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How to Set Better Boundaries: 9 Tips for People-Pleasers - Tiny Buddha

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 will allow you to set the right boundaries.

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How to Set Better Boundaries: 9 Tips for People-Pleasers - Tiny Buddha

How to Set Better Boundaries: 9 Tips for People-Pleasers - Tiny Buddha

https://tinybuddha.com/blog/how-to-set-better-boundaries-9-tips-for-people-pleasers/

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Key Ideas

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.

Practice saying “no thanks”

It’s common to feel like you need to explain your boundaries to others. But you don’t.

Practice saying “No, thanks” and nothing more.

Find your trusted people

Without a clear sense of your own boundaries, you may regularly overshare personal information. It can make others feel uneasy and you uncomfortably overexposed.

Create a list of sensitive topics that you will only discuss with trusted people who make you feel safe and seen.

Take a break from a toxic friendship

Healthy friendships are mutually nourishing, not one-sided and depleting.

If you have a one-sided friendship that leaves you feeling unseen, unheard, or disrespected, resolve to take a break from that relationship.

Your post-boundary-setting mantra

It’s totally normal to feel guilty, selfish, or embarrassed after setting a (completely valid) boundary.

Your boundary-setting muscle will take time to develop. Prepare a mantra to refer to after setting difficult boundaries with others. “I set boundaries to..."

Designate a 'cheerleader'

Set yourself up for success by choosing a cherished friend, family member, or partner to be your boundary cheerleader.

When you set a new boundary, let your cheerleader know,  and carve out space for the two of you to celebrate your success.

Imagine how your life will be different

Imagine the many ways you will benefit from setting boundaries.

How will you change? How will your daily life become richer? How might you feel more authentic in your relationships? Keep your vision at the forefront as you make the decisions.

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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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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 profess...

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.

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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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