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Emotional Intelligence for Setting Healthy Boundaries with Loved Ones

By: Logan Cohen, Online Life Coach & Professional Therapist - Balanced Man Plan

If you are reading this article, then you are ready for setting healthy boundaries with Loved Ones. We only get so much time in this life, so why would you want to spend it with People who are disrespectful towards you, or just do not know what you want/need in life to be happy? And ESPECIALLY with the People we spend the most time with?

It is REALLY easy these days to get stuck in arguments with our Loved Ones as everybody deals with the fast pace of Modern Society and lately - current events have been TENSE on top of that!

Would you like to know how to get through tense conversations in your relationships - AND have your Personal Integrity - all in one piece?

That old saying that, "We teach others how to each us," is SO true and it is NEVER too late to, "teach an old dog new tricks...", that is unless you are talking about a Female lover in which case, make sure you NEVER read that out loud around them EVER!

If you are like us and want to ENJOY the time you have with your most important Friends & Family, then you are in the right place.

The Online Life Coaching For Men offered by the Balanced Man Plan is designed to help you protect your Personal Integrity AND important relationships with Loved Ones at the SAME TIME.

The key to finding your own natural balance is about creating what Psychologists call "Emotional Intelligence."

Emotional Intelligence (otherwise known as "EQ") is the ability to understand, use, and manage your own emotions in positive ways to relieve stress, communicate effectively, empathize with others, and diffuse conflict.

When we have a full range of EQ, we can use our emotions as information to guide our decision-making in daily life ("trust your gut") that will meet our own Personal Integrity ("bottom line"), as well as that of our Friends and Loved Ones. This is what we mean by "Healthy Boundaries" - general expectations about what is OK - or not OK with us - so that everybody can get what they need and nobody has to be resentful!

When we are able to do this effectively, we get to be our True Self in meaningful relationships - creating a strong foundation of BALANCE at our Core. Due to the importance of Emotional Intelligence in managing our over-all balance, the Self-Guided Coaching Plan for Emotional Intelligence is one of five Core Areas of Balance in our Balanced Man Plan. We can't have you flying blind out there in your daily life!

If you would like to work on your Emotional Intelligence with a bit more focus after reading this article, you can do so here.

As important as our relationships with Friends & Family are, we ALSO have to balance these needs for meaningful connection to Loved Ones with our OWN Personal Integrity.

If we don't make sure this happens, then we allow ourselves to "get swept up" in someone/thing else's agenda, and risk acting in a way that creates resentment towards Self and/or Loved Ones - setting up each Person in the relationship to lose trust and grow apart in the long run.

When we do the work to develop a full range of Emotional Intelligence for setting healthy boundaries with Loved Ones, everything can get flowing in the right direction. Are you ready to protect yourself and Loved Ones at the SAME TIME? Let's do it then -

Emotional Intelligence for Setting Healthy Boundaries With Loved Ones

#1 Way to Increase Emotional Intelligence for setting healthy boundaries with Loved Ones- STAY CALM

This is the first and probably most important skill when it comes to setting healthy boundaries with Loved Ones using Emotional Intelligence. When a conflict starts, the tension goes up, and eventually things can get HEATED.

When this happens, it is natural to feel your heart-rate & breathing rate increase - whether it is about the topic specifically or the Loved One involved.

And when YOU are feeling tense in an argument, chances are that the OTHER Person is as well! Again, this is only natural and we should expect People to mirror (or "reflect") our emotional states back to us, especially in those closer relationships because we are naturally more "emotionally attuned" to our Loved Ones.

If we fail to stay calm, then we run the risk of getting into a "cycle of complementary escalation" - where both parties "one up" each other with volume, tone, and rate of speech until before you know it - there is LITERALLY a yelling match!

For these reasons, it is ESSENTIAL that you learn to STAY - CALM...If you want to learn how to stop arguing with Loved Ones and keep your Personal Integrity at the same time, it is very important that this does NOT get any more heated than it has to be.

Would you like some helpful tips and tricks borrowed directly from our Emotional Intelligence Self-Guided Coaching Plan?

1) Keep Breathing Steady - When we monitor our breath and learn how to regulate our breathing, this stimulates our "parasympathetic nervous system" that keeps us more calm, regulated, and thinking rationally - rather than getting stuck in REACTIVITY. Learn more about this here

2) Self Talk - If you have worked through the Emotional Intelligence Self Guided Coaching Plan already, then you KNOW what a "game changer" "self talk" can be. Whether we realize it or not, ALL of us are speaking to ourselves in our own Mind through the day. When speaking to yourself to stay calm, remind yourself internally of your own "Core Values" as well as the nature of this important relationship.

