Setting boundaries may sound difficult but they are necessary. Whether it’s family, friends or your lover, boundaries should become part of your self-care. Often times we work ourselves up in anger or hurt and the lasting effect is all on us. Let’s discuss some ways to set and stick to our boundaries.
Figure out what boundaries look like to you: Everyone leads a different life so we should expect to have different needs with boundaries. What are the things that generally bother you? Sometimes family gathering or social outings can induce anxiety, maybe you need some alone time when you are in the home with your lover, or to simply shut down certain conversations. Figure what drains you and what your life would look like without those stressors.
Know your limits: Once you’ve determined what your boundaries are, determine your limits. Just because people are your friends, family, or your significant other, does not provide them total access to all of you all day without you being able to replenish. This replenishment includes your mental, spiritual, emotional and physical well being.
Avoid mixed signals: If you have a people pleaser personality, mixed signals typically occur because you don’t want to hurt anyone but fail to consider yourself. In these moments you may put your needs and feelings on the back burner knowing that you desire to do differently. Leaving yourself to wonder, “what about me”. Speak up in honesty and say what you mean and mean it. If they care about you, they will respect your needs.
No cut cards: Don’t be afraid to speak up for yourself. Many of us have people that we do not tell how we really feel and they are usually the ones that need it the most! Stop pulling punches! Start telling speaking about your limits and boundaries early. No is a complete sentence, so use it! Say it again for the people in the back!
Pay attention to your feelings: If you wait until people have gone too far to speak up, it often becomes an explosion or argument. Many of these issues can be avoided simply by standing up and putting yourself first. Self-care isn’t selfish. If something or somewhere has you feeling bad about yourself, induces anxiety or uncertainty, it’s time to address it.
Follow through with your actions: Don’t just speak on it and return to your normal behaviors of allowing people to have their way with you. Once you speak on it, follow up with not doing the things you’ve spoken on. If you’ve been doing favors, showing up at events or even working other peoples shifts, but now you’ve had enough... say it, don’t do it and stick to it until you feel otherwise. Again, this speaks to the mixed signal point right above.
All in all, it will be an adjustment, but one that is well worth your sanity!
About The Author
Tarah D., M.S
Although she holds multiple titles to include mom and wife, the gist is that she loves helping people with their healing and growth. She’s a super foodie from Baltimore, who loves jazz, a good book, solid conversation and an occasional glass of wine! Find more from Tarah via her Instagram @Tarah_Davidson, her book How To Get The Want, and on her blog.