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No More Mr. Nice Guy: Mastering the Art of Saying No

Episode #820

Are you tired of saying “yes” to everything and feeling like you’re constantly being walked over?

In this episode, Doug shares personal anecdotes and practical advice on how to establish firm boundaries without becoming overbearing. From managing relationships with your spouse to interactions with your children, learn why setting fewer but firmer boundaries is more effective than having a multitude of weak ones. Discover the common pitfalls men face when they first start to enforce boundaries and how you can avoid them.

Doug also explains the importance of consequences when boundaries are crossed and provides actionable steps to help you define and maintain your own personal boundaries. Whether it’s in your marriage, with your kids, or in the workplace, learn how to command respect and maintain your dignity by effectively communicating and enforcing your standards.

Tune in to gain valuable insights and strategies that will empower you to stop being the “nice guy” and start respecting yourself enough to demand the same from others. This is a must-listen for any man ready to take control of his life and relationships.

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Doug Holt  0:00  

You can meet certain people and you’re like, oh, that person’s got a lot of confidence. There are certain guys there, there are women that you just don’t mess with, right? You know that if you cross a certain threshold with them, they’re gonna call you out, they might punch you. There’s also other guys that don’t have that boundary. And so you can push them and push them and push them like a doormat because they’re never going to retaliate. I often see guys set boundaries, just friggin set boundaries, don’t be that guy set fewer boundaries, but make them really firm. This is my standard for what I accept. These are my boundaries, my standards, and if you cross them, there will be consequences.

