Saving Face (The Wisdom of Kind Boundaries)
The familiar notion of “saving face” usually evokes images of hiding blunders or anxieties from public view. But within the framework of “kind boundaries,” it’s transformed into a more active and mindful concept. Here, it’s about proactively safeguarding your emotional well-being by drawing clear, yet compassionate, lines in your relationships. It’s about protecting your own self-respect and valuing your well-being, even when faced with the unkindness of others.
Crucially, this act of “saving your face” in the context of boundaries doesn’t justify mirroring the disrespect you might encounter. Even amidst negativity, treating others with kindness and respect remains essential. This isn’t about becoming a doormat or condoning hurtful behavior. Instead, it’s about upholding your own integrity and demonstrating the respect you expect for yourself by consistently extending it to others, regardless of their actions.
Think of it like this: By responding with kindness and respect, even in the face of negativity, you are essentially refusing to let someone else’s behavior dictate your own. You are choosing to maintain your composure, self-worth, and emotional boundaries, not out of weakness, but as a demonstration of your own personal strength and respect for everyone involved, including yourself.
This approach might seem counterintuitive at first, but it can have powerful ramifications. Maintaining kind boundaries while treating others with respect can pave the way for potential understanding and positive change. It might even inspire the other person to re-evaluate their own behavior.
Ultimately, “saving face” in the context of kind boundaries is about honoring yourself and everyone involved, without compromising your emotional well-being. It’s about acting with integrity and respect, even when faced with negativity, because you know that doing so preserves your own value and opens the door for potential growth and understanding.
New Happiness Podcast episode with Dr. Robert Puff, Newport Beach Psychologist
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