First and foremost let’s clarify what boundaries are and why you need to enforce them. Boundaries are rules you have when it comes to people dealing with you. It’s a guide on how to treat, respect and coexist with you. I believe that when people don’t have boundaries it means they have low self-esteem. The reason you set boundaries is to protect you mind, body and soul. Honestly!
You have questions, I am sure. How do I set them? Why do I need to set boundaries? Will it upset those around me? What will boundaries do for me? When do I set them? Stay with me because I will explain it all.
Setting boundaries out of the blue isn’t easy. I say out of the blue because it will be a shock to many around you. A lot of feathers will be ruffled but don’t allow that to distract you. You have to identify your feelings of discomfort, anxiety, pressure, etc. Pay attention who makes you feel any of those things. Also think about why do they make you feel that? This takes some soul searching. Once you have those answers set a boundary. For example you’re friends give you a hard time about not going to the club with them every time they try to go out. Set a boundary, let them know ONE time why you choose not to go, along with how it makes you feel and let them know when/if I feel comfortable I will join you. Have fun without me. BAM! You’ve set a boundary.
Boundaries are necessary because sometimes those around you are selfish, manipulative, narcissistic, or plain old clueless. People don’t realize how they can be pushy, overbearing and even disrespectful to you, your time, and your life in general. The point of boundaries is to protect yourself, practice self love and not feel bad about it. By sticking to your boundaries you will show people what you deserve. They will understand who you are and what you stand for. You will make your needs and expectations very clear. Do not bend, do not break. This is for your peace and your sanity.
The best time to set boundaries is right in the act. Are your friends showing up at your house at random times? Does it make you uncomfortable because you feel like your house wasn’t guest ready? Do people at work joke with you like you’re one of their little friends? Do family members pressure you to follow their path or their way? Right in the middle of these incidents you set your boundaries. Then you continue to remind them that these boundaries are still in place and will not go anywhere. Oh, your friend is at the door? “Sorry I wasn’t expecting anyone and am actually indulging in Me Time. You’ll have to call and make plans with me another time.” Simple and to the point. TEACH PEOPLE HOW TO TREAT YOU!
More times that not you will upset some people around you once you start setting boundaries. Why? You no longer move on their time. You will no longer be available at their convenience. There will be a shift and it will almost be you taking your life back from everyone around you. Those that love and care about you will adjust and respect your new rules. There will be those that don’t appreciate it because their ability and willingness to accept their contributions to the need of these boundaries is non-existent. Don’t get me wrong. Boundaries are not easy to accept and people may even try to make you feel guilty for setting them. IGNORE! Stick to your boundaries and those that are meant to be there will adjust. Those that aren’t will move on.
Once you iron all of these details out you will feel free. You will minimize the stress in your life. Your relationships will start to blossom because you won’t feel bad about vocalizing your wants and needs. Self awareness and self love will be heightened. Don’t be surprised how many people will respect you after this. Lastly, people will begin to understand why you’ve had to make the change. It truly changes, empowers and frees you of unnecessary discomfort.