Stand up for yourself and stay true to your values! Discover how can you set healthy boundaries that improve your well-being, your self-confidence and make you a happier person.
ENGLISH DISCLOSURE: I’m from Switzerland (yes, chocolate!) so English isn’t my first language. Please forgive me for my mistakes 🙂
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✓ Should I read this? You should read this if you always end up being excessively stressed and overwhelmed as you take on more than you can handle because you find it difficult to stand up for yourself and say no to people.
✓ How is it going to help me? Learning about the importance of setting healthy boundaries in various settings has many benefits, including better relationships and decreased stress levels.
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How to set boundaries
Define boundaries that help you live a happier and less stressful life!
The way you perceive yourself and the choices you make in your life affect the way other people treat you…
When you set good boundaries, you don’t accept any sort of behavior that is detrimental for your well being! 🙂
Learning to say no is one of the most valuable skills you need to learn for your personal growth. Don’t feel like you need to constantly explain yourself when you set boundaries.
Only YOU know what’s best for you and you have every right to stand by your decision without explaining it to others.
Setting boundaries positively affect you in every area of your life as you are calmer, more productive, and have more time for yourself.
What does it mean “to set boundaries”?
Boundaries are the limits you put in place that lets other people know how you want to be treated, and what kind of behavior is acceptable to you and what kind is not.
And setting boundaries is about not allowing anyone to disrespect you, make you feel bad or uncomfortable and take unnecessary advantage of you.
The problem is that without boundaries, you risk spreading yourself too thin and being manipulated by other people. This prevents you from maintaining your well-being.
In order to set effective boundaries, you need to understand your own emotions and feelings.
You need to think about what kind of behavior is making you feel exhausted and stressed.
And also, in what situations do you feel manipulated and anxious?
If you don’t feel right about a particular situation, or if you feel that your boundaries are being overstepped, you need to stand up for yourself.
Why setting boundaries is important?
The benefits of setting healthy boundaries are plenty.
Setting boundaries actually means helping other people to understand your perspective and provide ways to better your relationship.
It allows you to gain control of your emotions. It is about changing the way you react to other people’s behavior toward yourself. Instead of being affected by other people’s negative opinions, you learn to take responsibility for your feelings.
And here I want you to remember that setting boundaries and making your well-being a priority isn’t being selfish. Setting boundaries, in fact, is an essential aspect of self-care.
And when you think about it, self-care is all about feeling better with our true self, so we can feel better when we are around people!
So it may really sound selfish when in the end, you will become a better company than you used to be! 😉
Set boundaries to feel happier, more energized and motivated. If you are happy, then you can have happy relationships as well. You need to stop feeling guilty for prioritizing your well being over everything.
You need to respect and love yourself. The way you treat yourself determines how you let others treat you.
Without boundaries, people will take advantage of you and leave you emotionally and mentally exhausted.
And, it’s really not something that you want! 🙂
Why do I lack boundaries?
As I always say, it’s not your fault! 🙂
We never learned how to set boundaries for ourselves! 🙂
And actually, many people may lack boundaries due to the way they were raised in their childhood. They may not know how to set healthy boundaries, and they may not understand the importance of setting effective personal boundaries.
Setting boundaries can also seem very difficult when you have low self-esteem and always think about pleasing everyone around you. As a result, you are always afraid to say no and put other people’s need before your own needs. And you usually tend to look for outside validation and feel guilty for being assertive.
Actually, I like this little chart showing that being self-assertive is the middle between taking care of your needs and taking care of others’ needs.
Also, you may think that you will be misunderstood and judged for setting boundaries. You fear you will offend other people and ruin your relationship with them.
I remember that each time that I was saying “no”, I was afraid of people not loving me…
But then I asked myself: is it better than a “fake” yes from me?
Again and as I always say, people deserve the real YOU. Give it to them! 🙂
So to become better at establishing boundaries, you need to reflect on your perspectives and idea of healthy relationships. What behavior is acceptable to you and which one is not.
