Boundaries are crucial for your peace and sanity as an adult. Setting healthy boundaries and honouring them is the gateway to building good relationships.
What Poor Boundaries Look Like
- Your schedule is packed with things you have to do for everyone but yourself.:
- You feel like you give so much more love than you receive.
- You show up for all your loved ones but they don’t return the favour.
- You set unrealistic expectations and deadlines for yourself at work. You end up staying up most of the time to finish your work as a result.
- You say yes when you really want to say no.
- There’s a loved one who makes poor remarks about you and makes you feel uncomfortable.
Poor or zero boundaries lead to burnout, anxiety, resentment, anger, frustration etc.
Lack of boundaries stems from the intense desire to be liked. You don’t want to hurt anyone. You want to help everyone. You want to be the best friend, sister, mother, singer, worker, etc. This can be tiring.
The people you love, love you back. No need to break your neck to prove it. You don’t have to live for their pleasure. If you fear that saying no will lead to a fallout, it won’t. If it does, you will be alright.
When you start saying no, you’ll realise that people won’t stop liking (loving) you. It may be uncomfortable for them at first but they will come around.
Understand that whatever you allow other people to do to you, they will repeat it until you stop them. Your time, energy, money and other resources are yours to manage.
Overextension of self seems like a virtue that women especially are taught to have. But it’s not. We learn to put everyone first and our needs last. Well, you don’t have to do that anymore.
How To Set Healthy Boundaries
Setting healthy boundaries is messy and hard. Just like most life skills, setting boundaries is a muscle. It gets better if you keep practising. Moreover, people don’t know what you want. You have to tell them.
Here’s what you should do:
- Write a list of the things wearing you out.
- Why are you frustrated and feeling overwhelmed?
- Who do you feel resentment to?
- What would you like to stop doing?
- How do you want others to speak to you?
- What are the things you will not tolerate anymore?
- How do control your time and resources going forward?
Then begin to say no. Say no immediately you’re asked to do something. If this is a struggle, then don’t answer requests immediately. Give it some time and say a firm no. Do not offer any explanations so that they do not talk you out of your decision. No, is a complete sentence.
When you draw boundaries, some people will fall off. That’s fine. You may have conflicts. That’s fine too. Be prepared to stand your ground. It’s the new you. They will come along with time.
- Say no and say it often
- Set boundaries with the people you love.
- Set boundaries at work.
- Stop prioritizing others over yourself.
- Your energy is finite. Your time is limited. Set realistic expectations.
- Don’t let FOMO bully you to say yes.
- Emancipate yourself from the need to be all things for all people.
- People love you for you. Stop trying too hard to win their approval.
- Respect other people’s boundaries as well.
Finally, draw a line and if they cross it, build a wall.