Learn to Set Boundaries in Your Personal Relationships
Are you the kind of person who knows how to set boundaries in your personal relationships? The answer is no? It’s hard to admit but people tend to think of emotional relationships as an all-or-nothing kind of thing. In fact, most often prioritize the well-being of others before their own.
This attitude often leads to toxic relationships instead of promoting the creation of healthy bonds. Thus, both people end up unhappy.
Let’s take a closer look.
Why is it so difficult to set boundaries in your personal relationships?
The reason why we often don’t set boundaries in our personal relationships is complicated. It stems from different fears, insecurity, and even because of different beliefs that you may have. For instance, if you have low self-esteem, you’ll think that you’re not as important and thus you’ll put up with any insults and be a victim of humiliation and manipulation.
You might be unable to react to this because you believe you deserve it. Likewise, you may have an unfounded fear of getting into conflict with other people. Mainly for fear they’ll disapprove of you or stop liking you. Thus, you don’t put anyone in their place and are always willing to please.
It may also be that your big problem isn’t that you have low self-esteem or that you don’t want to get into conflict with someone. Perhaps you just don’t know how to set boundaries in your personal relationships.
Nobody teaches us to be assertive or how to communicate or how to defend our own needs. Thus, we must learn to do so on our own.
How? You ask.
- Start by saying “no” to everything you don’t want to do or don’t have time for. It doesn’t matter what others say, whether they don’t like it or even how bad you may look. Prioritize what you want.
- Use “I” to say what you feel and want. For instance: “I’m tired of going to this meeting.” Don’t use excuses and be clear.
- Don’t say you’re sorry every time you say what you want. For instance, change the “I’m sorry, but I want to stay home” to “I want to stay home.”
- Finally, don’t justify yourself when you’re giving an opinion or making a decision. This is because you don’t need to do it, even if it upsets the other person. Just be confident in yourself.
Learn to be yourself
To put limits on your personal relationships, sometimes it’s necessary to learn to be yourself again. This means to trust yourself, to give up pleasing other people, and stop looking for their approval. It’s difficult indeed. After all, we’re taught to please everyone around us when we’re children.
However, small steps like saying “no” and stopping someone from making you change your mind to what they want can help you.
So, when should you set boundaries in your personal relationships? The answer is whenever you feel uncomfortable.
The moment that something takes your energy away, makes you feel bad, or demands all of your attention, this is when you need to start putting up boundaries. This happens with all kinds of relationships. It happens with family, friends, and with your partner. This is because some people take a mile when you give only an inch.
Because of this, it’s very important to express yourself as you are. This includes refusing to do something when you don’t want to, expressing yourself without feeling guilty or shame from what others might think, and giving up constant explanations. You need to learn to look out for your own well-being. This doesn’t depend on others but on yourself.
Read about Five Traits of Assertive People
Dignity, your great ally
You need to consider what and how you need to change. Assertiveness can be an effective weapon to avoid manipulation but keep in mind that there’ll always be people who choose not to take part in your attempts at communicating effectively.
In those cases, remember that dignity is your most important ally. Don’t let anyone make you feel bad about not agreeing to do something you don’t want to do. This is because you have every right in the world to set boundaries and defend your own space. Anyone who’s unable to accept it doesn’t deserve to be in your life.It might interest you...