This will allow you to set healthy boundaries.
Remember also that boundaries do not have to be completely rigid. Setting boundaries does not mean completely ignoring people or pushing them away. In fact, setting effective boundaries will strengthen your relationships and make you happier… 🙂
How do I set boundaries with my family?
Setting boundaries with family members, especially your parents can seem a little tricky.
We may feel that they did so much for us that we shouldn’t refuse anything! And we can be so afraid of them stopping to love us if we set boundaries…
They always have great intentions but if you feel uncomfortable with the intrusive behavior of your parents or other family members, you need to set healthy boundaries.
Be honest and clearly communicate your boundaries to your family members. You may also need to communicate the consequences of crossing the boundaries that will allow you to hold them accountable.
You may encounter some resistance when you communicate your boundaries to them, but be firm and stand by your words. You may feel you are disrespecting others, but you need to ensure you are not being disrespected as well.
While communicating your boundaries, avoid blaming anyone, and put more emphasis on your feelings.
You need to maintain a neutral tone and use more “I” statements. For example, “I feel uncomfortable when you talk about my previous relationship. I’d rather not discuss it.”
Setting boundaries is a way of not tolerating unacceptable behavior toward yourself.
Wondering in what situations you may need to set boundaries?
Try to think of moments that you feel uncomfortable. Or that you get annoyed, stressed and mad.
Probably, these are situations that you need to think of adding boundaries.
The risk is that if you don’t, you may be resentful and be always kind of “mad” towards this family member.
And it’s not something that you want! 🙂
How do I set boundaries with friends?
We always hear that friends are like “the family that we choose”.
Even if they are new into your life (or not!), setting boundaries in your friendships is very important.
Ignoring your own wishes to attend to your friend’s needs, or saying yes to friends who connect with you only when they need something are all examples of not setting good boundaries with friends. It can feel draining to keep doing such favors.
If someone asks you to do favors you are not comfortable doing, you can clearly say no. If someone asks you to party when you have a lot of work or don’t feel like going out, you need to decline the invitation.
Your friends may not fully understand it at first, as they may have a different approach to managing relationships. But you need to make it clear what works for you and what doesn’t. You should not tolerate disregard for your time and space.
Many times people are not even aware when they have crossed the line.
And again, they really don’t mean hurting you!
This is the moment when you need to stand your ground.
Do not be afraid of saying “no” and you’ll see, the more you’ll do it, the more your friends will appreciate your authenticity of saying what you think and taking them seriously too!
That’s true! If you would say “yes” to everything they are offering you to do, your “yes” is less valuable as we don’t even know when you really want to do something or not!
I’m talking about this in my course that I will be launching very soon. 🙂
You can already join the waiting list by clicking here! 🙂
How do I set boundaries in a new relationship?
I received this question quite often in the last weeks so I’m very happy to finally answer it in a public way 😉
Starting a new relationship is exciting. You want to spend a lot of time with your partner and get to know him/her. But you also need to know where to set limits. Many times we tend to focus more on our partner’s feelings than our own!
We forget that they are the prize but… We are too! 😉
Setting boundaries in relationships is not about controlling someone else. Healthy boundaries improve the overall quality of your relationship by allowing both partners to respect each other’s point of view. Boundaries can make your relationship stronger as they prevent unnecessary stress and misunderstandings.
Basically, I think that we would all be happier without expectations!
And what you need to remember is that everyone is always trying to have their needs met.
Setting boundaries is helping you put all the chances on your side to minimize your needs not being met.
Let me give you an example.
Let’s imagine that it’s important to see your friends every Tuesday night. You can set the boundary that on this night, you are going out and that this need to be respected. because you want to fulfill your need that is hanging out and sharing with your friends (this is using the 4 steps of the Nonviolent Communication method.
Don’t worry about offending your partner, if she/he truly care about you and is equally invested in the relationship, they will not mind.