Hey, guys, welcome back to the TPM Show. Today, I want to talk about boundaries. Now, a lot of guys have problems with boundaries, right? Do you ever feel like you’re just spread too thin, and you don’t have enough time? But you keep saying yes to everybody. Or you feel like people are violating your boundaries, maybe they’re disrespecting you, but they don’t suffer any comps consequences. Or you ask somebody not to do something, you tell your wife not to do something not to treat you a certain way. But she does it anyway. And you just keep going and putting up with it. But today, we’re gonna have a short talk, and I’m gonna define boundaries and give you a couple of action steps today that you can do to set better boundaries in your life. And what I want you to do, really, first of all, is I want to think about what are the common mistakes that people make. First of all, what happens for a lot of minutes when they realize that they need to set better boundaries, is they let the pendulum swing way too far to the other side, and it looks something like this, they figure out, Hey, I’ve been a nice guy for so long, that now I needed to flip the script and they end up being a jerk. Or they set too many boundaries, they start setting tons and tons of boundaries that are meaningless and empty. Right, you have too many, and then they don’t honor them. And when you don’t honor a boundary, Well, geez, you know, it’s not really a boundary after all. So think of it this way. I have a four-year-old daughter if my four-year-old daughter is jumping on the couch, right? I say, Hey, you’re not allowed to jump on the couch. That’s a rule. But yes, she continues to jump on the couch, and I don’t do anything. Is she going to listen to me next time? No. Right? Or what if my daughter wants to watch TV? Right? And she wants to do it? And I say no, no, no TV today, baby, no TV today. And then she keeps saying, Dad, please, please, please, please. And she bags and bags and bags, and finally go a fine. She wears me down, I just turn the TV on. What’s gonna happen the next time I tell her she can’t have TV? While she knows she can just wear me down. Why? Because these aren’t real boundaries. Right? These are just suggestions or things that are nice to have. She knows if she crosses the boundary that I’ve said, there’s no consequence Dad’s gonna give in. Now, the same thing happens with other people in your life. If you’ve set boundaries, whether it be in your marriage with infidelity or boundaries around the way that you should treat each other, and if that person crosses them, your wife crosses those boundaries, and there’s no consequences for why shouldn’t she cross it again, there’s no reason she shouldn’t, you’re gonna get a little upset. Big deal, right? She knows she can get away with it. So we need to set clearly defined boundaries. Now, here’s the first thing I want you to do. I want you to grab your journal or piece of paper or if you’re on your phone, use your notes there and write out up to 10 no more than 10 boundaries that you want to create 10 important things, maybe pick an area. Now I like it, but I’d like it better if you had fewer boundaries, quite honestly, an example my wife and I have a quote boundary or a rule if you want to say that we don’t speak ill of each other. In public, we don’t do it period. But the idea is that we just don’t treat each other like crap. And that’s one of our boundaries. And if I were to cross that boundary, I can guarantee you that my wife would call it out and hold my feet to the flame. And I would do the same with her. And so we want to make sure though, that these boundaries are enforced, that were said setting boundaries that are important to us. These aren’t just make-believe boundaries, right? So some guys might have a boundary where they tell their wife like, Hey, here’s the budget, you’re willing to spend $1,000 on this vacation. I’m just making this up as we go guys. And then they go on vacation and the wife comes back and she spends 4k. And he’s like, Fine, just do it, whatever. Because she’s worn him down. Well, first of all, was that $1,000 A true boundary? Right, in other words, was it a true rule? And if it was that she couldn’t spend above that money, and then she does, right? Then there’s got to be a consequence. There’s got to be an action of a guy in the movement who just went through something similar. And what he did is he cut his wife’s credit cards off. She cut her off because she was constantly violating their financial agreements, their boundaries that were they both set in terms of finance. Now, boundaries can be much bigger. There are things that you just don’t do, right? There are certain people in your life you just don’t disrespect. Why? Because it’s a boundary for them. Now you just don’t do it because you know what the reaction is going to be if you disrespect that person, right? You have to set these boundaries for yourself equally as well. You need to make sure that you have boundaries in your life things that you just won’t put up with. So again, in my marriage, my wife and I have a boundary around infidelity, right? We’re a monogamous couple, that’s our choice, we have an agreement, if one of us goes outside of those lines, there’s going to be consequences, right? There are going to be consequences, and those consequences probably going to be divorce and separation. Now, also, there I talked about disrespect, we don’t disrespect each other, and we don’t talk negatively in front of the children, right? Our kids are young, we don’t talk badly about each other. Now we can get mad when get pissed. And if I’m mad at my wife, and she’s mad at me, and she wants to say something nasty, and it happens from time to time, she’ll pull me aside. And inevitably, when she pulls me aside, we have a conversation, we’re able to reconcile. But if we were to do it in front of the kids, there would be a major problem. And so I see this all the time with men, right, they start to set boundaries, and people start to cross them. I was talking to a gentleman yesterday, and he said, Doug, I tell my wife not to speak, Ill to me or mean to me, basically. And then she doesn’t, what do I do? Well, what I would do in that situation is remove myself from the situation, that’s a baby, I love you. But I also love me, right? And I’m not gonna be I’m not gonna let anybody talk to me in this manner. And I also love you, and I know that this is your best. So if you can’t talk to me, you know, like an adult in a very pleasant way, then I’m going to need to remove myself from this conversation. And that’s simple. And then you do it, if she keeps going, you remove yourself from that situation, that’s a place of power, you’re not running away from the conversation, you just love yourself and her enough that you’re not going to allow you both of you guys to communicate in that manner. This is a really easy way guys, to set a boundary, but you have to have a consequence. So again, write down a few boundaries that you want, right? Something that you want, and then write down the consequences to those what are the consequences if somebody violates that boundary? Right, somebody violates it. And when you have these boundaries set, people don’t tend to violate them, because they just know them. It’s it’s intuitive. Again, if you walk into a room, if you already think about your friends, that the last barbecue went to, there are certain guys there, there are women that you just don’t mess with, right, you know that if you cross a certain threshold with them, a joke went too far, they’re gonna call you out, they might punch you, right. But there’s also other guys that don’t have that boundary. And so you can push them and push them and push them like a doormat because they’re never going to retaliate. It has nothing to do with physical strength, it has to do with determination. This is my standard for what I accept, these are my boundaries, my standards if you will. And if you cross them, there will be consequences. Now, sometimes you have to communicate the boundary. So if I have a boundary with my wife, or you’re setting one with your wife, you need to communicate that it can look something like this. Hey, babe, when we talk about each other in front of the kids, I don’t think it’s good for you. I don’t think it’s good for me. And it’s certainly not good for the children. So let’s not talk to each other in that way. Does that agree? Do you agree with that? Do you get agreement from this boundary? Right? That’s what I want to do. She says Yes. Cool. Now if she crosses that boundary, you pull her aside, and you remind her of the boundary and reminder of the consequence, I would usually give somebody a chance right to, to understand it in this example. Now, if she crosses it again, you remove her, or you and the children, whatever it is, from the situation by reminding right? Hey, you violated a boundary. And I would talk to that person very firmly, very directly, as if I was talking to a child that was doing something that could hurt themselves, right? So again, my four-year-old or my seven-year-old, if they’re going to jump off the table, and I don’t want them to because they’re gonna they could hurt themselves. And they do it anyway, I’m gonna talk to him very sternly, they’re gonna get the stern dad voice, right? The dad’s voice if you will, like, hey, we talked about jumping off the table, you not going to do that, again, you do it again, you go up to your room. That’s the tone of voice I would use, I would do the same tone of voice with my wife, with an employee with a friend, or with anybody else who crosses a boundary for me. But the key thing is, I know what my boundaries are going to have to make up rules or boundaries in the moment. It never works. It just it doesn’t people can tell. And you don’t have reasons behind it, you don’t have the conviction to enforce the boundary. So don’t do it. Take this time now to be proactive about your boundaries. That’s why I want you to write them down. Again, no more than 10. In fact, I think it’s better to have fewer if you can write I don’t like rules. So maybe that’s just me. But when I work with clients, I want you guys to take it down to about five to five boundaries in your marriage. Maybe it’s about different boundaries in your business, the right boundaries for yourself. What are the consequences if you cross that boundary for yourself? What’s the consequence? If you go out drinking and get drunk again, right? You blackout? Where’s your boundary for you? Right, and you need to enforce these. Also, you get to remember, you have trained people, you have trained people to treat you the way they treat you. You have taught them to do it. So if your wife is rude to you, you’ve taught her to do it.

