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The No BS Guide to Setting Healthy Boundaries in Real Life

Become a boundary-setting boss

How to draw your lines with confidence.

  • Be assertive. Assertive language is clear and non-negotiable, without blaming or threatening the receiver. Be assertive using "I statements."
  • Learn to say no. You can say no without an explanation and without providing any emotional labor to the person you’re saying it to.
  • Safeguard your spaces. For example, use the Do Not Disturb feature on your phone and other devices.

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IDEA EXTRACTED FROM:

The No BS Guide to Setting Healthy Boundaries in Real Life

The No BS Guide to Setting Healthy Boundaries in Real Life

https://www.healthline.com/health/mental-health/set-boundaries

healthline.com

6

Key Ideas

Defining Boundaries

The word “boundary” can leave the impression of separation.

But boundaries are actually connecting points since they provide healthy rules for navigating relationships, intimate or professional.

The benefits of boundaries

  • Boundaries improve our relationships and self-esteem. They protect relationships from becoming unsafe.
  • Boundaries can be flexible. It’s good to think about them occasionally and reassess them.
  • Boundaries allow us to conserve our emotional energy. Without them, self-esteem and identity can be affected, and you can build resentment toward others.
  • Boundaries give us space to grow and be vulnerable. 

Determine your borders

Our boundaries are shaped by

  • our heritage or culture
  • the region we live in or come from
  • whether we’re introverted, extroverted, or somewhere in between
  • our life experiences
  • our family dynamics
Boundaries are a deeply personal choice and vary from person to person. You can investigate and define your boundaries with self-reflection.

Examine your rights and needs

  • Once you identify your rights and choose to believe in them, you’ll find honoring them easier. For example, I have a right to be treated with respect. 
  • Check-in with your body (heart rate, sweating, tightness in the chest, clenched fists) to understand what you can handle and where the boundary should be drawn.
  • Identify 10 important values. Then narrow that list to three. To understand if you have strong and healthy boundaries, reflect on how often those 3 are challenged.

Become a boundary-setting boss

How to draw your lines with confidence.

  • Be assertive. Assertive language is clear and non-negotiable, without blaming or threatening the receiver. Be assertive using "I statements."
  • Learn to say no. You can say no without an explanation and without providing any emotional labor to the person you’re saying it to.
  • Safeguard your spaces. For example, use the Do Not Disturb feature on your phone and other devices.

Other people’s boundaries

  • Watch for cues. Possible hints someone might want more space: avoiding eye contact, limited conversation response, turning away or sideways.
  • Be inclusive of neurodiverse behaviors. These are people who live with autism, are on the spectrum, or who have other developmental disabilities. Their social cues may be different from the norm.
  • Ask. You can inquire if a hug is OK or if you can ask a personal question.

SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

You Have A Boundary Issue If…
  • you feel like people take advantage of you or use your emotions for their own gain.
  • you feel like you’re constantly having to “save” people close to you and fix their problems all the ...
Personal Boundaries

Having healthy personal boundaries means taking responsibility for your own actions and emotions, while NOT blaming others.

People with high self-esteem have strong personal boundaries. And practicing strong personal boundaries is one way to build self-esteem.

Poor Boundaries 

People who blame others for their own emotions and actions do so because they believe that if they constantly paint themselves as a victim, eventually someone will come to save them.

People who take the blame for other people’s emotions and actions are always looking to save someone.

Predictably, these two types of people are drawn strongly to one another, yet completely fail to meet each other's true need to feel loved. The real solution would be for both to take responsibility for their own problems.

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Learning to set healthy personal boundaries
  • Know that you have a right to personal boundaries.
  • Recognize that other people's needs and feelings are not more important than your own.
  • Learn to say no.
  • I...
Name your limits

You can’t set good boundaries if you’re unsure of where your limits are.

Identify what you can permit and accept and what makes you feel uncomfortable or stressed.

Tune into your feelings

There are two key feelings that are red flags that you are letting go of your boundaries.

  • Discomfort. Ask yourself what is causing the discomfort.
  • Resentment. Resentment usually comes from being taken advantage of or not appreciated.
Be direct

With some people, maintaining healthy boundaries doesn’t require a direct and clear-cut dialogue.

There are other times you might need to be frank, such as with those who have a different personality or cultural background.

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NO boundaries = little self-esteem

The first step to change is admitting this.

Your boundaries are your values. Boundaries are representative of how much or little you respect yourself. 

Choose your core values

You must make your boundaries about you.

Once you get clear about what matters most to you, then you can take the bigger step of communicating that to the others.

You can't change others

You are not responsible for what they say, their reactions or for the daily choices they make.

Since you can't change other people, change how you deal with them. They may be motivated to change if their old ways no longer work.

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Goal setting
Goal setting

Is the act of selecting a target or objective you wish to achieve.