When you have unhealthy boundaries, you are more likely to build resentment toward your partner and this can eventually ruin your relationship.
Setting healthy boundaries in a romantic relationship may seem difficult at first, and you may feel a little uncomfortable, but remember that you are doing this to make your relationship better. When you feel it’s hard for you to maintain the boundaries, remind yourself of the reasons for setting them in the first place (which is obviously, that both of you will be respected for who you are and to make this relationship work the best way possible!).
How do you set boundaries at work?
It’s also important to set boundaries at work, whether it is your senior, clients, boss or colleagues!
Taking more work than you can manage and doing extra favors for colleagues can drain you out, hinder your productivity and lead to burnout.
Make boundaries that are in sync with your values. Don’t take work-related calls or emails on your personal time.
I know that it’s easier said than done! 😉
Don’t readily accept every request you get at work. First, think about how much time you need to finish your own work and whether you can afford more time for extra commitments. Saying yes often makes people believe that you will always be available for their requests.
If you don’t set these boundaries at work, you will have no time left for your own personal development.
You need to face your fears and apprehensions. Will everyone think I’m rude? Will I make my clients angry? It’s natural to have these fears when you set new boundaries, but don’t overthink it.
Setting boundaries will only improve your well-being and increase your productivity.
If your client asks you to manage additional work at your personal time, then you can politely decline and give them another time when you can get it done. Find alternative ways to get things done and also manage your time effectively. Focus only on working when you are at your workplace and avoid bringing work to your home.
Also, don’t bottle up your feelings. Clearly let your co-workers know when you feel your boundaries have been overstepped.
It is essential to create a balance between and work and personal commitments. Just because it is easier to quickly check mail doesn’t mean you have to. Practice self-control and set boundaries to improve your work-life balance.
What are examples of boundaries?
Boundaries don’t have to be completely rigid and static. The most important thing you need to consider while setting boundaries is your comfort level.
If you are not comfortable in certain situations, you need to make it known. Boundaries can be physical or emotional. Personal boundaries are the limits you set to protect your personal space.
Getting too close, inappropriate touching, are examples of violating personal boundaries.
Following your intuition, taking responsibility for your feelings, not blaming other people, not depending on others to feel worthy are examples of healthy emotional boundaries.
Having proper emotional boundaries help you to honor your thoughts and feelings without being influenced by other people.
How setting boundaries is related to building your self-confidence
The problem is that when you don’t stand up for yourself, you tend to blame others and feel angry.
You exhaust yourself.
And when you don’t define your boundaries, you constantly undermine yourself and allow people to overstep your boundaries because you believe that’s what you deserve.
However, by setting boundaries, you don’t settle for less!
You give time to things that are truly important to you. When you are not doing favors for others or being emotionally drained due to not setting proper boundaries, you have much more time and energy to dedicate to your goals.
Worrying about what other people think of you takes up a lot of your energy which could otherwise be used in something productive. By setting boundaries, you stand up for yourself and your values that boosts your self-confidence.
You don’t wait for other people to validate you and make you feel worthy. You know what you truly want and what’s best for you, so you don’t let anyone treat you poorly.
To sum up!
In any sort of relationship, be it personal or professional, proper boundaries need to be established that ensure everyone involved in the relationship is comfortable and is respected.
Let go of your fears and clearly communicate your boundaries to others. You don’t have to feel guilty for putting yourself first!
And again, by taking care of yourself, you’ll feel better with yourself.
The direct consequence is having better relationships with the people you love. Let’s be honest, angry, mad and very stressed people aren’t people that are setting proper boundaries.
Do this favor for yourself and for others, be your true self and respect yourself before respecting anybody else! 🙂
You may also be interested in…
- 7 Ways To Boost Your Self-Confidence
- Why and How Discomfort Is The Key to your Success
- 15 Habits Of Extremely Successful People
- 6 Ways To Overcome Impostor Syndrome
What do you think stops a person from establishing healthy boundaries?
Let me know your thoughts in the comment section! 🙂