Have you ever found yourself being overly flexible to suit others?  Those times where you feel pressured into things you really want to say no to, but as you open your mouth, out comes “yes”, “happy to help” or, “of course”.

You then start to feel resentful of the person or situation, yet it was your own doing!  You can get to the point where you feel people are taking advantage of your good nature and you’re missing out on your life and the things that are important to you.

If you recognise yourself here, you’ll benefit from setting some good boundaries.

Consider the opportunity cost

Saying yes can be the automatic response, but consider, there is always a ‘cost’ for a yes, you are automatically saying ‘no’ to something, or someone else.  You have a finite amount of time and resources and you don’t want to be in a situation where you regret it later.

Boundaries set out your rules of engagement

Boundaries clearly demonstrate that you have the courage to respect yourself and value yourself even if others aren’t impressed, or happy with the situation.  Your boundaries will set the expectations of what’s appropriate in your ‘relationship’ with the other person.

Respect boundaries

You create your own boundaries and respecting them means you lead by example to everyone around you.  If you tell friends not to call you during work hours, don’t answer the phone to them.  Certainly don’t call them during these times either, it sends out mixed messages.

Boundaries work the other way too!  When you’re passionate about something, you can find yourself trying to ‘help’ people, when they haven’t asked for it.  A friend recently gave me a lecture about the dangers of drinking diet coke.  Now, I know it isn’t the healthiest choice of beverage, but I enjoy the occasional can, so hey!  I remember feeling irritated by the advice that was being forced on me.

Communicate your boundaries

Decide on a few boundaries that will help you to live a life you love.  They don’t have to be totally rigid but they will help you make good decisions.  Now you have your personal rules, you can start to practice them in different situations.  For example, the first hour of the day is my time, where I do my morning routine and both my husband and the dog know not to disturb me until I put my book down.

Be prepared to communicate your boundaries calmly so there are no misunderstandings or grey areas.  You may have to repeat yourself, especially if you’re asking people to compromise but stick to your ‘rules’ and eventually people will get it.

“Daring to set boundaries is about having the courage to love ourselves, even when we risk disappointing others.”  Brené Brown

It’s so much easier to feel compassionate towards others when you feel respected.  If you need help setting boundaries, contact us to find out how we can help you.