Do you know and understand what your limits are?
Setting proper boundaries with others is something that nobody teaches us growing up. However, it is a special skill to building healthy relationships and taking care of yourself.
There are physical, psychological, and emotional boundaries. One way to think about boundaries is “Our boundaries might be rigid, loose, somewhere in between, or even nonexistent. A complete lack of boundaries may indicate that we don’t have a strong identity or are enmeshed with someone else” (Cleantis, 2017).
In other words, setting boundaries is part of defining your personality and showing or telling others what you can take and what you won’t take, whether on a personal or professional level.
Some advantages of setting healthy boundaries are:
- Good Emotional health
- Good Mental health
- Avoidance of burnout
On the opposite, some consequences of not setting healthy boundaries often include (Prism Health North Texas, n.d.):
- Financial burdens
- Wasted time
- Relationship issues, which can cause mental distress
Are you a People pleaser?
When we put other’s needs above ours and want to avoid conflict, we are a people pleaser.
When we want to be liked, when we change our behavior to fit another person’s mood or demands, we are a people pleaser.
When we have low self-esteem and think that our worth comes from being approved by someone else, we are a people pleaser.
People-pleasing gets in the way of creating healthy boundaries. It becomes a self-sabotaging activity in the path of growth.
Being aware if we are a people pleaser is the first step to change and regain self-esteem. It is not easy, but not impossible.
Self-care is being assertive.
One thing that saved me from being overwhelmed and, on the opposite being strong and standing up for me is being assertive.
- confident and forceful behaviour.
“she has difficulty standing up for herself, even when assertiveness may be warranted.”
Assertiveness is being honest regarding your wants and needs and being mindful of not stepping over other’s needs and wants.
Assertiveness is in my top 3 must-have tools on my self-care list.
Being assertive is one way to build healthy boundaries with others. If you know that you have to wake up early the next day, you will know what to answer if friends ask you to go out the evening before.
Sticking up to your plans and letting others know about your “real” thoughts and feelings is all about putting yourself first.
How do we set boundaries?
Define what your boundaries look like for you
You don’t know what you don’t know. If we don’t have a clear picture of what we want, it won’t be easy to get it. Therefore clarity/ awareness is the first step.
Ask yourself questions:
Is this good for me?
Should I do this right now?
Asking questions is like having a key that opens multiple doors. If in doubt or stuck, ask yourself questions and find the answers within.
Say No [without explaining yourself]
Let’s practice: repeat after me :
When we say no to something, we start to feel uncomfortable. This is the people pleaser in us that is stressing out. Saying no takes practice until it becomes the norm for us to say it when we mean it.
When we say “no,” the urge to explain “why” comes right after it, this shows that we still have a bit of work to do on confidence and self-esteem.
You don’t have to explain yourself. A no is just a no. Just wait for the answer of the other person.
Please share it with others.
I invite you to be reminded of the fact that people don’t read minds. I don’t understand why we expect others to understand us, know how we feel, and know what we think…
So share your boundaries with others, you owe yourself to be courageous and honest about them, and it is your job to make sure that the other people know them.
Define why these boundaries are essential for you and what will happen if they are not respected.
You will FAIL many times before you get it right. This is the reality of growth and becoming a new person. It takes time and many trials to change your past default self.
Acceptance of this fact in advance will save you time, emotional and physical energy and get you what you want faster.
Setting boundaries in your life MUST be a priority. These are not meant to limit you; it is all about putting yourself first and be happy.