“When you say YES to others, make sure you are not saying NO to yourself.”
Do you feel guilty when you say NO?
Do you sometimes feel like you’ve agreed to things but you didn’t really want to?
Do you feel resentful when you keep giving and you aren’t shown the appreciation you feel you deserve?
Do you feel drained, burnt-out, or like your own needs are being neglected?
If you answered yes to the any of the above questions, you likely need to start thinking about setting healthy boundaries.
Often people who give out of love can easily over-extend themselves since they identify themselves as someone who is there for their family and friends. This characteristic of ourselves is often one that we feel good about, even pride ourselves on.
However, if we are giving at the expense of our well-being, it is time to take stock of where you need to set some healthy boundaries to ensure your health, happiness, and ability to care for others in the future.
Here are 5 tips on how to begin setting healthy boundaries:
- Practice saying no. Start with the small things, like times for meetings or picking up something on your way home. Gradually, you will be habituated to the liberating feeling of declining.
- Notice how you feel after spending time with someone. If you feel drained, taken advantage of, even unheard in the conversation, you may need to consider limiting the time you devote to this person.
- Delay decisions where you feel uncertain or pressured. If someone wants to spend time with you but you are not sure if you will feel up for it, tell them you will get back to them in two days.
- Gain awareness of when your boundaries have been crossed. Reflect on the negative feelings that you have after an incident or a meeting with someone. Pinpoint exactly where you felt like the person crossed the line.
- Put yourself first. That’s right! Consider your needs before anyone else’s needs. Check in with yourself and ask: Am I getting what I need out of this situation?
Did a specific situation or person come to mind? Commit to doing something about it by writing it down in the comment section.