If you’re serious about building resilient boundaries that protect your feelings, happiness and overall mental state…
…you need a gauge that will alert you when your limits are being crossed.
That gauge should come in the form of emotions – when you feel certain emotions, you’ll know to re-evaluate the situation.
Identify which emotions you feel when your boundaries are violated
Typically, warning signs are feelings such as
- Fear that the other person will stop loving you if you say “No”
- Guilt at the thought of saying “No”
Place those feelings on a scale of one to five, then rate them on severity every time you start to feel them. If they’re pushing towards five, consider what’s causing them and how you can relieve them.
If an emotional red flag appears, take action.
Now, if you believe someone is trying to impose their views on you, mistreat you or pressure you to do something you’re uncomfortable with, it’s time to enforce your boundaries. Because if you don’t, the boundary violations will continue. As a result, you will most likely continue to feel the emotions on an ongoing basis.
Key Elements for Creating Healthy Boundaries
In order to be your best you, to have a happy and healthy life, you need to learn how to set boundaries. In order to set boundaries successfully, you have to get clear about what your limits are. Most importantly, boundaries are necessary to ensure you don’t get overwhelmed by the demands of other people. Without boundaries, you are likely to be overburdened, stressed, and resentful, and it’s up to you to set and maintain your limits. You are the only one responsible for your happiness and well-being. No one else can do it for you.
If you find it hard to say no, and it’s affecting your well-being, you need to stop and re-calibrate. Here are some key elements for creating healthy boundaries:
Know your limits
In order to create and maintain good boundaries you must know yourself. First of all, you will need to assess your emotional, mental, and physical limits. Likewise, you should work out what makes you feel uncomfortable or stressed, and what feels good.
Learn how to read your feelings
In assessing where your limits are, you will have felt a range of different emotions. Two key emotions that signal that your boundaries are being crossed are resentment and discomfort. If you feel you’re being taken advantage of, not appreciated, or even being exploited, that’s a sign you’re being pushed beyond your boundaries, and it’s time to reassert those boundaries and say no.
Give yourself permission to enforce your boundaries
It’s okay to say no. In fact, it’s necessary for your self-respect to maintain your boundaries and refuse an unwelcome request. Consequently, there is no room for guilt or self-doubt in this. Having clear boundaries and sticking to them is not selfish. In putting yourself first, you’re ensuring that you will have the energy to do the things you want to do and be there for people when its right for you.
Be clear about what’s up for negotiation
Know what you need to stay happy and healthy, whether it’s your daily walk, a gym session, or yoga practice. Make it clear that these are non-negotiable parts of your daily schedule. Similarly, be clear that you won’t host family parties, but you will contribute with food or drinks. Furthermore, being clear and direct about your boundaries leaves no room for doubt, guilt, or leverage.
When you’re clear about your boundaries, you don’t need an excuse, a backstory, or a note from your mother. Be direct and leave it at that. You can be polite and kind about it, but in the end, it’s okay just to say no and keep your boundaries strong.