4 Simple Techniques to Set Boundaries
Too often in life, we go along with other people’s requirements, needs, and wishes because we don’t know how to say “no”. However, having the ability to set personal boundaries is one of the best things you can do to protect your mental health and improve well-being.
Learning that “no” is sometimes a sufficient answer that doesn’t need to be supported with any explanations will empower you to be more honest to yourself and others. Establishing the boundaries will boost your self-respect and allow you to focus on your needs. Also, learning techniques to set the boundaries will help you to turn from a people-pleaser into a confident and assertive individual.
1) Set Your Priorities
Prioritizing your needs is not inconsiderate or immature, no matter what you might have been taught. Putting self-care first helps you recognize your needs without feeling guilty or selfish. Find time for your hobbies and other things that do you well. Routine is what gives us comfort and a feeling of control over our lives. Create small daily rituals such as a cup of hot chocolate in the evening, a short walk around the neighborhood or dinner with family or friends, to boost your spirits and relax your mind and body.
2) Practice Self-compassion
Self-doubt and self-criticism have the power to hinder our happiness. We may feel guilty by saying “no” to our spouse, boss, or teacher. Also, we tend to fear that other people will reject us if we set our boundaries, even though we feel taken advantage of.
Learn to live without negative self-talk and judgment. Self-compassion means accepting yourself and treating yourself with kindness and love. Self-kindness can reduce anxiety and boost your stress resilience. It fosters common humanity and helps you understand that no one is perfect and that flaws and imperfections are shared human experiences. Practicing self-compassion helps you better understand your needs and feelings and become more sensitive to other people’s emotional reactions.
3) Be Assertive
How many times have you agreed to take more tasks that you can manage simply because you didn’t know how to say “no”? We often get overwhelmed and drained with things to do, because we either don’t want to disappoint others or fear the consequences. Learn to complete your tasks assertively without either passively accepting or being aggressive. This will help you communicate your feelings and thoughts calmly and positively and let others know what they can expect from you. Also, assertiveness will boost your communication skills and help you constructively manage conflicts.
4) Practice Self-awareness
Boundaries should help you pay attention to your feelings and needs and acknowledging them. When you find yourself in a situation that makes you feel uncomfortable, consider what is the situation provoking that makes you feel stressed or uneasy. Then ask yourself what are you going to do about the situation and ponder on possible solutions. This will boost your self-awareness and give you a sense of control over the situation.
Strong, healthy boundaries are a sign of self-respect and self-love. They are also a precondition of healthy relationships and our general well-being. So, allow yourself to set the boundaries and work to enforce them.