Setting Boundaries

In many ways, boundaries are the beginning of personal and spiritual freedom. I did not always know how to set boundaries.  I had to go to therapy to learn how to set boundaries, and I wish I had done it sooner. 

Before I set boundaries, I felt like I was being run raggedy trying to keep up with the expectations of others. It seemed like every time I turned around someone needed me for something.  No one expected me to say no. I felt like no matter how many times I said yes, the only thing that people remembered was the times that I said no.

Everyone needs to set boundaries, and we also need to respect the boundaries of others.  Setting boundaries are like setting up guardrails to keep you from falling over. Everything that is made to prevent you from doing something is not necessarily to stop you. It may be to prevent harm. 

If we are not self-aware and do not understand the importance of boundaries, when other people in our lives set boundaries, it can be easy to take that offensively. When a person who has not had boundaries decides to set boundaries it can feel as if they are pushing away from you.

We live in a world where everyone is easily accessible. No more are the days of calling the house phone or sending a page and waiting on a response. With numerous social networks and communication options in our hands, it’s no wonder why people are reluctant to boundaries.

How to Set Boundaries 

Understand that you deserve to have parts of yourself that are only reserved for you. 

Everyone does not need to have constant access to you.  Allow yourself the space to be by yourself.

Say no

It’s hard to say no. You can make a million excuses about why you should do something for someone, but the truth is there a probably a million reasons why you should say no too if you are uncomfortable.

Reinforce the No

My therapist let me know that the most challenging part about setting boundaries was that people will try and challenge your limit. People who are not used to you telling them no will press the issue of a no until you cave. She told me that it would be difficult dealing with the temper tantrums from people who are used to having instant access to you being denied but remain firm if you want boundaries to be set.  In time people will respect them.

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