Determining and Standing Strong in your

The first time I heard this was from my bestie. As I was going through what would become my divorce, she asked me, “What are your non-negotiables?” That took me off guard a bit because honestly, I hadn’t really thought of them, let alone defined them. You mean I can CHOOSE how people will treat me? This was such a foreign concept yet I felt this sense of freedom rise up in me.

What are non-negotiables?

Non-negotiables are guideposts we set for ourselves in many areas, not just with a partner or spouse. They can be for what we will not allow another to do to us, for what we need from others and how we will treat ourselves. They aren’t about building walls or being unnecessarily difficult; quite the opposite. They allow you to reclaim your power and stand in it with strength.


They usually start off sounding like –

”I don’t do….”

“I do not allow someone to…”

Because it was so new, I took some time to revel in my newfound empowerment and really allowed it to sink in. After some time and lots of journaling, I came up with my very first non-negotiables.


How to set your non-negotiables?

For me, I started where I most needed to. That was in my intimate relationships with primarily my spouse but also, my children.

This were the questions I asked myself;

  • How do I want to be treated?
  • What am I willing to accept in my relationships?
  • What am I not willing to accept under any circumstances?
  • What is something I must have in a relationship?
  • How do I want to feel in a relationship?

If this is a new concept and you don’t know where to start, begin by asking yourself “How do people treat me in ways I do not like? That is an EASY one to define. When someone does something to us that doesn’t feel good, whether it is emotionally, mentally or physically charged, take note. These belong on your list.

Some to include:

  • I don’t allow anyone to yell at me.
  • I don’t allow anyone to degrade me.
  • I don’t allow anyone to minimize my needs.
  • I don’t allow anyone to verbally or physically assault me.
  • I don’t allow anyone to…

 Once you have set your bare minimums, then ask yourself, how do I want to feel in my relationships?

Consider these…

  • I want to feel valued.
  • I want to feel safe to express my thoughts.
  • I want to feel heard.
  • I want to feel noticed.
  • I want to feel safe.
  • I want to feel understood.

 If this is new to you as it was for me, sit with this for the week and see what you come up with. If you aren’t used to asking for what you need then this may be a difficult task. It may take some time to allow yourself the freedom to form your non-negotiables. But let me tell you, the more you define them, the more you will feel and be empowered. I wrote these down by the way. Writing down what you desire is a powerful tool in putting anything into motion.


 Remember, non-negotiables are not about being difficult or building walls but rather creating boundaries to preserve your integrity and to support you in living your healthiest and happiest life. Don’t you deserve that?


 What are the non-negotiables you’ve already set for yourself? What are some you will add?