I’m by character an empath. I have always had this ability to feed off of what everyone around me was feeling. Which is awesome if people are generally cheerful and happy. But put me in a bad situation, and I feel crushed. A lot of my depression has been fueled by this characteristic. This was something that kept ruining my mental health for years, and I felt like I needed to take action and set some rules for myself and those around me so I could be in a better state of mind. Hence, I stumbled upon the practice of non-negotiables. Let’s break it down.
What are non-negotiables?
They are the things you will not negotiate on. They follow your values, morals and choices for your best self.
Non negotiables define what you will and will not accept from other people, and also, what you will and will not accept from yourself. They can be anything. Personally, one of mine is alone time. Because of my empath characteristic, sometimes I need to lock myself in a room and shut out the world and its emotions to refuel. Your non negotiables can be maybe, getting 8 hours of sleep or finding time to have a proper mask and wine time. Only you can define them.
How do you figure out your non negotiables?
The first step is to really look into yourself. Pull yourself away from routine and take some time to really think about and jot down aspects of your life that are draining your energy or stressing you out. Consider what truly matters to you. What are your morals and values that drive you? What aspects of your life do not benefit those values? Brainstorm. Write it down.
List down all the things you wish to add to your non-negotiables. These can be;
- not working on weekends.
- Limited social media time
- Time with family
- Tv time.
Now go through your list and decide what is really not going to be compromised on, and what you can negotiate without being as strict.
- Get aligned.
Do these non-negotiables line up with your morals and values? Are they realistic to your life? Think on this well. Setting unrealistic rules will only convince you that you are a failure if you can’t keep up those expectations.
- Communicate your non negotiables.
Those who constantly share your space, such as parents, siblings, friends, a partner, children, etc should be made aware of what you will and will not accept. Communicate this in an understandable manner that will encourage conversation, not conflict. Encourage them to also share the things they cannot compromise on, which you in turn must respect.
- Take action!
Transfer those non negotiables from paper into your actual life. Start to practice those rules. Aim to actively abide by them each day.
Setting out non negotiables has changed my life for the better. I feel less frustrated and more at peace than ever before. As tough as it is to enforce the rules initially, you’ll find that you’re grateful you stuck by them a few months in.
Hope this helps,