If Setting Boundaries Burns Bridges, Let Them Burn.
Unfortunately, I’ve learned a lot of things later in life. Prior to four years ago, I had zero boundaries. I was the official “Yes” girl. I would do anything anyone asked. I was riddled with a lot of stress and anxiety because I just had to perform. It never made me feel awful as it fulfilled me in some crazy way. I was just doing what I was supposed to do. After all, isn’t it better to be liked and wanted than rejected based on what I wanted in life?
Over the past four years, I’ve come to look at myself as a lone sailing vessel who had to look after herself and her well being. The luxury of taking care of others just isn’t an option anymore. My kids have moved out. My ex and I are long done. My career has been a long list of companies who would drain every ounce of effort out of me until I was tired. Grant you, I can’t blame the companies. I allowed it to happen and, they took advantage of a hard working woman. I may have done the same in their position.
Tips on Setting Boundaries for Your Mental Health
There’s really only one way to say how to set boundaries for your well being; Get used to saying “NO!” Make sure your no isn’t “Well, I’ll see if I can do it and get back to you.” The No has to be a hard and firm, “This is unacceptable at this time, so no.”
Here are some examples:
If you feel you deserve an apology and someone is trying to convince you to meet the person half way after many issues.
“As much as I’d like to make amends, I truly feel that what happened warrants an apology to me. So, while I’d love to work things out, I think the apology is the only way to move forward.”
If you feel that someone is dependant on you to save money or to create a better future for themselves.
“While I love my job/this relationship, what I want and need isn’t consistent with what you are asking of me. Therefore, I feel that it’s in your best interest to look at alternative solutions as I’m not willing to go that route.”
You will do it, because you do everything.
“While I did everything in the past and I’m always eager to help, when I step back and think about what’s asked of me, it doesn’t align with my goals and mental health. Being everything to everyone is an impossible task to perform and I’m not willing to do it anymore.”
A friend or relative has distanced themselves from you based on rumours and wants back into your life.
“While there is nothing more that I’d love than to have you in my life, I’d appreciate an explanation on your actions. If it warrants an apology, then I expect that to. My well being and happiness is far more important than the quantity of people I have in my life.”
Do it for the kids.
“While I love my kids and would do anything for them, the way I have been treated warrants recognition. I will not show my children that I’m OK being treated poorly. Please don’t use my children to bully me into undermining my worth.”
Warning about Regaining Control of Your Life
I will warn you that saying NO is the hardest thing to do after years of allowing people to guilt or control you. It takes time. Start off slow. Breathe. Say it. I guarantee you that it will come off harsh initially because it’s such a scary thing to do and your defences go up. After a while though, it comes as second nature. You start to understand yourself better, your heart better, and your true calling better.
It’s so easy to stand up for others, but to stand up for yourself and your boundaries is so much harder. We all want to be liked and wanted in this World, but is it necessary to give up on yourself to get that recognition? No, it isn’t.
Live your dreams. Be kind to yourself and others. Know your limits. Thrive!