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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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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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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..."

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  • you feel like people take advantage of you or use your emotions for their own gain.
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