There are ways to set healthy boundaries that remove the torture of dealing with a load of crap. Many of us get scared of attending social functions for fear of being embarrassed by a family member or some lousy friends.
Your mental health will suffer if you don’t learn to set healthy boundaries. Who is involved shouldn’t discourage you from doing what’s right. It could be your mom, dad, siblings, or an invasive aunt. It could be a very close friend who only wants you around when they need a favor. Read on to find out 5 ways to set healthy boundaries.
Describing and defining boundaries
Boundaries are emotional and psychological borders we set for ourselves and other people to protect our well-being. Maintaining healthy boundaries gives room for relationships void of the unavoidable repercussion of poor boundaries. The following are some effects of setting unhealthy and healthy boundaries:
- Setting unhealthy boundaries ward off people with positive mindsets: It can be very exhausting to constantly validate people who aren’t sure about their mental and physical boundaries. Most people who are confident of the boundaries they set for themselves find it dramatic when people they meet get careless about the lines that need to be drawn.
- Setting unhealthy boundaries can be very tiring: Trying to please others to the detriment of your mental or physical health can be very exhausting. This doesn’t only drain your energy; it gives others the impression that they can ride over you. Constantly attending to other’s demands for validation can completely wear you out.
- Setting healthy boundaries attracts people with a healthy mindset: It helps your time and energy if you protect your circle. Saying “no” doesn’t make you a bad person, and there are days you would have to say it more often to prove your point. This is the quickest way to focus on your emotions and ignore others’ burdens that you can’t handle.
How to set healthy boundaries
1. Constantly remind yourself why setting boundaries is important
Focusing on the reason why you need to set boundaries is essential for the journey ahead. Setting healthy boundaries takes practice, especially since it’s not a day’s work. Don’t be discouraged when you slip up and allow someone toxic in. Instead, it should equip you with the experience of what toxic characters to avoid next. Remind your tender self of the greater purpose of setting healthy boundaries.
Most people may try jotting goals down to help make the process easier. Some of these goals might include:
- Protect your mental and physical health.
- Avoid being abused, used, or insulted.
- Connect more with mature and respectful individuals.
- Be a good role model to younger folks who look up to you.
- Learn to mind your business!
- Work on evolving in all aspects of your life.
- Protect your circle as much as you can.
You can continue adding to the list when something productive pops into your head. Be sure not only to write; practice as well. Make it a daily task to remind yourself why protecting yourself is of absolute importance.
Click to read: Building Healthy Boundaries With Your Boo
2. Ensure to have your boundaries defined
Since boundaries are unique to everyone, you and you alone know what you can tolerate. You may have to decide on your limits, wants, and needs. Humans are incredibly invasive and would always want to intrude in your personal space. The best you can do for yourself is to define your boundaries, loudly if possible. While implementing this life change, don’t forget to respect other people’s boundaries.
The active process of defining your boundaries may include:
- Who would you allow into your space?
- How will you be spending your time?
- Monitoring your thresholds for your self-preservation and well-being.
- What environmental element would you be willing to tolerate?
- What type of topics would you be avoiding?
- What social functions would you not be active in?
- What emotions or behavior would you allow to influence you?
- How would you behave toward your family, friends, and acquaintances?
You can add more to the list as you go on.
3. Practicalize the boundaries you set
Saying you would do something is different from actually doing it. Actively setting boundaries may require you that come to terms with some sensitive issues and offend many people. This part may seem a bit difficult to go through with, but it is easy and necessary.
Setting boundaries would mean disappointing those close to you. This may want to force you to compromise- DON’T! For the best results, you may have to see this process through to the last. Discipline, courage, and firmness are needed to maintain a strong chi.
4. Engage in activities that can help strengthen your boundaries
Maintaining solid boundaries requires a series of tests. Similar to learning how to drive, boundaries need practice and repetition to hold firm. Because humans don’t know how to react to “NO,” you may have to continuously set boundaries even to those you assume have heard you.
Setting new healthy boundaries may attract feelings of guilt and emotional reactions from those around you. While change is constant, it isn’t readily accepted. Once we get comfortable doing something, we continue to push even to the detriment of others’ convenience.
When limits are set in a relationship, recognize that the dynamics of that relationship are changed. It’s now left for you to know to what extent you want that change. Also, realize that the special people in your life might react well to these changes, so get ready to address resistance.
Don’t forget to remain calm while holding your ground. These people will understand you mean business when you change the gameplay without breaking any sweat or character. Remember, mistakes are bound to happen, so forgive yourself and try again.
5. Be flexible in setting your boundaries
With time and practice, you can set healthy boundaries while maintaining a healthy level of flexibility. We are not asking you to compromise, but you don’t want to push people away while putting your foot down.
Maintaining healthy boundaries can help you filter out people you don’t want around you. It also allows you to keep individuals who are willing to accept the changes you are implementing. Growth is a natural process and would be faster if you set healthy boundaries and quickly maintain them.
Setting healthy boundaries would require that you also learn how to close, open, and modify yourself maturely. You are a pro when you maintain healthy boundaries and people don’t notice. They assume you are naturally that way.
Man must “know thyself” before learning to “save himself.” As you implement the above process, don’t forget to be kind. Many of the people you are trying to exclude from your life aren’t aware they are affecting you negatively. You don’t want to be mean or aggressive; you can get a good result when you calmly reinforce your boundaries.
Mind you, the act of setting healthy boundaries requires lifelong practice. The practice should in no way affect your social life. You can still be cool while doing what is needed. Some of the great benefits of setting boundaries include having a strong sense of self-worth and self-respect.
10 Ways to Build and Preserve Better Boundaries – Psychcentral