Healthy Boundaries Class

Yes, I Said No!
Setting Healthy Boundaries

Why We Need: Yes, I said No! Setting Healthy Boundaries:

In this class, participants will discover the answer to such questions as:

●       Have you experienced burnout or find it difficult to have time for both work and family?

●       Do you find it difficult to speak up for yourself?

●       Do you ever feel you have too much to do and not enough time to do it?

●       Is your life controlling you, instead of your being in charge of your own life?

All these concerns, and more, can be solved with proper boundaries to protect work/life balance and the challenges of an overloaded schedule or demands from family and friends. 

     “Setting Healthy Boundaries” is an eight-week class starting March 1 offered at the Potter’s House Church of Denver, 9495 E. Florida Avenue.  There is no charge for this class which will be held on Thursday evenings from 6:30-8:00 p.m. 

      Presented by Barbra Russell, Licensed Professional Counselor and author of the book, Yes! I Said No! – How To Set Healthy Boundaries and Increase Your Self Esteem, these classes will help you regain your passion, excitement and life balance. 

      Class participants will learn how to:

 ·        Say no without blowing up, wimping out or running away

·        Learn how to care for people without carrying them

·        Balance work and life in a healthy manner

     To more information, contact the counseling department at The Potter’s House at 303-369-8514


The tree trunk speaks!

J ust Say No! 

Just Say No! 

When it's even carved into tree trunks, you have to pay attention! Say no to the wrong things - the time grabbers, the people who leave you feeling sad and bad, or keep you dependent on them.

You'll then have the energy, passion and self confidence to say yes to risk, growth and things you love

Yes! I said No!

noHow to Say NO!  Without Blowing Up, Wimping Out or Running Away

 No! – A simple, two-letter word. Should be easy to say, right? No! In my experience, this small declaration of independence is often the result of a hard-fought war within the mind. Victory can be won, but the battles are tough!

Dr. John Townsend, author of the book Boundaries, says that “No” is the Christian curse word – that’s a pretty strong statement but with so many believers who “can’t say no,” I can see why he would say such a thing! Let me give you an example:

A young man recently confessed he had been asked to be a youth leader, Sunday school teacher, greeter, deacon and part of the leadership team at his church. He had a wife and two small children and oh by the way, he also worked a full-time job!   While he enjoyed each aspect of his involvement at church, it soon became obvious his priorities were messed up!

He wanted to say no, he needed to say no, but he said yes anyway. As a result, he had begun to feel used and resentful; on his way to burn-out.

He, like many of us, needed to learn how to say no without blowing up, wimping out or running away.    What do I mean by these terms?

blow upBlowing up! – We “take it” and “take it” and “take it,” until we can’t “take it” any more! Like the young man above, we take on too much! From a place of resentment we explode in anger, and usually the relationship is blown up as well!

Wimping Out – We don’t want to agree, but we also can’t quite get up the courage to say no. So we excuse ourselves by muttering things like: “If I don’t agree, they’ll be mad,”

“They’re in a bad place right now.” “They need me.”

“They won’t like me.” We can find plenty of reasons to “wimp out!”

Running Away - When you try to avoid the other person, change the subject or come up with a bunch of excuses. These are often the people who burn out and stop doing ANYTHING, going from one extreme to the other.

                                                 The question then becomes:

 How do we say no without blowing up, wimping out or running away?

 Pass the “P’s” Please

 A couple of “P’s” can help: -- Planning and Practice. Let’s talk about Planning first:

Planning – If you haven’t been very good at saying “No,” you will need to be prepared; get some tools for your toolbox. Here are three: Tool #1 – Keep It Short and Sweet

Don’t explain, but keep your “no” short and simple. Too often, people feel obliged to expound on why they need to say no. However, the longer the story, the more others can find reasons why that doesn’t work (for them!)  “Oh, don’t worry,” they’ll say, “it won’t take that long,” “it’s just for this time,” etc. etc. etc.

I recently called to cancel our TV subscription. You know what’s that like, right? They have specially trained people to talk you out of cancelling and often, you wind up signing up again!

