How to Set Healthy Boundaries!
Let’s talk about boundaries!
There was a time in my life when I subjected myself to controlling, manipulative and bullying behaviors from people I loved and cared about.
Being the recipient of those acts was gut wrenching and I seriously thought something was wrong with me, so I reached out for help and received an enlightening education through therapy and coaching.
What I discovered was that I was allowing these behaviors, which took away my power and gave the power to people who didn’t deserve to have it.
Much to my surprise, I learned I could easily take back my power by creating boundaries!
So, What are Boundaries?
Personal boundaries are the limits we put in place to protect ourselves from being violated by others. We create boundaries for ourselves, not others.
A boundary is not a threat to another person, but something you use for yourself.
It’s a way of protecting your own values.
When you set a boundary, you make a request and then enforce it by following up with a consequence when the request isn’t honored.
You don’t need to share boundaries with others or threaten or control them.
You can decide what’s acceptable to you, and set a boundary in your own mind, and if the boundary is violated, you decide what you’ll do and the action you’ll take.
For example, I have a boundary that if someone walks in wearing perfume or starts smoking, I will leave, and I don’t have to say anything.
Again, boundaries are about you, not about others.
It’s About What You’ll Tolerate!
It’s about what you’ll tolerate and what action you’ll take if the boundary is crossed!
When we have strong personal boundaries, we show the world that we have self-respect and self-worth.
Healthy boundaries make us feel good about ourselves, and are an important part of self-care.
The book, the Joy of Being Selfish says that “boundaries strengthen the good relationships in your life and destroy the ones that aren’t good for you”.
Without healthy boundaries, we can feel hopeless, worthless, or not good enough, which can have a huge impact on our self-esteem and mental health.
A person with no boundaries has an emotional need to please others often at the expense of their own needs.
It’s saying “yes” to others and “no” to yourself.
People pleasers have a hard time setting boundaries, because they’re worried what others will think and without boundaries, they feel responsible for everyone which can lead to resentment.
Yes, it’s fine to do for others or commit to things you genuinely want to do, but if you’re feeling resentful or angry, you may need to set or enforce personal boundaries.
Reasons For Boundaries:
- You seek approval, and want to be liked
- You feel guilty if you say no
- You want to avoid confrontation or feeling uncomfortable.
- You give away too much of your time
- You say yes when you want to say no
- You constantly feel like a victim
- You overshare personal details about your life
- You care too much about what others think of you
- You feel responsible for others feelings
People who lack boundaries find it hard to complete projects, and often suffer from calendar overwhelm. They put others before themselves, rarely say “no”, and at times feel angry, resentful, or confused.
Many have cluttered homes and workspaces, as well as low quality relationships.
Other people cannot bully, control or manipulate us without our permission, hence the quote “Stop asking why they keep doing it and start asking why you keep allowing it.”
If someone criticizes, belittles, or invalidates your feelings, you can decide whether you want to continue a relationship with them or keep them in your life. You can also set a boundary on how much time you spend with them.
It’s so freeing once you learn how to set boundaries and focus your time on intentional living!
Easier said than done, right?
Setting healthy boundaries is a skill that takes practice. It’s awkward at first, and people around you may not appreciate the new and improved you, and that’s OK.
One important tool to have is a script that you can practice beforehand that will help you set and enforce a boundary.
Here are a few examples:
✅ Sometimes people will ask you to do something or invite you to an event where you may not want to participate. What you can do is pause, by saying:
- Is it ok if I think about it?
- You can also decline by saying, It’s not my thing, and thank you so much for thinking of me or
- That’s not going to work out, and thanks for inviting me.
✅ Now, let’s say someone asks an awkward or personal question, where you feel uncomfortable answering, you can say:
- Sorry, I don’t really like talking about that.
- If you don’t mind, I’d rather not discuss that.
- Is it okay if we change the subject?
✅ Another situation is when someone gives unsolicited advice. Consider the source especially if they lack credibility, you can politely say:
- You’ve given me lots to think about, thanks!
- Thanks for the advice!
- Thanks for sharing your ideas!
✅ A common struggle among people who lack personal boundaries, is oversharing too many details of their personal lives. To avoid oversharing you can:
- Be a good listener, and ask questions
- Only speak about the relevant topic being discussed
- Avoid sounding braggy
Some find that writing a script and rehearsing in advance, reduces anxiety.
Benefits of Healthy Boundaries Include:
- Better health and sleep
- More time to do what you truly enjoy
- Less resentment, anger and frustration
- A manageable calendar
- Better communication and healthier relationships
- More self-awareness
- More respectful of others boundaries
While you’re in the process of setting healthy boundaries, it’s important to decide what you’d like your life to look like. You many not even know!
Check out the FocusYourTime podcast #39, called “What do you Want”? There are some prompts to help you figure it out.
If you’d like to learn about setting boundaries, or want to hear more of my story, please reach out and schedule a discovery call!
Remember, putting yourself first by setting and enforcing boundaries takes practice. It’s time to take your power back!
You know what, I’m actually grateful for the difficult relationships, because they were my best teachers and lead me to creating my own healthy boundaries!
What an amazing gift, right?
If you lack boundaries, go ahead and download the Beyond Boundaries Blueprint.
TOPIC: How to Set Healthy Boundaries!
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