The Power Of Setting Boundaries
Why Boundaries Are Important.
It’s natural to want to please others and make them happy, but sometimes you have to put yourself first. That’s not selfishness, that’s self-care. Learning to set boundaries is an important part of being an emotionally mature adult, and taking care of yourself. It can be hard to say no, but it’s important to do what’s best for you.
What Do You Mean By Boundaries?
In personal relationships, we all have a need for physical and emotional space, or what we might call “boundaries.” We need to be able to say “no” to others without feeling guilty. We need to be able to set limits on how much time and energy we give to others. We also need to have private thoughts and feelings that are not necessarily shared with everyone in our lives.
Healthy boundaries help us maintain our own identities while still being connected to others. They allow us to have close relationships without losing ourselves in the process. When we have healthy boundaries, we are less likely to feel overwhelmed by the demands of others or by our own emotions.
The Benefits Of Having Boundaries.
Setting and maintaining healthy boundaries is essential to our well-being. Here are some of the benefits of
- Boundaries help us to know ourselves better. By setting limits on what we will and won’t do, we learn
more about our values, beliefs, and preferences. This self-knowledge is empowering and can help us to
make better choices in our lives.
- Boundaries protect us from being taken advantage of. If we don’t set any limits, other people will be
happy to take advantage of our time, energy, and resources. But when we have healthy boundaries, we
can say “no” when needed and preserve our precious energy for ourselves and the people and activities
that matter most to us.
- Boundaries help us nurture healthier relationships. They’re good for even the closest relationships we
have. Good relationships are built with mutual trust, mutual respect, and compromise from both people.
With boundaries, your relationships will no longer be lopsided.
How To Create Effective Boundaries.
Setting personal boundaries is vital to maintaining healthy relationships and a sense of self. But they don’t
have to be difficult to maintain.
You simply need to be clear…first of all with yourself.
Boundaries are basically a 2-step process:
- The Request
- The Consequence
The request is asking someone to stop doing something that infringes on your personal limit. (Hint: It’s
important to know what your personal limits are ahead of time). It’s a defined action. Meaning, “Gary, stop
bothering me,” doesn’t qualify as a request. “Gary, stop calling me during work hours,” is a defined action.
This gives the person an option to do, or not do, what you requested. Every human being on the planet
has free will. You cannot force anyone to do or not do something. Therefore, you have a request and a
Which means…your boundaries are for you. Yep! Your boundaries consist of actions you will take.
The consequence is something YOU will do if that person chooses not to do what you request. For
instance, “Gary, if you call during work hours, I will not answer the phone.”
Secret tip: You really don’t even need to tell anyone else about your boundaries if you don’t want to, you
merely act on them. No explanation needed. You are clear on your boundaries to yourself, so move
forward and act. In the example above, no need to tell Gary at all. If he calls during work hours, simply do
not answer the phone.
Overcoming Challenges To Setting Boundaries.
Setting boundaries might feel uncomfortable, especially if you’ve never done it before. Here are some tips
for overcoming the challenges you may face when setting boundaries.
- Don’t be afraid to say no. This is probably the most difficult thing for people to do, but it’s essential for
setting boundaries. If someone asks you to do something that you don’t want to do, don’t be afraid to say
no. Try saying no first…then consider whether you want to say yes or not.
- Be assertive. This doesn’t mean being rude or aggressive, but it does mean being firm in your
convictions. If you’re not assertive, people will take advantage of you and your boundaries will be
- Don’t feel guilty. A lot of people struggle with setting boundaries because they feel guilty saying no or
setting limits on what they’re willing to do. You have the right to say no.
- Be consistent: Once you’ve set a boundary, it’s important to stick to it. This can be difficult, but it’s
necessary in order for others to take your boundaries seriously.
- Know your limits: What are you comfortable with? What makes you feel uncomfortable? Knowing your
personal limits will help you set better boundaries.
Setting Boundaries Can Improve Your Life.
Setting boundaries can improve your life in many ways. It can help you to be more assertive, to say no
when you need to, and to set limits on your time and energy. It can also help you to feel more in control of
your life, and to create a healthy balance between your work and your personal life.
By Stacy Brookman, Resilience and Performance Coach
Don’t leave without your Resilient Boundaries Toolkit!
Get yours here: https://www.realliferesilience.com/opt-resilient-boundaries