Written by Felecia
Good Vibes Only
I don’t know about you, but I hear a lot of people talk about boundaries. What I don’t hear is people talking about how to set healthy boundaries and actually follow through with them. Boundaries come up in all areas of our life: romantic relationships, physical experiences, professional interactions, family dynamics, the list goes on and on. At times it can feel overwhelming. Where do you even begin? Well, here are some things to help you get started.
Decide what your “why” is.
Spend some time thinking about what matters to you most. It doesn’t make sense to have a boundary if you don’t know why you have one. Do you need to set a boundary to create more time in your day for self-care? Do you need to put distance between you and someone in your life? Are there areas in your life that cause you stress because you have become overly invested? It can be tempting to tailor boundaries around a specific relationship, but that most likely means that you are being inconsistent with your other relationships. Self-awareness is a big part of learning to set boundaries. Sometimes setting a boundary means saying “no” to someone. Sometimes setting a boundary means saying yes to yourself. No one is entitled to your time, your body, your energy, or your personal space. Once you realize that, its a gamechanger.
Clearly communicate what the boundary is.
You can’t hold someone to a standard they don’t know about. Telling someone what you really want can be scary, but it’s also a chance to communicate your needs. Use simple, direct language. Be firm and gracious. You don’t need to over explain, defend, or debate why they need to respect the boundary. It is what it is.
Let there be consequences.
Actions speak louder than words. If you told someone you are unavailable during a certain time, don’t answer the phone when they call. If you expressed to someone that you won’t tolerate them speaking to you a certain way, then you must be willing to walk away from the conversation once they do. If you told your ex that they can no longer have access to you, then don’t answer when they send that late-night message. No one will respect your boundaries if they see that you are willing to bend them. People will test you in order to find out how serious you are about the boundary you set. If you change your behavior, they will eventually be forced to change theirs.
Find someone to hold you accountable.
Having a tribe is everything. Make sure you have people in your corner who are willing to (lovingly) hold you accountable. Know who will cheer you on when you’re doing well and will push you to be better when you start to waver. You got this, but its helpful to hear it from someone else sometimes.
Know your worth.
People who respect you will respect your boundaries. Period. You can tell a lot about your relationship with someone by seeing the way they respond to the new boundaries you set. At the end of the day, healthy boundaries are what protect your sanity and your heart.