I was prepared this time, however, with something I call

Tool #2 – The Broken Record Technique 

Me: “I want to cancel our TV subscription.”broken record

TV Employee: “Oh, what brought you to this decision?” (ready to counter any objections I might offer)

Me:Broken Record” – repeated same thing: “I just need to cancel our TV subscription.”

After a couple of other efforts to get more information from me, the employee said, “well, it’s your decision. We’re sorry to lose you as a customer.”

Yes! I was able to say No!

Tool #3 – Learn a New Phrase – “Let Me Get Back To You”

             Suppose you’re asked to add something to your already full schedule and you know you don’t have time. However, you’re filled with anxiety when you even contemplate “disappointing” them.   It’s important not to use this as a “wimp out;” which can drive you to say, “Sure, I’d be happy be help! Instead, you pull out Tool #3 and say, “Let me check my schedule and get back to you.”

Within 24 hours, call and say, “I’m sorry; I checked my calendar and I can’t do that. I wish you all the best!” If necessary, use Tool #2 – Broken Record – and simply repeat what you’ve already said. Then, pump your fist and say, “Yes! I was able to say No!”

Ok, you’ve Planned and you’re Prepared; the next step is to Practice. We can have very satisfying conversations in our heads that don’t translate to our tongues very well. When you practice, familiarity brings comfort and confidence.

Practice using each of the tools listed above:

  • In front of a mirror
  • With someone else
  • Writing down exactly what you want to say

Then – enjoy the freedom which comes from Learning To Say No Without Blowing Up, Wimping Out or Running Away!



If It Doesn't Work, Do Something Different!

If It Doesn’t Work, Do Something Different!

 “Remember the Alamo!” That rallying cry is what came to my mind when I instructed my client toRemember the Bagels!” It may sound a bit silly, but those words are to remind her of an important principle:



 “If something works, do it more! If it doesn’t work, do something different.”

 What, you may ask, does that have to do with remembering bagels? Well, I’ll tell you.

“Susan” stated she had been trying to please her husband for many years, but it seemed nothing she ever did was right or good enough. A recent example, she said, was the daily bagel run. Her husband was very busy, with an important job in the community so her assignment was the "bagel run.” She would go pick up the special bagels he liked and have them ready for him to eat before he rushed off to work.

However, there was always something wrong with the bagels. They were sliced when he didn’t want them sliced, they weren’t the right kind and she didn’t get his order right, etc. etc. He always complained, and she began to feel resentful, used and abused! Then SHE was the one who began to complain -- to others, of course! She didn’t like that role and now sought my help.

She tried many things that didn't work:

She told him how she felt – unappreciated, criticized and unloved

  • She tried to keep doing it better
  • She tried pouting
  • She tried the silent treatment
  • She tried getting angry and slamming doors
  • She asked him to stop complaining every day about the bagels.

Nothing worked – he never changed.

This scenario reminded me of Dr. Phil’s famous quote “How’s that working out for you?” In other words,  If it doesn’t work, do something different!

 Well, what she had been doing didn’t work – it was time to do something different!

The next day that’s exactly what she did – something different!!  She very kindly said, “Since I can’t ever get your bagel order right, you’ll need to take care of that yourself.” Well, that changed things a bit – he said, “that’s ok, I’m sure you’ll get it right next time.”

(Have you ever noticed boundary-breakers will try any means necessary to keep things going their way!!?)

But she didn’t budge from her new-found resolution and let him get his own bagels.

A week later I received a call: “It worked!” she almost yelled. “It worked! He actually started going after his own bagels!”  

After celebrating with her, we came up with something she can do or say to keep doing what worked – andRemember the bagels” became her own rallying cry.

 Remember the bagels” - I’m taking charge of my life!!bagels2

 Remember the bagels” - I don’t have to yell or pout. 

Along the way, she had learned some important principles:

  •  You can’t change someone else
  • Stop complaining about what’s wrong and DO something
  • If it works, do it more. If it doesn’t work, do something else!

So ask yourself, “What’s not working for me? Instead of hoping those 15 pounds will just magically come off your hips or that your friends or co-workers will start treating you with a little respect, what can you do that’s different? When you discover what works, do it more