Coming from a person who is a chronic people pleaser, I often have trouble setting personal boundaries with people, resulting in toxic relationships. These relationships involve significant others, friends, family, coworkers, etc.
This article will briefly share my personal experiences with toxic relationships and tips to achieve healthy boundaries within any relationship.
From making some minor changes, here is what happened:
I set healthy boundaries in new and existing relationships.
I am no longer overscheduling myself to benefit others.
I am no longer staying quiet when someone says something disrespectful to me.
I am no longer allowing people to walk all over me.
I hold people and myself accountable at the appropriate times.
In the past year, I set healthy boundaries with new and existing relationships that created a healthier dynamic in my life. It all started with a long-term friendship with someone where the power dynamic was uneven throughout my entire relationship with them. They were the kind of person that had to be right all of the time, and no one’s opinion mattered. I would bend and fold to move on with my life. I thought this was the better thing to do, but in reality, I created a very unhealthy power dynamic in my relationship over time.
One day I casually minded my own business, and this person decided to project the hardships of their life onto me when I was just trying to help and be a friend. I instantly said enough. For once, I knew I was not doing anything wrong. I decided to vocalize how I felt and stopped allowing myself to be a piece of furniture. From that point on, I started saying no to work assignments if I was overbooked in one area. I also started calling people out if they voiced a snippy comment. I got my power back, and I have continued to do that since.
That is why after being a chronic people-pleaser my whole life, I want to share some tips with you on how to improve on setting boundaries. I want you to be powerful and advocate for your number one fan…YOURSELF!
- Realize You Have a Choice: In any situation, you have the power to have a say in what you do. For example, if a friend wants to go out on a night when you are exhausted, you have the power to tell them you need rest. If your boss asks you to volunteer extra time on the project, you can tell them you are booked for that time. YOU ARE ALLOWED TO CHOOSE WHAT YOU WANT TO DO!
- Communicate Your Needs Right Away/Say What Comes to Mind: When you are out with many people, and someone asks you to do something you are uncomfortable with, say that. If you are tired or need to eat something, say that. If you need a night off from going out, say that. Whatever need comes to your mind, all you have to do is communicate with the other party.
- Set a Time Frame: Time blocking is an easy way to set a boundary for yourself and make the best use of your time. Not only will this help with productivity, but you will also be setting a boundary for yourself and advocating for what you need. For example, if a friend wants to go out, let them know you have to be back at a particular time.
- Ask For Time: Sometimes we don’t know what we need in a particular situation or have the time to accommodate a decision. Therefore, it is okay to say things like:
- “Let me check my schedule and get back to you.”
- “I will get back to you on that shortly.”
- “Give me a moment to think about that.”
- Start Small: You may find it helpful to role-play with a friend or family member in certain situations. Starting small with things, like asking for time to reflect or setting a time frame, are just small ways to set boundaries.
- Seek Professional Help: Going to therapy is extremely helpful to understand why you react in situations the way you do. It can also be beneficial to listen to tips from therapists to see the best way to approach problems.
- Be YOU: You don’t have to be exceptionally forward or a jerk to achieve the boundaries you want. Also, you don’t have to be someone you’re not. By starting small and communicating your needs right away, you are setting a boundary.
Overall, I hope these tips help you to create healthy boundaries in all areas of your life. Remember, your thoughts and opinions are valid, and your needs and time are valuable. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.