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.

@emil32

Love & Family

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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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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..."

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 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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RELATED IDEAS

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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IDEAS

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.
  • 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.
  • Identify the actions and behaviors that you find unacceptable.
  • Trust and believe in yourself.

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