Having clear boundaries in place can help us to manage overwhelm, reduce stress, boost self worth and live authentically but what does setting boundaries look like and how do you do it.
How do I know if I need to set boundaries?
You may find relationships dramatic and unpredictable. This is because you are giving the other person power over yourself and you have a need to please that person and NEED them to approve of you.
You may feel anxious and guilty a lot. This is because you don't feel comfortable with the decisions you are making and the situations you find yourself in.
You are scared to say no and don't like to let anyone down.
Decision making may be a challenge for you. You are scared to make a wrong decision and feel overwhelmed by responsibility
You are always tired because you use all your energy on other people. You are spending all your time and energy on trying to make everything OK for other people or trying to get them to like you and not taking anytime for yourself.
You are burning yourself out.
You don't feel respected.
You feel taken for granted and that You are not really seen or heard.
How to set and maintain boundaries
1.Be mindful. Become aware of where you are feeling overwhelmed or overlooked in your life.
2.Find ways to create space in your life for you. This may look like refusing social invitations or not offering to help at events or social gatherings. If people always assume you will do something, this is the time to change that up.
3. Start small. You don't want to be drawing a hard line in the sand or causing a confrontation. Small, consistent changes will have a more positive long term impact at first than making big changes that are hard to sustain when you are just starting with boundary setting.
4. Say no. Saying no can be very difficult but it becomes easier if you have done phrases prepared so that you are not ambushed or put on the spot. Try " That date sounds familiar, can I check and get back to you please?" Or "Thank you for asking me but I can't take that on at the moment" or "I can't do then but I can do this date/time I'd that works for you?"
5. Communicate clearly. Use kind and compassionate language to explain why you can't or don't want to do something. Don't put the blame on anyone else and be open to compromise but stand your ground when you feel strongly about something.
Having boundaries that are kindly enforced shows that you respect yourself and your wellbeing. Others will have no choice but to do the same and that will reduce your feelings of overwhelm, anxiety and guilt and can improve your relationships, finances, problem solving and confidence.
If you would like support with boundary setting and taking control of your life, please get in touch.