Many of us have a hard time setting boundaries with others. We want to help those around us, feel a need to please, or don’t realize that we have a right to set boundaries. Personal boundaries are essential in order to protect ourselves and have healthy relationships.
Healthy boundaries are “guidelines, rules, or limits that a person creates to identify reasonable, safe, and permissible ways for other people to behave towards them.”
What are signs that you need to set a boundary?
- Listen to your body; you may have a physical reaction such as increased heart rate, sweating, tightness in your chest, stomach or throat.
- Tune into your feelings; you may feel resentful, uncomfortable, hurt, annoyed, or angry.
- You’re burned out.
Remind yourself of your rights with others and yourself. Some examples include:
- I have a right to say no without feeling guilty.
- I have a right to be treated with respect.
- I have a right to make my needs as important as others.
- I have a right to be accepting of my mistakes and failures.
- I have a right not to meet others’ unreasonable expectations of me.
How to be Assertive & Use “I” Statements
I feel __________ when ____________ because _____________. What I need is ______________.
“If someone sets boundaries with assertiveness, it feels firm but kind to others,” says Jenn Kennedy, a licensed marriage and family therapist.
“Not everyone will understand your journey. That’s okay. It’s not their journey. It’s yours. Embrace your freedom.” – Kristen Butler