Boundaries seem to have become a hot topic of conversation these days, and for good reason. We are beginning to learn: to become the best version of ourselves it’s important that we set limits to the behaviors we enable from others. Good reasons for setting boundaries is an endless list, but some of those reasons include:
- Creating a sense of self worth
- Allows for our needs to be met
- Set us up to feel valued
- Gives you control over situations, and life in general
- Keeps us from getting into uncomfortable or potentially dangerous situations
- Increased stability and reduced unwanted surprises
- Reduces (and can even eliminate) burnout
What is “Setting Boundaries”?
The act of setting boundaries allows us to take care of ourselves first. There are five types of boundaries: physical, emotional, intellectual, financial, sexual. Boundaries allow us to have higher standards for ourselves and what is acceptable in our relationships.
When we lack boundaries, it makes it impossible for self-growth. Lacking boundaries can not only be dangerous but also put our mindsets into regression. It can cause self-doubt and self-sabotage leading to anxiety and depression. Lack of, or unhealthy boundaries can look like:
- People pleasing
- Unwarranted emotional dumping (either from or to you)
- Verbal abuse (taking and giving)
- Not being able to speak up
- Feelings of guilt when saying no
Understandably, when first getting started it can be cumbersome and feel overwhelming. It’s ok to take baby steps.
How to set boundaries
Learn the word “no”
One of the first steps to setting boundaries is getting comfortable with saying “no”. It’s simultaneously the easiest and hardest thing to do. You deserve and have the right to say no, and step away from any situation.
You matter: remember that
The next step is understanding your worth. Knowing what you will and won’t accept from others is a healthy way to put a plan into action.
Communicate, and communicate again
Once you have these two, communicate your boundaries. It’s natural to think that setting boundaries might come off as aggressive, but it really doesn’t have to.
For example, if you are setting a boundary that you are taking Friday nights for self-care and turning off your phone, let others know that they can leave a message and you will get back to them later. Or if you are in a new relationship, let the other person know what you are and are not comfortable with, like places to go and things to do. If you don’t communicate your boundaries, it can be difficult for other people to know when they may be crossing a line.
One more thing: Setting boundaries is a great mental health tool, but like most tools- use it too much or too hard, it will break. Don’t feel like you have to be rigid if you don’t want to be. Also, when it comes to self-growth and often in relationships- uncomfortable feelings are sometimes natural and needed. Knowing when a boundary has become a self-defense mechanism (thereby restricting you from becoming your highest self) is key.
How have setting personal boundaries helped you in your day-to-day? Let me know down in the comments!
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