I have this strong belief that boundaries are very important in life. Boundaries act as a safety net and protect us in several ways. We can set boundaries that are healthy and will enhance our self-care. Setting boundaries may mean that a relationship comes to an end or we limit interactions with persons that have been a significant part of our lives.
We cannot create new pathways for our lives by taking the same route. Boundaries are healthy and necessary, and it identifies a limit that we have set for others. In other words, you are saying, “this is not okay, and I’m not accepting it” and when persons try to cross boundaries, it is important to remind them of your boundary and stick to the promise you made to yourself. The great thing about setting boundaries is that we let others know how we expect to be treated!
Here are 3 things you can consider when you set boundaries:
- clearly communicate what you expect: let others know exactly what you expect. When you can be clear with yourself about what is acceptable/unacceptable then it is easier to let others know what you expect. For example, if you do not want text messages after 8pm you can say “after 8pm I don’t respond to text messages. If you message me after 8pm I will not respond until the next day.”
- say no and stick to your word: one way to set boundaries is to identify what you are not willing to do and once you’ve let others know that – stick to it! The lines of boundaries get blurred when you are inconsistent.
- be self-aware and self-compassionate: setting boundaries can be challenging, especially when the boundaries are with friends or loved ones. Be aware of what you desire out of relationships or experiences and give yourself permission to adjust your boundaries as needed. Adjusting your boundaries is not the same as not sticking to your word – your lifestyle and circumstances may change! For example, maybe you have a boundary of not responding to text messages after 8pm. Then, you start a family of your own and your priorities shifted, so instead of not responding after 8pm you adjust your boundary to not responding after 6pm to ensure you have quality time with your loved ones.
Have you set boundaries before? What was your experience?
Is there a boundary you want to set this week?
With deep gratitude,