Learn more about this here

3) Self-Visualization - Once the other Person gets tense and you can feel yourself follow their lead towards tension, it is sometimes helpful to pick something in your immediate visual field to "ground yourself." One of my personal tricks in this moment is to pick out a feature on the Speaker's face (a freckle, mole, whatever) and just focus on THAT. This will allow you to "check out" enough from what they are saying and look for one of the exits that will be described below. Learn more about this technique here

Emotional Intelligence for Setting Healthy Boundaries With Loved Ones

#2 Way to Increase Emotional Intelligence for setting healthy boundaries with Loved Ones- - DON'T TAKE IT PERSONALLY

I know this is a lot easier said then done - especially when this happens with a Loved One. It would be great if we ALWAYS agreed with our Loved Ones, but that is just not realistic. And sometimes the things that come out of our Loved One's mouth might be surprising - even HURTFUL!

When this happens, it is important to stay focused on those "Core Values".

Is it worth taking this situation more personally and escalating into a fight?

Or would you rather figure out what is happening on a deeper level with your Loved One and maybe be able to use that for creating healthy boundaries?

The more you are able to remind yourself to NOT take it personally (if at all possible), the more you can give everybody room to breathe and assess the situation to see what might need to be adjusted or re-considered. The more we take things personally, the less we can actually use our Emotional Intelligence for setting healthy boundaries with Loved Ones because everybody is caught up in the argument.

Emotional Intelligence for Setting Healthy Boundaries With Loved Ones

#3 Way to Increase Emotional Intelligence for setting healthy boundaries with Loved Ones- - EXIT ROUTE

There is a time for "hashing it out", but we also have to know how and when to pick our battles. It is important to know what that line is before we go into a conversation with our Loved Ones because if we don't, it is too easy to "take the bait" when we feel upset.

As they say, "A decision made in anger is often very hard to undue."

When thinking about how we know it is time to find that exit route, Emotional Intelligence for setting healthy boundaries with loved ones will be VERY important because the MORE we know about what to expect from Self internally, the more we can be intentional about how we respond.

If we know that a certain level of Anger or Insecurity combined with certain thoughts means, "Nope, I need to take space before I give you a verbal lashing," the more efficiently we can manage our environment and figure out how to proceed in a way that creates the type of balance we need.

Curious about some practical techniques to make a clean exit so you can use your Emotional Intelligence for setting healthy boundaries with Loved Ones?

Here are a few suggestions to help you put things into motion and successfully make that exit:

1) Agree to Disagree - "I hear what you are saying and get your position, but don't think we are going to agree on this. You are still important to me, so I would rather leave this alone for now."

2) Change the Subject - "Yeah, I know this has all been a lot. Can we talk about something else? What are your Holiday Plans looking like?"

Emotional Intelligence for Setting Healthy Boundaries With Loved Ones

#4 Way to Increase Emotional Intelligence for setting healthy boundaries with Loved Ones- Set Clear Limits

Sometimes the People we are speaking with can get REALLY focused on the topic at hand - especially when it feels a bit heated.

While these situations can be difficult, they also give us an opportunity to REALLY practice using our Emotional Intelligence for setting healthy boundaries with Loved Ones.

When People start getting MEAN or CRITICAL, or even start RAISING THEIR VOICE - then it is probably time to "teach them how to treat us" a bit more CLEARLY. These are the times where People tend to struggle the most because it is easy to feel angry or defensive ourselves, then lose the chance to see where we REALLY stand with this Person because we are not making things any more complicated.

Here are a few of the strategies covered in our collection of Self-Guided Coaching Plans.

1) "Can you not yell when you are talking to me please?" - The more volume goes up, the more this invites a yelling match. If the other Person is starting to raise their voice with you, it is a good idea to ask them to stop doing that. If you are direct and have a calm tone yourself, it will be hard for the other Person to deny they are "out of bounds."

2) Be Specific - The more specific we can be about what is OK and not OK with us, the more we can be certain that other People are aware of what we are expecting. This makes it easier to "be at peace" when we have to use the newly developed Emotional Intelligence to set healthy boundaries with Loved Ones because they closer they are - the harder it usually is.

My name is Logan Cohen and I am a Professional Therapist & Life Coach with over 10 years in the field of Counseling Psychology. I am a Clinical Supervisor for the American Association of Marriage & Family Therapy, as well as the founder of New Leaf Counseling Group, LLC in Charlotte, NC. After spending tens of thousands of clinical hours with my own clients, starting a successful group practice, as well as a beautiful Family, I “picked my head up from the grindstone” to check in on childhood Friends & Loved Ones.

I painfully discovered that more than a few of my childhood Friends passed away at a young age from preventable health conditions and decided that as a Man, Husband, Father, and Friend, I could no longer stand by as People suffered in silence and self-destruct rather than ask for help. It DOESN'T have to be like that and the natural healing methods offered by the Balanced Man Plan are designed to help People “get unstuck” and break free from old patterns that are the barriers between Self & quality of Life.

The Balanced Man Plan is a therapeutic digital experience delivered through Self-Guided Coaching Plans created by a Male Therapist with the common barriers & strengths of Men in mind. The Balanced Man Plan has the goal of introducing a natural Balance back into Life so it is sustainable for the optimal Health & Well-Being of Self and Loved Ones - and ALL from the privacy and comfort of Home.

If you have enjoyed what you see so far, check out our Self Guided Coaching Plans!

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