New year, new me; a chance to reset and start fresh in your career and relationships. But oftentimes, life gets in the way and we get stuck in the weeds and our normal routine. A healthy relationship requires the space to be yourself, to maintain your personal integrity. Most people will respect your boundaries when you explain what they are and will expect that you will do the same for them; it’s a two-way street. Not so with people who don’t understand where you end and they begin.
Take a look at these 5 ways to help you set boundaries this year:
- Name your limits
You can’t set good boundaries if you’re unsure of where you stand. So identify your physical, emotional, and mental limits. Consider what you can tolerate and accept and what makes you feel uncomfortable or stressed. Make these clear by writing them down for yourself.
- Give Yourself Permission
Fear, guilt, and self-doubt are big potential pitfalls of setting and enforcing boundaries. We might feel guilty about speaking up or saying no to a family member or friend. But boundaries aren’t just a sign of a healthy relationship; they’re also a sign of self-respect. So give yourself permission to set boundaries for your own self-respect and well-being, and work to preserve them.
- Practice self-awareness
Boundaries are all about honing in on your feelings and honoring them. If you notice yourself slipping and not sustaining your boundaries, take a moment to stop and ask yourself: “What am I doing? What is the other person doing? How am I reacting? How am I feeling? What’s important to me? Am I getting what I need?” Then, review your options: “What do I want to do about the situation? What do I have control over?”
- Start small
Like any new skill, communicating your boundaries takes practice. Start with a small boundary that isn’t too threatening to you, and then incrementally increase to more challenging boundaries, building awareness and confidence.
- Say what you mean and mean what you say
One of the biggest aspects of using boundaries is how clearly you communicate them. You can have the healthiest set of boundaries on the planet but if you do not communicate them clearly, you can create some really confusing relationships, both for you and everyone else involved.
Setting and keeping boundaries can change your life for the better. Contact Marilyn today to start setting your own healthy boundaries.