Part 4: How To Set Boundaries
Creating and implementing boundaries is hard. But with a little practice, it gets easier. The key is learn to set appropriate boundaries for your efforts to be effective. Here are some tips for setting healthy, effective boundaries.
The Mindset for Setting Boundaries
The first step to setting good boundaries is having the right motivation and foundation.
The foundation is setting boundaries that protect what matters most to you. The motivation is having better respect for yourself and encouraging others to respect you. The purpose of boundaries is to keep you and your relationships happy and healthy.
Unhealthy boundaries are the kind that infringe on other people’s boundaries. Never create a boundary with the intention of controlling or manipulating those around you.
Your motivation is to create boundaries that create a healthy relationship with yourself and others. Whenever you set a boundary, make sure that it supports the overall purpose of respecting yourself and others.
Defining Your Boundaries
Begin defining your boundaries by reminding yourself of your rights. Here are basic rights that you should factor into your boundaries:
• You have a right to say no without guilt.
• You have a right to be treated respectfully.
• You have a right to acknowledge that your needs are as important as anyone else’s.
• You have a right to acknowledge your flaws and imperfections.
• You have a right to reject other people’s unreasonable expectations.
Feel free to add any rights that are unique to your life. It’s important to identify your rights and understand why you believe in them. This will allow you to honor your emotions and needs more truthfully. As a result, you will stop wasting time trying to please others and focus on yourself instead.
5- 10 Values
In addition to your rights, it’s important to identify your 5 – 10 most important values. How an you set boundaries if you don’t know what you value most?
If starting with 5 – 10 values seems overwhelming, start with three.
As you identify and list your values, think about how and when they are challenged, ignored, or provoked in any way. Does a friend or family member do something that makes you feel uncomfortable regarding your values? If so, do you need to create a boundary to protect that value specifically?
As you start creating your list of rights and values, begin noticing how you feel when you interact with others. Are there certain scenarios that make you feel uncomfortable? Does a certain person make you feel bad on a regular basis? Do you feel stressed in certain social scenarios? Becoming aware of these situations will help focus your attention on any areas of your life that you might need to set boundaries in.
It’s important to keep in mind that boundaries don’t have to be rigid. You might even discover that certain boundaries are unrealistic or irrelevant to your true values and needs. In that case, adjust your boundaries accordingly.