Setting boundaries

Boundaries. Some of us are good at setting them and others are not. I ebb and flow in my stance on boundaries. It depends on the situation and it depends on who else is involved. What I do know is that each and every situation I am in creates the moment to decide how I am going to handle my own boundaries. There are different levels of boundaries we must monitor on a day-to-day basis.

Maybe we have a family member that asks too much of us and we always say yes, or maybe it is how they treat us, thinking that there is only one way or one answer to a problem. It could be that they completely disregard our thoughts and opinions and think about what they want, or what they think we should do with our life, never understanding that we have to make our own decisions. A friend might take too much from us in an unbalanced way. A child that has us wrapped around their finger. A boss that does not allow no for an answer.

All of these can be challenging situations depending on who is on the other end of the conversation. Often I think that others do not know how their demands on us affect us. They expect others to have their own filters, to be able to say no when they hit their limit. That is unrealistic though. Love, guilt, compassion, and never learning to say no have a strong hold on us. Often we do not want to disappoint those we love, so we say yes, we move forward with no boundaries and suffer the consequences. Whether that means we allow too much on our plate, we get burned out, or we find that we become resentful.

Speaking up for what you want and what you are willing to do means you create the life that feels right to you. Even if that means upsetting an in-law, sibling, friend, or co-worker. You are only you if you speak up for what you need. That might mean saying no. It might mean saying yes — but with specific limits. At the very least take time to listen to your inner voice and decide what you truly want. Then you can battle the naysayers in your mind, speak up for yourself, and ultimately create the boundaries you need. Definitely not easy, but doable?

3 thoughts on “Setting boundaries

  1. In the past, I was a carpet for many people both family and friends (girlfriends included). There was a f**ked up expectation and it took a while for me to break that cycle. Kids do that – provide ultimate clarity. A parent has fixed resources (either time and/or money). Help an adult or help your kids…. answer for me is simple every time – 100% my kids. I have been “de-friending” consistently for the past decade and have actually been “de-friending” on Facebook as well. Actually feels good.
    Today – i have a simple policy. Anyone can ask me for help and if I can’t help you, answer is “thank you, no.” By the way, I will try to help anyone and am actively involved in a number of charities that I both donate my time and money. If I can help, part of what you get with my help are my recommendations to not have this happen again – teach a man to fish. You don’t make an attempt to help yourself, you get a “thank you, no” at the next request. And if you don’t stop looking for handouts or if you have an ill response to my “thank you, no,” then off you go and please don’t come back. I don’t have time for you.
    what surprises me the most is when people think you’ve become such a d*ck. “What happened to you, you used to be so nice.” “Simple,” I say, “I don’t let you walk all over me anymore.” Former-so-called-friends seem to go on their merry way and don’t bug you anymore when your well runs dry for them.
    Family is different in a weird way because it seems that they feel entitled and seem want to fall back into dysfunctional relationships. That is when I term the relationship as “estranged” and I go on my merry way.


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