Has it ever occurred to you how self-destructive not respecting your time is? So many of us go through life putting the needs of others above our own. That includes the needs of partners, children, pets, and so many other people that demand our time. Indeed, you can't pour from an empty glass. You must love and respect yourself before you can serve others. That brings me to talk about boundaries. I didn't know what boundaries were until my late 20s; that word never existed in my vocabulary.
What are boundaries?
Boundaries are a way to take care of ourselves. When you set and maintain healthy boundaries, you can avoid the feelings of resentment, disappointment, and anger that build up when limits have been pushed. There are many different types of boundaries: physical, emotional, sexual, intellectual, and financial.
Here are some ways to create and uphold clear boundaries to avoid unnecessary trauma.
Start by outlining what's important to you. What makes you happy? How would creating boundaries allow you more time to spend doing these things? It's also essential to understand the things, people, and situations that make you uncomfortable. Feeling uncomfortable is often a good indicator of where you need to start setting boundaries.
People can't read your mind! If you continually allow things to happen without communicating how uncomfortable they make you, they will continue to happen. Try to be direct and tell people what you need or when you cannot do something for them. Remember, "no" is a complete sentence.
3. Be Consistent
If you set a boundary today but allow people to cross them the next time you interact, they will not take it seriously. That's like telling a kid they can't have candy but caving in after asking a few more times. If you don't take your boundaries seriously, no one will!
4. Lose the Fear
You might be concerned that boundaries will make you seem unfriendly or aggressive, but you shouldn't. If setting boundaries is vital for your mental health and happiness, those who genuinely care about you will understand. If they don't, it's time to reassess your circle.
Don't feel guilty about setting boundaries Alpha.
They're essentially a form of self-care. There more you practice, the easier it will become. I promise. For a more detailed discussion on boundaries, check out the "when not to invest your time" episode of the Becoming Alpha Podcast.