Setting boundaries seems to be a trendy topic these days 😉 I keep stumbling across articles and getting into conversations with people who are struggling with setting them. So I thought I should give you my 2 cents on this topic 😉
You might have difficulties saying No. Maybe not to everybody, but maybe more to your parents, spouse, or your close friends. You tend to agree to their requests and suddenly realize you are doing a lot for others, but not really taking care of yourself anymore. Where did it go wrong?
Maybe you are someone who wants to please others (potentially as a means to be loved/appreciated more, but I won’t go into more details for now…), that’s how you have been raised, and you kept that without realizing that it does not serve you anymore. People do not seem to appreciate what you do for them as you would like them to, and they may not reciprocate (as would seem normal to you). Maybe, as you seem to say Yes every time, they even ask you more and more and you feel trapped but still unable to say No…
If you recognize yourself in those situations, here are a few tips:
– Start small to build your self-confidence and build it up: by that I mean say No to something relatively small, mean it, and really be conscious when you do it that saying No to that other person meant saying Yes to yourself. Practice, practice, practice…
– You can also buy yourself some time before agreeing (or disagreeing) by saying you need to think about it first. Say someone asks you to mind their dog for a week, say that you first need to check if it’s feasible. And during that time, what you need is to check with yourself how you feel about this favor they are asking you to do for them, does it feel good or does it feel, well, constricted inside? If it does not feel good, say No, it’s not possible for you, maybe another time but now not.
– If you realize afterwards that somebody went too far, for example said something to you/about you that made you feel hurt, sad, or even aggressed: it’s the first step in becoming conscious of your boundaries. And it’s never too late to react and admit that you don’t like what just happened. You can come back to the person and say that you feel hurt, sad. And you can make a promise to yourself to pay more attention, so that you can then stop it before they go too far.
I wish you a wonderful week!