Establishing boundaries in your life is a great way of respecting and protecting yourself. Boundaries are the physical, emotional and mental limits we put in place to protect ourselves from being manipulated, used or violated.
Boundaries are necessary for good mental health. They provide healthy limits to what you are willing to do. Many people feel guilty for setting boundaries, but it’s your right to say what you will and won’t deal with. Setting boundaries can be empowering and give you more control over your life.
How do you set effective boundaries? 1. Know yourself 2. Be flexible 3. Don’t judge—practice having healthy compassion without the need to “fix” others 4. Let go of judgement about yourself. 5. Accept the truth in what others say and leave the rest.
But lets get real. You can understand what it means to set effective boundaries, but how do you put them in to practice? I have a friend whose daughter is a toxic person. By that I mean she is generally negative and my friend ends up feeling completely depleted by dealing with her daughter. My friend has very strict boundaries with her daughter; they don’t talk very much. If they are talking and the conversation veers into territory that my friend doesn’t want to cover, she just says, “That’s something I’m not going to talk about.” It’s necessary for my friend to enforce these boundaries for her own mental health. Boundaries are very helpful when you have toxic people in your life. I also have a friend that has to maintain strict boundaries with her family. They try to cross her boundaries and each time she sends them packing. She has made up her mind what she will put up with and, because she has good self esteem, she is quite good at enforcing her boundaries.
You will find that some people respect your boundaries, but some don’t. This is when you need to stand strong and firm…you are fighting for yourself and you deserve to be happy. All you need to say is, “I don’t feel like doing that today” or “I don’t feel like doing that at all”. Or, “It’s not good for my mental health to do what you’re suggesting.” If you encounter someone that does not respect your boundaries, you may find that you’re better off without them.
SOURCES: psychcentral/lib/keeping-good-boundaries-getting-your-needs met
O’Brien, Kelly, “Six Steps to Set Good Boundaries, http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-1317616/steps-to-set-good-boundaries