I am a people pleaser, well a hundred percent before but after some tragic occurrence in my life I have learned to say “STOP” and “NO.” You see we were basically born wanting affirmation from others to assure ourselves that we are worthy, which brings me to this question- Does other people’s opinion of us define our worth? When do we say enough is enough?
Before I enumerate some tips to help you let me just reiterate that others should and never define you as an individual, instead you define you, you make you and the rest shall follow.
So, how do we exactly do that? Here are some tips to start with:
Set your limits.
Good boundaries are set when you know where you stand and having to know this doesn’t have to be so tedious, you may want to take into consideration what you can tolerate and accept and what makes you feel uncomfortable. Identifying those feelings may help you set your parameters.
Listen to your feelings.
Inner peace shouldn’t be that difficult when you just learn to drown and muffle out the noise externally and learn to listen to how you feel- TRULY feel, no filters, no justifications, just plain and simple you.
That thing called resentment most of the time comes from being taken advantage of or underappreciated. Sometimes it serves as a sign that we may be pushing ourselves either beyond our own limits because we feel guilty on not being able to please others or someone else is imposing their expectations on us. Never allow that, it may be diminishing our feelings.
Never underestimate the power of communicating how you feel.
Be more direct about speaking about your own boundaries. While others may feel that this may create tension between friends and family, I honestly think it’s the best way to let them know how you feel. We’re not mind readers and therefore we speak how we feel but at the same time maintain that respect for each other.
A typical example is relationships where couples might need to talk about how much time they need to maintain their sense of self and how much time to spend together.
“Givers need to set limits because takers rarely do.”- Rachel Wolchin
Your feelings are valid.
This is my favorite mantra. Whatever you feel, know that it is valid, it is existing and don’t allow judgment from others question that. The tendency nowadays is that you should be able to cope with a situation or say yes because you’re a good daughter or son or friend or partner in spite of the fact that you already feel drained or taken advantage of. It will even make you wonder if we even deserve to have boundaries in the first place. The answer is yes, we are allowed to feel the way we do and yes because of this you need to set boundaries just so things are clear from the beginning.
Boundaries are a sign of self-respect. Give yourself permission to set ones and sustain them.
Realizing how you feel is one, accepting it is another.
Boundaries are all about honoring how you feel and act upon it. If you feel that a certain situation bothers your norms and values then it wouldn’t make you any less of a person to take yourself to a level of self-awareness and act upon it, at the end of the day we are accountable to how we feel.
Learn to recognize toxicity when it happens and learn to let go of it.
Go beyond relationships and evaluate your environment because it might be unhealthy. Toxic relationships or environment are draining and while the phrase “no choice” exists, well, in reality, there is always a choice, you just need to realize, respect and proactively react enough to let go of this toxic culture. That is why staying in tune with your feelings is crucial.
Practice self-care, please.
It pays to give yourself permission to put yourself first when we put our needs first and set boundaries we, in turn, become stronger and more motivated to achieve the goals we have. Putting yourself first also gives you the energy, peace of mind and positive outlook to be more present with others and be there for them and when we do that we can be a better partner, co-worker or friend.
A support system is important. Seek for it.
If you find yourself feeling a bit “not so ready” in being able to set boundaries, then seeking help in how to do it will help. It’s like that math formula you never seem to get but when you get the concept of it everything just falls into place. Do just that and setting boundaries should be like a breeze.
Setting boundaries may seem difficult but self-care, self-love or whatever you may call it begins with that. You got to learn to keep some to yourself, don’t give it all the way.