5 Steps to Setting Personal Boundaries

Have you ever done something even though you didn’t really want to?  Or go out with some guy even though you didn’t really want to?  Or what about that girlfriend that’s constantly asking you to go out but you don’t really want to go, but you do it anyway so she’ll stop bugging you?! Or because you don’t want to seem rude or that you don’t like to have fun?

Whatever the case may be, I think we’ve all been there and done that!  In fact, probably more often than we would like to admit.  I know I certainly have. And I have run into so many women with similar struggles. Because we don’t want to truly do that thing or be around certain people. It’s almost as if we’re afraid to disappoint others although we’re the ones suffering.  But there is a solution.  It takes some practice and commitment.  But it’s possible. 

The solution is setting healthy personal boundaries.

What does healthy personal boundaries mean?  It means you know and understand your limits and patience with certain people in your life and certain things that you’re uncomfortable with and you make a healthy choice to eliminate them. Or how often you engage with them.  Whether that means you spend less time with someone (a toxic someone), you stop doing something or just sticking to your guns about your no.

I am going to share 5 steps that you can follow to set these healthy boundaries.  But before I do I want to touch on something that’s important to know. 

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There is a huge difference between not wanting to do something because it scares you and it’s good for you and not wanting to do something because you don’t want to be around someone because of the way they treat you.  I say that because I’ve learned the hard way.  I used to believe that setting boundaries on things that were good for me was good idea.  Then I wouldn’t set any boundaries with people that were more or less draining my energy.

When I was going through my stage of self-destruction I would never set any boundaries-with friends, when I would go out, and especially with men.  Sometimes I would go out with a guy and have a great time and then end up back at his place.  Even though that’s not what I, truly, wanted. (I’m not saying that it was forced or anything like that.  I’m saying I’ve had to take responsibility for some of the situations that I’ve put myself in.  If I would have spoken up, this would be different.)  But I didn’t want to say no.  Crazy how things work like that, huh? So I would end up doing the one thing that I didn’t want to because I didn’t set boundaries nor did I make it known what I wanted or didn’t want.

And if you’re anything like me, you know that speaking up and sticking to your values can be super hard.  Especially when you don’t even know or understand what’s going on with your life.  Nor do you necessarily want stand by values because it’s easier not to.  At least that was the though process-for me.  

But change is what’s needed here. (I’m sure change is something that you want.  Otherwise you probably wouldn’t be here.)  That means doing things differently.  Which means creating healthy boundaries that you are okay with and can stick to because you are committed to this change in your life.  And here is how to set those boundaries:

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  1. Decide what boundaries are healthy for you.  Meaning if you want to cut back on drinking so you only go out once a week so you can decrease “social” drinking from your life.
  2. You need to communicate those boundaries.  No matter who it’s with.  You must make that person/people aware and you must make your boundaries clear.  Let’s say for example you have a toxic parent.  You love your parent but you need some space.  So you can say, “Mom [or Dad], I need to have some space.  So I will talk or see you once a week rather than talk or see you every day.  I hope that you respect my boundaries. If not, I will have to dramatically pull the plug.” Now, it doesn’t have to be this extreme-but you get the idea.  Clear and concise communication is important here.  Don’t leave grey areas. Meaning don’t leave this up for interpretation.
  3. Hold to those boundaries.  No matter what.  Because you are most important.  Say you have a girlfriend that only calls or talks to you when she wants to go out.  And you’ve had enough.  So after you communicate with her, and she still only calls to go out.  Then you must tell her no.  Otherwise your word and your boundaries mean nothing.  Which puts you back in the cycle.  This is where the hard part takes place.  Especially after years of habits.  If you get set back, don’t beat yourself up.  Start the process over.  Remember this takes practice.
  4. If the person/people don’t respect your boundaries talk to them again.  This is just as much a learning process for them as it is you.  No one is perfect.  Just communicate with them again. Remember when communicating: be respectful and understanding of them learning your needs and boundaries.  They’ll be more likely to respond in a positive way.  
  5. If it continues and they are not respecting you or respecting your boundaries then cut them the f*ck out of your life.  Because it is clear they don’t have good intentions for you.  Which makes them a negative drain in your life etc.  I know this might be hard because we might have parents or family involved.  You can love them from a distance.  You can only see them once in awhile.  Or based on your terms only.  That’s okay.  Remember this is your life.  Live it like it’s yours.  Just because they’re family doesn’t mean they need to be around.

I understand this can be hard.  Especially if we are talking about family or even friends you’ve known for years. But this is something that will help you dramatically.  It will also help you save your energy and time for the things you want to get involved in.  It might be hard at first but it will be worth it.  Because you are now leaving space for people that want the best for you.

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Tying It Together

Setting boundaries is for your best interest.  Whether it’s with friends, family or even partners.  You have to create a healthy life for yourself.  One that is peaceful and one you can live with.  Sometimes that means setting good healthy boundaries to protect yourself and your energy and your time.  Nothing is more precious than your life.  Live it like you believe that.  Otherwise people will walk all over you and you will continue to do things you have no interest in doing.    I know this can be hard and might cause a stir in your family and friendships.  But if I have learned anything in this journey, it’s that the real people in your life will understand and respect the fact you have these boundaries and hold to them.  It’s truly respectable.  And people respond to respectable.  Let alone the respect that you’re showing yourself and that translates to so much more!

Take Action

It’s your turn.  Start setting boundaries today.  It will change your life.  And watch it bloom you into someone that loves and respect themselves.  And if you have any struggles with this please feel free to message me! Or comment below and let me know how setting boundaries has helped you! And if you think anyone can benefit from this, like and share.  Spread the love and use the #asfreeasyousee