Boundaries are something that can feel so tricky, because a lot of us have not been taught how to implement them. Often, individuals end up feeling guilty or they are being mean if they express a boundary for themselves. In the long run, this leads to resentment in our jobs, our relationships, as well as, burnout, and losing a part of who we are. Boundaries are essentially expressing to someone what is okay and what is not okay for us. Below are three ways to set boundaries in your life, that over time, will feel less and less icky as you practice!
Time Boundary-Let's say that someone asks you to do something for them, and you instantly feel that pull to just say yes out of guilt. You really have a lot going on that you need to do for yourself the time they ask. Something to ask yourself is if you would be able to do it at a different time than requested. If so, you can say, "I am unable to right now, but I can (insert the time you are able to). You do not need to give a reason as to why you are able to, unless you think it is necessary.
2. Emotional Boundary-Have you ever had someone yell at you, mistreat, or disrespect you in some way? It doesn't feel good at all right? It can be challenging to want to speak up for yourself after something like this happens. But, over time, this can really take a toll on your confidence as well as any relationships that this happens in. It is more than okay to express that it is not okay for someone to treat you in a way that is harmful. Try say something like, "I understand that you are upset, but I will not allow you to take your anger out on me." After doing this, you can feel empowered, confident, and relieved to know that you are able to take care of yourself in this way.
3. Financial Boundary-Have you had a situation where someone asked you for money and you were struggling yourself, but you helped them anyway? Or, during the holidays you really were strapped for cash, but felt like you had to buy a certain amount otherwise you felt guilty not doing so? A lot of times, resentment, anxiety, and more financial stress will follow when we overextend ourselves financially. Some examples you can try are, "I know this is really important to you, but I do not have the money to help you with it." Or, for the holidays, being honest and vulnerable to your loved ones where you're at financially, and find another way to share the experience with them in a meaningful way. Chances are, they may be struggling as well and will feel relief after you spoke up!
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