Setting boundaries can be difficult, especially for people pleasers or those who were taught that you should always put others first. At the same time, setting healthy boundaries is absolutely essential for your mental and emotional well-being. In fact, people with healthy boundaries are happier, feel less stressed out and overwhelmed, have better relationships with other people, and have a higher opinion of themselves. We're going to explore all the ways you can set up healthy boundaries in your life to improve your happiness!
Boundaries are the rules we set for ourselves and with others.
Boundaries are the rules we set for ourselves and with others. They can be physical, emotional, or mental.
Boundaries can be clear (for example: “I will not take care of you anymore because you don’t respect me”) or unclear (for example: “I wish I were able to help but I just don’t have time these days). Boundaries can also be explicit (for example: “This is how I feel about sex before marriage”) or implicit (for example: “This is what happens when we argue about your drinking problem).
Healthy boundaries can be difficult to set.
In order to set healthy boundaries, you need to be able to answer the question: “What is a boundary?” A boundary is an emotional and physical line that you draw between yourself and other people. It's how you protect yourself from being hurt or taken advantage of.
Setting boundaries can be difficult because they often involve hurting someone else's feelings or disappointing them in some way. We don't want to hurt others' feelings, so we try not to tell anyone when we're uncomfortable with something they do or say — but this can lead us into trouble with our own mental health and self-esteem as well as with our relationships. The more you set clear personal limits on what is acceptable behavior in your life, the better able you will be both emotionally and physically!
For instance, if someone asks for help that makes it clear he doesn't want any input from you at all (in other words: "Do this exactly how I want it done"), then maybe just give him back his money instead of doing what he asked because that would clearly violate your own needs while still respecting those of another person."
You can start small.
I know, I know: it can feel like the entire world is against your health. It might even feel like the whole world needs to change before you can be healthy. But this isn't true! You don't need everyone around you to change their ways before you can start taking care of yourself. You just need to change one thing—or maybe even two or three things.
I've been there myself: feeling like I have no control over my own life because everything around me is so difficult and overwhelming and all-consuming. And now that I'm on the other side of that, looking back with hindsight's 20/20 vision, all I can say is this: if someone had told me "it only takes one step in the right direction" or "you don't have to do everything at once," then maybe I could have believed them sooner and been happier sooner!
But here's what happened instead: people kept telling me how hard it was going to be (because those people were right), but they didn't tell me how easy it was going forward once they made those first steps toward their goals (because those people were wrong).
Learn how to say no.
One of the most important things you can do for yourself is to learn how to say no. For example, if someone asks you to do something and you don't want to, it's okay—you don't have to say yes just because they asked. It doesn't mean you're a bad person or that they'll think less of you. In many cases, it's better for everyone involved if people are able to say what they want directly instead of indirectly or passive aggressively.
You might be afraid that saying no will make someone angry or upset with you (for example: "He'll be mad at me!"). But remember: people who like and respect themselves won't get mad when others express their true feelings honestly! And even if someone gets upset at first and says hurtful things afterward (like "You're selfish!"), they still may eventually come around later when they realize that what actually happened was normal human behavior—and not an excuse for being mean toward others unnecessarily either way."
You don't have to justify yourself or explain your decisions.
If you ask someone why they want to do something, they will be more likely to decide against it. This may seem counterintuitive, but it's true. If you ask someone why they want to do something and the reasons are not good enough for you, that's fine! You don't have to justify your decision or explain yourself further. You can say "no" and move on with your day without feeling guilty about it later (which is what usually happens when we try too hard).
Set some time aside for yourself, and respect that time.
If you're having trouble setting aside time for yourself, remind yourself that it's okay to enjoy your own company and do things that make you happy. You should never feel guilty about doing something purely because it makes you feel good. If there's no reason not to, then go ahead!
Think of this like a garden: if your garden is full of weeds, it won't grow into the beautiful display of flowers and vegetables it could be. Similarly, if your life is filled with negative emotions and unfulfilling relationships, then there won't be room for anything else—no matter how much space exists within your mind or heart. So don't let guilt prevent you from relaxing or pursuing what makes sense for YOU!
Stick to your plans, even if someone else wants you to change them.
As you can see, there are many ways to be assertive. The key is remembering that your needs should always be more important than anyone else’s. If someone else’s needs or expectations become more important than yours, it means you aren’t being assertive enough!
When it comes to healthy boundaries and setting limits, it can be hard to stick with our plans when other people want us to change them. But we have to remember: Anyone who doesn't respect our boundaries isn't worth having in our lives anyway!
Ask people what they need from you, and don't give them more than that.
It's important to ask people what they need from you and then not give them more than that. Don't assume that everyone wants the same thing, but instead, be clear about your boundaries and respect theirs.
For example, if someone asks you for a ride home after work—and it's not too inconvenient or expensive—give them a lift without being pestered with questions about why you're being so nice or if they can crash at your place again next week (they can't).
But if someone asks for help moving furniture or organizing their closet and then makes plans with their friends on Wednesday night after work...don't feel like they owe it to you now because they asked once before. That's an unreasonable expectation!
If someone tells you upfront that they have no intention of sharing personal details about themselves—or even talking much at all—then don't try to guess what kind of things would make them comfortable. Instead, let go of any assumptions about what others might want from us; simply ask them what THEY need from us instead
Setting healthy boundaries will make both you and the other person happier in the long run.
Healthy boundaries make you feel better
When you have healthy boundaries, you know what’s okay for you and what isn’t. You also know how to communicate your needs in a way that other people will hear them. This gives you more control over your life and helps protect you from feeling used or taken advantage of by others. When we don’t set healthy boundaries, we often end up feeling taken advantage of by others because they assume that our lack of boundaries means we don’t care about the things they do to us or say about us.
Boundaries are an important part of any healthy relationship. By setting boundaries with yourself and others, you can avoid feeling resentful and stressed out by being available 24/7. You can make sure that you're only giving what you have to give, and not more than that—and at the same time, help the people around you do the same. Of course, we all still have to deal with pushback when we set our limits! But even if someone doesn't like it when you say no to them or they don't get their way on something else, they'll respect your decision if your tone is calm and kind. When it comes down to it, every healthy relationship is built on mutual respect—and by setting healthy boundaries for yourself (and helping others set theirs), you're creating a strong foundation in which that respect can thrive.