Having healthy personal boundaries helps us lay the groundwork for healthy boundaries when dating and in relationships. We have to know what specific boundaries we need to have and the consequences for stepping over them. I know for me setting boundaries in my life has become pivotal in my self-development, but this was not always the case. I use to be the friend and family member that rarely said no, and stretched myself thin trying to help everyone. Now that I have set boundaries in my life, I have more control over things and don’t feel like I am disloyal to myself. Today we are going to look at three areas that you can begin to set healthy personal boundaries.
Learning to Say NO
Saying no is important because it helps us with setting boundaries in all other areas. We began to say no to people wasting our time or communicating with us in an unappreciated way.
Saying no can be hard at times. Especially when someone you care about is in need. But, we have to dig deeper and figure out why we struggle with saying no. Are you afraid to let people down, suffer from People-Pleaser syndrome, or just scared to disagree? I know that I was. I wanted everyone to feel loved, but I was only hurting myself in the long run. Saying no doesn’t mean you don’t want to help someone or you don’t care about their situation. Saying no means that even though you understand their need, your needs have to come first. When I was first starting saying no to the ones I love it killed me inside. I had to remind myself why I was saying no.
If you struggle with saying no here is something that may help. After you say no to someone, say to your say yourself “I am saying no, not because I don’t want to help. But, because I know helping someone else will take my focus off of my needs” Once you get into the swing of saying no, feeling bad goes away.
I am saying no, not because I don’t want to help. But, because I know helping someone else will take my focus off my needs”
I was listening to Myleik Teele recent live podcast the Mindset Marathon, and someone asked her what she feels that she is the most exceptional at. Her answer was simple, managing my time. She goes on to state how she is bomb at managing her time and not letting anybody else take advantage of it. I was like wow that is so true. The older I get, the more I value my time. I have made sure that people know that wasting my time is not an option. If I have the time, I will help you, but as soon as you take advantage of my time, then we have a problem. In the future, this will cause me to hesitate when you ask for help. I will remember how you wasted my time and then second guess being there for you. I have turned down many people not because I didn’t want to help them, but because I have seen how they don’t value my time.
I always stress if you are going to be late call or text, then you should apologize once you arrive. Hey, I’m not trying to waste your time, and I apologize for being late. Of course, some things can’t be helped. But most of the time when someone is late it’s due to poor planning on their part. Your time is valuable and should be taken as such.
If people can’t start to value your time like your value theirs make it know. Let them know, “I don’t feel like you value my time so I have to stop making the time to help you, or support you.” It’s not being mean it stating your needs. Taking your time away from someone is sometimes the only way they learn to value it. Take back your time and communicate what you need.
Setting communication boundaries can come in many different forms. The tone someone talks to you in, the mode of communication you prefer, and the time people are allowed to communicate with you. Now that most people have cell phones getting in contact with someone is so much easier, but that doesn’t mean you have to always take that call or answer that text. I have to be to work at 6 am so one of my boundaries is how late someone can call me. I do not take phone calls after 9 pm usually I am preparing for bed and this will interrupt me from getting a good night sleep. The only exception I have if it’s an emergency, which would require someone to call me more than once or if it’s my father and grandmother. I use to say yes to calls and be super tired in the morning. Now I say NO to phone calls and go to bed on time.
In a previous blog, I spoke about how being yelled at is a trigger for me. So, if somebody starts talking to me in a tone that I am uncomfortable with I merely say, “The tone your speaking to me it is not OK, if you can’t bring your voice down I will have to end our conversation.” I don’t have to scream to get my point across, so I expect the same respect. Once you keep letting people know how they treat you the learn to treat you accordingly. It may take you hanging up on a friend or putting them on pause for a little, but if they value who you are to them they will change.
When you began to speak up and let people know our boundaries we find our-self in less uncomfortable situations. Be intentional when setting limits. Sit down with a piece of paper and think about areas you struggled in and began to set boundaries. The three I mentioned are just a starting point. Once we learn to have boundaries with the family and friends, we can start to dive into setting limits when begin dating and cultivating a new relationship.