It takes EFFORT and it can be a little uncomfortable if what they need is your weakness.

But you see, that’s where the separation from “friend” and “acquaintance” come into play.  A true friend WILL SACRIFICE for you.  A true friend will do things that build you up, even if it means being uncomfortable themselves.  It’s HARD to be a true friend.  That’s why they are so very, VERY special.

Keep in mind please, that it is OKAY to be OKAY with NOT moving someone into your crew.  I knew a girl in the military, that NEEDED me to agree with everything she did.  Her need in a true friend was someone who could stand by her, no matter what.  Like, really, NO MATTER WHAT.  Sleeping with the guy you like?  “Borrowing” your credit card without telling you?   Not lying, but “omitting.”  I couldn’t be there for her “NO MATTER WHAT.”  I was a doormat, or maybe I was a revolving door.  Either way, I couldn’t be anything related to doors. It exhausted and frustrated me.

So we could never be true friends.  In my early twenties, I was saddened and upset by that. I just wanted a friend SOOOO desperately.  Now, in my thirties, I understand that it was okay to let her go.

Here is an example of a sacrifice I CAN make.  I have a TRUE friend that is insecure.  About everything.  Her past, her parenting, her looks.  Heck she’s insecure about being insecure!!!  She NEEDS a true friend that can give constant ENCOURAGEMENT.  It doesn’t come easy to me.  In fact if I left myself, I can get annoyed with it. Because I am  more of a, “Buck Up Buttercup!” type.  But I do it, I put EFFORT into encouraging her because I care about her deeply.  The value of her friendship to me, far outweighs being uncomfortable.  And guess what, she gives me quality time, despite the fact that she’s a mom, and a wife, and a successful business owner.  She is a wonderful friend to me!

So the moral of my tale is this:

***It’s very important that you take some time and find out what YOU NEED in a friend!  Then ASK for it!****

***Take a hard look at who you consider your friends to be.  Are you able to be their TRUE friend?  Can you sacrifice and give THEM what they need? Do they give you what you need?  If not, release them KINDLY into the “acquaintance” group.  Because in the long run, you’re taking the place of someone who can!***

I hope that you find my position on friendship helpful, especially if you are lonely.  Being lonely sucks!  I’ve been there and I would hate to for you to be there too.   If you have a question, let it rip!!  I promise to REALLY try to help you if I can.  I have messed up so many times, I have a really reliable list of what NOT TO DO!  Good luck friends!


How to Make Friends. Part Two

24 Dec

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