Do you ever wish to be left alone in peace? Are you dealing with a person who is disrespectful, critical and controlling?
Have you had a conversation or a relationship with someone who is intrusive and felt trapped? What is the difference between being generous and being a doormat?
A lack of boundaries in relationships causes emotional pain that can lead to isolation, dependency, depression, resentment, detachment, anxiety, stress and even physical illness.
Unfortunately, setting boundary is a skill that many of us don’t learn except from the experience we get through challenging situations and from watching others.
To empower yourself – Create healthy boundaries
Setting and sustaining boundaries is an essential skill if you want to be healthy physically and emotionally in your life and relationships, otherwise repetitive requests and demands from families, friends and work colleagues can be frustrating and draining.
To maintain self respect, protect your self esteem and enjoy healthy relationships you have to recognize your need to enforce and set limits, that’s why knowing and understanding your limits is necessary.
Boundaries can be created using the appropriate tone of voice, body language, words choice and energy. To sustain any fulfilling and respectful bounds with others in our competitive and sometimes brutal world, boundaries are critical. Everyone needs boundaries and there are many ways to create them; some are less hostile and more effective than others.
Gain energy, respect and time with these 11 ways to set and maintain boundaries:
1. Take your time.
When you first meet someone, take it slow and keep some part of yourself to yourself, you can be polite and friendly but don’t give access to your vulnerability and inner self too quickly. Think before opening up completely and if confronted, you can refuse to answer certain questions. This is not about lying or pretending but about protecting yourself.
2. Be attentive to your needs.
Listen to your inner self, your own needs and desires have to be recognized and respected. Before concerning yourself with being supportive, kind and pleasing to others, make sure your personal power and space are not invaded or put on the back burner.
3. Be less open and receptive.
If you are around a rude or intrusive person and feel discomfort then withdraw your energy away from the situation by changing your posture, eye contact and tone of voice; you want to appear less receptive, less warmth and less open.
4. Plan prior to setting boundaries
Make a list of people who drain your energy and take your time without permission. Identify which boundaries you need to set. Acknowledge that you have a right to set boundaries, even if some will be disappointed in the short term, standing up for yourself will bring you more respect in the long run. Decide what you are going to say, rehearse in front of the mirror and put in practice!
5. Know where to draw the line.
It’s difficult to set good boundaries if you don’t know where are your emotional, physical, spiritual and mental limits. Be sure of where you stand, what you can accept and tolerate and what can make you feel stressed or uncomfortable.
6. Self awareness.
Review the roles you held in past relationships to find out the root cause of the obstacles that prevent you from setting healthy boundaries in the present. Think about how you were raised and consider the dynamic of all your relationships, did you focus on others to the point of being drain emotionally and physically? Has ignoring your own needs become the norm for you? Have your relationships been reciprocal with a healthy give and take?
7. Put yourself first.
Giving yourself permission to put yourself first has nothing to do with being selfish. Self love is the basis of any relationships because if you don’t love yourself, how are you going to love anyone else? Prioritise your self care by staying true to your feelings and honoring them and your motivation and need to set boundaries will become stronger.
8. Ask for help.
If you really are having a hard time with boundaries, seeking help is a courageous things to do so there is no shame in doing so. In some situations establishing boundaries can’t wait and for example if you are dealing with a bully or a mind trickster then involving someone you trust is a smart thing to do.
9. Be direct and assertive
Creating boundaries is not enough without following through, people aren’t mind readers so it’s important to confidently and respectfully communicate what crosses you and what you won’t tolerate.
10. Let go of guilt
When setting boundaries, the potential pitfalls are self doubt, fear and guilt but there is no need to worry about the other person’s response. Saying no and speaking up your truth is required to avoid feeling taken advantage of or drained. Self respect is nothing to feel guilty about, self respect helps you at preserving and maintaining your boundaries.
11. Take small steps.
It takes practice to learn and master any new skill and setting boundaries is no different. To not overwhelm yourself, start by setting small boundaries and build upon your success then incrementally increase the difficulty of the boundaries you set.
Setting healthy boundaries and enforcing them is part of being confident and stepping into your authentic self. You deserve to put the above ideas in practice so that you can be loved, liked and respected for who you are, not for who others want you to be.