I know you’re saying Doug, no, I didn’t teach her to do it. Yeah, because you’ve allowed it to happen. So when you start setting boundaries, and you haven’t seen them before, and you start enforcing those boundaries, and you haven’t enforced them before, right, she’s gonna get shaken up, there’s a good chance of it, because she’s gonna run to your boundary, which is like a wall in this analogy. And then she’s going to try to push harder and push harder until she realizes this is a firm boundary for you. Now, this can happen one time, you cannot say words, and you can convince somebody just one time that things have changed. But you have to have the steadfastness inside of yourself, right, you have to have your, you have to be so grounded. And so assure of this boundary that they can feel the energy, it’s a feeling like you just know it, you can meet certain people, and you’re like, oh, that person’s got a lot of confidence. But that person’s got a lot of respect for themselves, if you will, have high standards, and has nothing to do with their physical appearance is the energy that they get the way that they carry themselves, we often say, and so the same thing can happen with your partner in business or anywhere else, set the boundaries that you want, and make sure that they are clear, and that you are clear about them. Often, I’m gonna say it again, I often see guys set boundaries, just friggin set boundaries, don’t be that guy. Right, set fewer boundaries, but make them really firm. One that’s really important to me, is I will not be disrespected, you will not disrespect me, right? Just not going to happen. Another one for me, right? You are not going to physically abuse me or my family as a boundary, right? You’re gonna see a different version of Doug, if that happens, you know, so these are a couple of things that I have set there so firm, they don’t even have to think about them. If they happen, it’s going to be a problem for somebody. And so not only a problem for me but problem for somebody else. And I know the actions that I would take in these situations, my wife, it’s a boundary, I know what I would do if if she has an affair. I know exactly the steps that I’m gonna take. And it’s firm. And my wife knows what those steps are. She knows what that boundary is. And she knows what that boundary is for me. Okay, because I haven’t set it. Now for some of you guys, you might have had boundaries, and they crossed and maybe it’s not fair and emotionally fair, your wife said, you can go back and relook at that boundary. If somebody crosses it and decides for themselves, Hey, am I gonna let this one slide, I’m gonna let that one slide. But you have to be careful. Because if you start letting people slide on your boundaries, they’re gonna realize these aren’t really boundaries. There are gray areas that are kind of nice to-haves. Boundaries are firm. And again, they can have some wiggle room to him every once in a while, that can be a rare occasion where it’s an exception to the rule if you will, new information comes in, whatever. But they need to be firm. Otherwise, they’re nice to have. And people will step over, you’re nice to have all day long. And guys, this does not give you a license to be a jerk. Firm. Yes, but not a jerk. And to me, boundaries are established because I care and love myself. So therefore I’m going to take care of myself. I also care about the other person when someone violates one of my boundaries, that guarantee is that they’re not operating at their highest level. Because my boundaries are very simple. They’re, they’re pretty common, right? The ones that I have established, it’s just I actually enforce them. And that’s the difference. So, gentlemen, I’m gonna give you those last action steps and I want you to go to work. So what I want you to do, is write down your boundaries, keep them simple. You can have separate boundaries and all your five territories, that self boundaries for yourself, health, wealth, relationships, and business. All right. Then after that, I want you to write down the consequences next to those boundaries. And then I want you to go out and enforce them. Joma is always saying the moment of insight takes massive action. I’ll see you next time on The Powerful Man show.