You go to visit your brother and his brand new baby in the hospital. You’re an auntie, how exciting!
This moment has to be immortalised. You take an ever-so-cute photo of your new niece snuggled in her mother’s arms.
No filter necessary, the baby is already a knockout, just like her aunty.
Your finger hovers over the post button, is this okay? But whoosh, it’s posted.
Uh oh. When your sister-in-law spots it, all hell breaks loose.
It’s an familiar story. Can I post the first photo of my friend’s wedding dress? My cousin’s engagement ring? My nephew’s first birthday party? Is it okay to announce someone else’s pregnancy?
Surely you can take that baby name they mentioned but haven’t used yet, right?
The answer to all these questions, apparently, is a resounding NO.
Social media presents a new challenge to an age-old problem: Family boundaries.
This week on The Well podcast, Rebecca Sparrow and Robin Bailey dive deep into the minefield of saying yes, and saying no:
Setting boundaries is about more than just putting an embargo on social media blasts.
There’s also the familial obligations that are just so darn hard to knock back.
You know the sort, when you agree to host the entire clan for an all-out Christmas dinner. Or when, despite your initial objections, you eventually agree to look after someone’s kid when you can barely find the time to tie your shoelaces in the morning.
The internal struggle and guilt gets the better of you and you end up saying yes when you really mean no.
On the podcast, Rebecca Sparrow laments that she is struck by this ‘disease to please’.
Coming to the rescue, Robin Bailey shares how she kicked the habit, and psychiatrist Judith Martin lays down a lesson on Boundaries 101.
Judith says the key to saying no and setting boundaries with family is to be confident.
‘You must make a statement and you must put a full stop on the end of it,’ she says.
Her go-to statement?
‘I’d really love to help you but I don’t have capacity right now.’
It’s so simple… it’s perfection! No one can pick holes in it and turn your ‘no’ into a ‘yes’.
But if you're like Rebecca and still cannot fathom letting your family down, you need to listen to the whole podcast, and find how to kill that disease to please!
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