Goal setting is not only about choosing the rewards you want to enjoy, but also the costs you are willing to pay t...

The Rudders and Oars Metaphor
It helps clarify the difference between SYSTEMS and GOALS:
  • Your goals are like the rudder on a small rowboat. They set the direction and determine where you go. 
  • If you commit to one goal, then the rudder stays put and you continue moving forward. 
  • If you flip-flop between goals, then the rudder moves all around and it is easy to find yourself rowing in circles.
  • If the rudder is your goal, then the oars are your process for achieving it. While the rudder determines your direction, it is the oars that determine your progress.

Example: If you’re a writer, your goal is to write a book. Your system is the writing schedule that you follow each week.

How to Set Goals You'll Actually Follow
  1. Ruthlessly Eliminate Your Goals. Consistently prune and trim down your goals. If you can muster the courage to prune away a few of your goals, then you create the space you need for the remaining goals to fully blossom.
  2. Stack Your Goals. Make a specific plan for when, where and how you will perform this."Networking: After I return from my lunch break, I will send one email to someone I want to meet."
  3. Set an Upper Bound. Don't focus on the minimum threshold. Instead of saying,  “I want to make at least 10 sales calls today.” rather say, “I want to make at least 10 sales calls today, but not more than 20.”

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Name your feelings

Emotions like overwhelm, anger, and frustration may indicate that others are intruding on your personal time or space.

Instead of pushing the feelings away, try understanding them. It ...

Prepare your well-being disclaimer

Start conversations about boundaries with a disclaimer to set the stage for a compassionate, permissive discussion.

Share your resolution to set boundaries. Explain why it’s important to you and how you believe it will benefit you.

When others set boundaries

People who have trouble setting boundaries usually have trouble responding to boundaries set by others.

Instead of feeling dismissed, angry, or rejected when friends or lovers put limits on your interactions, respond with “I value your honesty” or “I appreciate you sharing that with me”—even if the boundary was difficult to hear.

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Verbal violations
  • Not allowing you to speak or be heard.
  • Yelling at you.
  • Saying things that are derogatory about your integrity and character.
  • Gossiping about you.
Psychological/emotional boundary violations
  • Preying upon your sense of self and self-esteem
  • Using what you’ve told them in confidence against you
  • Lying to you
  • Criticizing you
  • Manipulating you
  • Mocking you
  • Making demands of your time
  • Bullying you
  • Lording a superior attitude over you
Physical violations
  • Moving into your personal space
  • Touching you without permission
  • Being inappropriate or too familiar towards you
  • Violating your privacy
  • Damaging or destroying your personal property
  • Threatening you with physical harm

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Simple rules

They are shortcut strategies that save time and effort by focusing our attention and simplifying the way we process information. The rules aren’t universal- they’re tailored to the particular si...

Boundary rules for better decisions

They guide the choice of what to do (and not do) without requiring a lot of time, analysis, or information. 

They work well for categorical choices, like a judge’s yes-or-no decision on a defendant’s bail, and decisions requiring many potential opportunities to be screened quickly. 

These rules also come in handy when time, convenience, and cost matter.

Prioritizing rules for better decisions

They rank options to help decide which of multiple paths to pursue.

They are especially powerful when applied to bottleneck activities - pinch-points in companies, where the number of opportunities swamps available resources, and prioritizing rules can ensure that these resources are deployed where they can have the greatest impact.

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Lower accountability
Lower accountability

Procrastinating is even easier when you have no one looking over your shoulder. Lower accountability can make procrastination more likely at home.

And without the whole context of an ...

High tolerance to frustration

People with high frustration tolerances are the ones that generally succeed at remote work. And you can take steps to raise your frustration tolerance and become more conscientious by working on your impulsivity.

A non-conscientious person will find another activity (a distraction most likely) the moment something challenging or uncomfortable comes up. They have to be more conscious to stay in the moment: count to five or take five deep breaths, for example.

A lack of boundaries

When work and personal activities are occurring in the same space, there are no cues for you to behave the way you do at work while you are outside your physical office.

Those who work well from home create boundaries in a work-life world without them. Then, once these parameters are established, people who commit fewer ‘boundary violations’ are better off.

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Invest in your emotional health

Staying mentally and emotionally healthy helps us face challenges, stresses, and setbacks. It also equips us to be more functional in our daily lives. 

A person who is mentally and emoti...

Take care of your physical health

Physical health plays an important role in ensuring that you are mentally healthy. 

You can stay healthy by eating well, getting adequate rest and exercise, and actively taking care of your physical health. 

Exercise and get some fresh air

Daily exposure to sunlight helps avoid depression.

Physical activity is also beneficial for the mind. Exercise boosts energy, reduces stress and mental fatigue. 

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