Updated: Jun 19
Boundaries are the limits we set for ourselves for what we will or will not tolerate. When we don't have clearly defined boundaries, people can walk all over us all the time. We get into a people pleasing mode & feel taken advantage of. And, when we don't take care of our needs first, we can only serve others for a limited time before we start feeling drained. This is a common problem faced by people pleasers and empaths. Here are some tips that can help you to create healthy boundaries:
1. Set Limits
First off, become aware, what you are willing to & not willing to tolerate. Clearly define for yourself, what behavior is acceptable and not acceptable. These are your limits. Settling limit is the key step in self love. Putting your needs a priority is mistaken for being selfish. Read my article here on how self love is different from being selfish.
2. Express Your Boundaries
Next step is to clearly express and communicate your boundaries. Once you have set your limits, one needs to state clearly what's your boundaries. Without telling people about it, you are obviously going to be a pushover who gets forced to do things which he doesn't want to do. For example, you might be a complete teetotaler & when being forced by peers to have a drink or two, you can state clearly that you do not enjoy drinking even occasionally. Without feeling sorry for yourself, state your boundaries clearly . This will radiate high self love and confidence from you.
3. You are Not Responsible for Others' Feelings
An important point that most of us overlook, is that you are not responsible for how others feel when you create healthy boundaries. Every person themselves are responsible for how they feel. So when you refuse or deny people, how they feel about it is not your problem, it's theirs. It may sound rude, but it's a fact that people who violate others boundaries tend to feel most bad about people refusing them.
4. Stop Trying to Maintain Peace
Most of us struggle to create boundaries because we are afraid of the conflict it might create when we state our boundaries or say no for a task. Especially if you are an empath, it is highly possible that you give in to others' demands for the fear of conflict that may arise otherwise. In order to maintain peace, you may give in to whatever is being asked for. Helping someone is good but when you have to do things that you don't wanna do repeatedly, it can create frustration deep inside and also it can affect your sense of self.
5. Say No with Grace & Gratitude
The solution lies in learning to say No with Grace and thankfulness. For example, if someone asked you to do a work and you don't feel the work serves you, then you can say, "Thank you for thinking about me, but I am not available for this work", "I appreciate you thinking about me but maybe some other time".
The important thing to remember is to not to justify or give excuses for your unavailability. We might think that it might be rude to refuse, but it's not. We all have the right to say No to things that don't serve us.
Learning to Create boundaries is a lifelong process. It's a tight rope to balance. The key is to create healthy boundaries. Cooperation and team-work is important for every relationship but getting walked over and taken advantage of are not the signs of healthy relationships. Hence setting and maintaining healthy boundaries can help you have healthy relationships with yourself and others.
What are your ways to create boundaries. Comment below and share your thoughts.