How can you set better boundaries in your life?
This one is a tough one so I did a little research and picked out the best tips and thought I could come back to this at a later date.
What boundaries are…and what they’re not
- Boundaries are limits. They are not threats or ultimatums.
- Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.
- Boundaries are firm lines – determined by you – which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect. Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical, or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.
- Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration, that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a no trespassing sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.
Boundaries are never about trying to change someone else’s actions or behaviors. link
“Check in with yourself if you are feeling tired, irritable, frustrated or put off,”
Give yourself permission.
Fear, guilt and self-doubt are big potential pitfalls, Gionta said. We might fear the other person’s response if we set and enforce our boundaries. We might feel guilty by speaking up or saying no to a family member. Many believe that they should be able to cope with a situation or say yes because they’re a good daughter or son, even though they “feel drained or taken advantage of.” We might wonder if we even deserve to have boundaries in the first place.
Boundaries aren’t just a sign of a healthy relationship; they’re a sign of self-respect. So give yourself the permission to set boundaries and work to preserve them. link
Decide what your core values are.
This almost makes it sound like a business. So perhaps I should start treating myself as my own enterprise and run/treat myself as a business because if I don’t work no bills or anything will happen. link
Consider your past and present.
How you were raised along with your role in your family can become additional obstacles in setting and preserving boundaries. If you held the role of caretaker, you learned to focus on others, letting yourself be drained emotionally or physically, Gionta said. Ignoring your own needs might have become the norm for you.
Also, think about the people you surround yourself with, she said. “Are the relationships reciprocal?” Is there a healthy give and take?
Beyond relationships, your environment might be unhealthy, too. For instance, if your workday is eight hours a day, but your co-workers stay at least 10 to 11, “there’s an implicit expectation to go above and beyond” at work, Gionta said. It can be challenging being the only one or one of a few trying to maintain healthy boundaries, she said. Again, this is where tuning into your feelings and needs and honoring them becomes critical.
Like any new skill, assertively communicating your boundaries takes practice. Gionta suggested starting with a small boundary that isn’t threatening to you, and then incrementally increasing to more challenging boundaries. “Build upon your success, and [at first] try not to take on something that feels overwhelming.”
“Setting boundaries takes courage, practice and support,” Gionta said. And remember that it’s a skill you can master.
There’s a lot to learn and I’m going to give it my best shot. I also thought I might challenge myself to learn a new language, possibly sign language and maybe speaking Italian. Watch this space.
Thank you for reading