Are you not setting healthy boundaries? Do you ever feel taken advantage of? Walked all over? When you speak it doesn’t matter what you say? People keep taking and taking from you which leaves you feeling stressed, anxious and exhausted? If you said yes, you are probably not setting healthy boundaries for yourself. Boundaries are important for your emotional health. When we do not set boundaries with people, or ourselves, it starts to affect us in a negative way.
A lot of times, people do not know what kind of boundaries they are needing which is why they do not set them. A good rule to follow: if you ever leave in interaction feeling prickly, a boundary would probably be good to set.
One if the most important parts about boundary setting is how you set your boundary. Most times, people will set a boundary by telling a need and then telling a consequence. When we do this, it can come off as an ultimatum or an attack. People do not respond well to that and will then get defensive in return.
Instead think of these 3 steps when setting a boundary:
- Ask for your need
- Wait to see if they will follow through on your boundary (You can remind the person of your boundary if they do not follow through on the first try)
- Decide what you are going to do now
You have to remember that a boundary is not a boundary unless YOU hold yourself accountable. No one will hold you accountable to your boundaries.
When people set boundaries, especially if they have that people pleaser personality, guilt can become a big barrier. Feeling guilt when setting a boundary is natural. Do not allow that to stop you from being strong with your boundary. Also, it is not your job to make sure another person responds appropriately to your boundary. That is on them. Your responsibility is to not to abandon your needs because you are afraid how someone is going to react to your boundary.
Boundaries are imperative in living a healthy, secure and fulfilling life. If you do not allow yourself to set boundaries, you are doing a great injustice to yourself. It can lead you to resentment, anger, stress and negativity. Setting strong boundaries is a great step in living a healthier life.