How to Draw the Line
Often, we don’t say no to people because we’re afraid it might offend them or create tension in a relationship. We’re taught to be kind to others, but we ultimately need to find the balance between being kind and being firm. Otherwise, we give others permission to take advantage of us. An integral part of being a responsible adult is establishing limits for ourselves. Making choices that are in our own best interest even when they aren’t enjoyable in the moment. When you set boundaries and stick to them, you find that you have more time and energy to put towards the things and people you love.
Standing up for yourself and your time can make a huge impact on your well-being and life satisfaction.
Your experience in life is partially dictated by how you allow yourself to be treated. Boundaries are the rules you set for other people and sometimes yourself about their interactions with you. Setting boundaries can be an opportunity for a relationship to shift, grow, and even blossom. As we change, our relationships change. Communicating these changes allows us to stay close, even become closer, as life moves forward.
Setting boundaries is one of the best things you can do to keep your relationships, from work to home—emotionally healthy. It also improves your own mental health.
When you set boundaries and stick to them, you find that you have more time and energy to put towards the things and people you love.
As your journey progresses, you’ll begin to feel more empowered by the truth that it’s not only your right, but your duty, to make the choices that are best for you. When you set a boundary with yourself, you’re saying: “Here’s the line between what’s okay for me and what’s not. Here’s the line that I won’t cross.” Boundaries are tools that enable us to feel safe, strong, and empowered in our relationships.
Let’s discuss the art of boundary setting. Below are some helpful tips on how to set healthy boundaries:
1. Know your limits. Before becoming involved in a situation, know what’s acceptable to you, and what isn’t. It’s best to be as specific as possible, or you might be pulled into the trap of giving just a little bit more, over and over, until you’ve given far too much.
2. Listen to your emotions. If you notice feelings of discomfort or resentment, don’t bury them. Try to understand what your feelings are telling you. Resentment, for example, can often be traced to feelings of being taken advantage of.
3. Have self-respect. If you always give in to others, ask if you are showing as much respect to yourself as you show to others. Boundaries that are too open might be due to misguided attempts to be liked by elevating other people’s needs above one’s own.
4. Be assertive. When you know it’s time to set a boundary, don’t be shy. Say “no” respectfully, but without ambiguity. If you can make a compromise while respecting your own boundaries, try it. This is a good way to soften the “no”, while showing respect to everyone involved.
Boundaries allow you to focus on the important things to you in your life and not get distracted by things that aren’t that important after all.
Of course, we all have to do things we don’t want to do from time to time, that’s just life. But boundaries help you keep on track generally. They take away some of the stress of decision-making. Having general boundaries in place will help you make broad decisions about what you do and don’t do. Instead of getting caught up in making micro-decisions throughout the day. You have to set boundaries with your time and your energy.
There’s no need to deplete your emotional, mental, and physical energy on something that doesn’t align with your values.
When you set a boundary with yourself, you’re saying: “Here’s the line between what’s okay for me and what’s not. Here’s the line that I won’t cross.”
The more effective you are at setting and enforcing your own personal boundaries, the less likely you are to violate other people's boundaries. You are more likely to be seen for the person you are and not as the person others expect or want you to be. A healthy relationship requires respect for each other's line-drawing in ways that protect both individual's well-being. When someone can’t abide by that, it’s time to set the ultimate boundary — by getting some space from them.
We owe it to ourselves, to our dreams, and to our future — to love and respect ourselves enough to set boundaries and guard them.
Even at the risk of disappointing or upsetting others. Because, when we do — we’ll experience a version of ourselves that is living fully alive. With hope rushing through our veins and creativity beating through our chests. Here’s my question — are your boundaries where they ought to be? Your boundaries ought to exist to keep you, your dream, your soul, your body, your mind, and your dreams well. Not to please someone else and their expectations. My challenge to you is rethink and reset your boundaries. So that you can live your best life and become the best version of you. Stick to your guns. Don’t let anyone shame you or guilt you into shifting your boundaries to convenience them, their lifestyle, or their habits.