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Red Velvet Ropes make the best boundaries

And here's why... read down below for more on my Thursday Thoughts this week.

Recently, I had a client who reminded me of this:

Red velvet ropes are the best kind of boundaries….

Why? Because unlike other types of boundaries, say defensiveness or being guarded, having a chip on your shoulder…

Red velvet ropes are pretty inviting. They seem enticing, like there’s something really good inside. Something so special and luxurious that you have to be specially invited just to get in.

You can’t help but see a red velvet rope surrounding an event, a restaurant or a club and start imagining what kind of magic is happening on the inside of that rope.

People are drawn to red velvet ropes.

When you have that kind of boundary around you and your skills — your particular brand of magic — your friendship, your partnership, or your talents as a coach or consultant — you are showing up as the valuable, talented, and high value person that you are.

The other type of boundaries, like that defensiveness or chip, do work to stop people from coming in, but they work pretty universally to keep EVERYONE from coming in, even people you’d probably love to meet. People a lot like you.

Those boundaries don’t suggest why waiting patiently to get through the ropes & walls, and being invited in might be worth the effort. Sometimes they suggest the direct opposite, that there is no getting to the other side, so why make the effort?

And then there is the traditional way so many women are taught to put up boundaries in books and by gurus…

Often too late and only after something hurtful or irritating has happened. A friend or a date, or a client consistently shows up 5 minutes, 10 minutes, 15 minutes, now 20 minutes late. Now you have to say something or take action.

But it’s always been ok before, so they seem irritated and shocked that it’s not ok now. To them, you didn’t enforce your rules, you changed them. And having the “talk” about that changes just leads to awkward and sometimes downright ugly scenes.

But red velvet ropes? Making people jump through hoops to get invited into your world? And yes, I said jump through hoops. Isn’t your friendship or your coaching — your ability to listen, give empathy, hold space, be fun, light up a room, etc…

Isn’t that worth making someone working for? Proving they too have something to give, and aren’t just there to lap up free goodies? Absolutely!

Just because you have something needed and special to give to others — the ability to really listen to someone, to comfort them, to build them up, to be fun and sparkly — doesn’t mean you owe it to give those things away for “free” to everyone.

And an open door policy for friendship or clients, until they are proven untrustworthy, just makes you a great target for users, I’m sorry to say.

Users look for people with empathy or kindness, or who are talented at creating fun, or change, whatever it is that you are good at — that have an open door policy. They take advantage of you until you wise up and kick them out.

At which point they just hop on to the next talented, valuable person with an open door policy. You lose out, and have a story of getting used. They got free goodies and a story of how they got more out of you, then you did them.

Do not let people come into your friendship, your romantic life, or onto your client list until you’ve spent time screening them. Make them jump through hoops,— just make those hoops look like the red velvet rope kind, instead of the chip on the shoulder kind.

Real relationships — even friendships and client-based ones take time to develop.

Why? Because people reveal themselves over time. And if you wait people out, while being nice, but firm, you can save yourself a lot of the heartache.

And once someone has made the kind of effort to jump through hoops just to get an invite at all? They already know in advance that they’d better be on their best behavior. They’ve already invested in a relationship with you. They’ve already shown they value you. They aren’t going to want to mess that up.

And they will know beyond a shadow of a doubt that…

What is given, can be taken away. Invitations to the best place in town can stop being extended at any time, and names can be taken off the guest list in seconds. In fact, it’s easier to be taken off the guest list, then to be put on.

You can be friendly and warm, inviting and sparkly, without actually being friends with someone right off the bat.

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Desirée Sommer is a former Interior Designer & Writer dedicated to helping those around her to Beautify, Style & make their lives Fun again!  She happily resides in the rural beauty of Idaho with her pet pooch Bree, where she gets to take epic hikes, and plot her next big travel escapade. Her favorite things include traveling, fil eam & anything French or Italian. Oh, and dancing! Always dancing!




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