Why having healthy boundaries is so important
Are you a people pleaser? Do you feel like you agree to do too many things, but you’re not sure how to say no? Maybe you don’t want people to think you’re rude or unkind. You don’t want them to see you as needy, demanding, or “high-maintenance.” You don’t want to let others down.
If these sound familiar then its a sign that you have poor or no personal boundaries. Many people fall into this pattern. The good news is that setting boundaries can save you stress and give you a sense of control and freedom over how you live and spend your time.
Boundaries make it clear to ourselves and those in our lives where we start and they stop. Learning to set boundaries is a valuable skill that helps you heal and enriches your relationships in the future. Boundaries help us be more aware of ourselves and our relationships and they’re important for self-care and making yourself a priority.
If you feel like you’re unhappy, resentful, insecure in relationships, being taken advantage of, or losing a sense of identity, you might like to think about whether you have unhealthy boundaries and consider setting healthy ones.
Remember ‘No’ is a complete sentence
You don’t need to be rude or aggressive, you just need to state your position and stand by it.
Here are many ways to say ‘no’:
Just say ‘no.’ No wavering. No second-guessing. Just no.
“I won’t be able to make it; I have another commitment.”
“Thank you, I’m not able to take that on right now.”
“Thanks for thinking of me, but I have to say no.”
“While I loved being a part of the last presentation, public speaking really isn’t my thing, so I won’t do it this year.”
“I’m sorry, I can’t make it.”
"I can't do that."
“Thank you for thinking of me for this project. I can’t take more work on right now, but I would love to be considered for other things in the future.”
Benefits of Setting Boundaries
Establishing boundaries is good for you and the people around you. When you’re clear about your boundaries, people will understand your limits and know what you are and aren’t OK with, and they’ll adjust their behaviour. The people who don’t respect your boundaries are ones you may not want in your life.
Healthy boundaries can also help you:
Build greater self-esteem
Get clear on who you are, what you want, and your values and belief systems
Bring focus to yourself and your well-being
Enhance your mental health and emotional well-being
Gain a greater sense of identity
Tips to Use Boundaries to Improve Your Well-Being
The best way to start setting boundaries is to offer direct, open, and honest feedback about your limits.Here are some tips:
Communicate your thoughts. Be honest but respectful when sharing your thoughts and feelings with someone else. It’s OK to take some time to gather yourself before and after the conversation. But don’t let that become an excuse to avoid telling them how you feel.