Recently two different women have come to me for more clarity their husbands. When I asked about what was going on, I heard them acquiescing to their husbands. Both had stopped standing up for themselves. They let go of their non-negotiables, those things they had said were essential to the relationship.
When they stopped standing up for themselves, they lost their say. Step by Step. They lost their say by failing to stand up for themselves in the little things, where it felt easier to just keep the harmony. Like asking your husband to turn down the volume on the TV so you can read. You may loudly hear how he likes the volume high to watch the game. You let it go of reading quietly in the next room and move to a less comfortable place.
Have you lost your say? Have you unwittingly offered your non-negotiables back up for negotiation? One of my non-negotiables is living with positive people. When I figured it out, a person my husband had invited to live with us was acting negatively toward me. I went to my husband and shared that I wanted to surround myself with positive people. My husband understood and helped the person find other living arrangements.
The first step is to be clear on just what is mandatory to you. Next figure out what you are willing to let go of to have it. Finally communicate to others and act on your decisions.
Take the time to write down what is essential in your relationship. As an example, perhaps you would like to feel safe. When someone is hitting you, you are unsafe. You have a clear line. This is a critical point. Make certain you are clear with yourself and what you tell others. Clarity adds to your certainty.
Once you are clear, figure out what you are willing to do. Name the action you are willing to take to keep your non-negotiable intact. In the safety example, you may choose to call 911. This is the action step you have thought out in advance, so you are ready in the heat of the moment.
After you are clear and know your action step, then you communicate to the person with whom you have a relationship. Your clarity makes this communication easier. You can then state to your husband, “If you lift a hand against me, I will call the police.” At this point you are passing on information rather negotiating. You are stating your facts.
Lastly, you follow through as necessary. The person hits and you call 911 or whatever it is you have decided to do that works for you. You are then demonstrating your willingness to follow through with standing up for yourself.
Your non-negotiables are just that. They are your own. You get to choose them. Figure them out so that you can communicate them clearly. Determine your action steps if your non-negotiables are ignored. State your non-negotiables and action steps. Then follow through. You choose your relationships and how they function. To you and your working relationships!