Personal boundaries are limits we set for other people regarding their behavior towards us. Establishing personal boundaries means stopping other people from pressuring us to do what we don’t want to do or put up with things we don’t want.
There are people in our lives that can violate our personal boundaries and make us feel uncomfortable, used and emotionally drained. Many of us put up with poor treatment by others because we are afraid to make them feel angry or lose their friendship. We might also feel guilty for standing up to other people and telling them no.
If you often feel like that and have difficulties building and keeping personal boundaries, there are a few things you need to practice.
Get Comfortable with Negative Emotions
Standing up for yourself and saying no to people very often gets a negative reaction from them. That is something to be expected and you need to realize that them getting mad is not your problem and that you cannot allow your boundaries to be violated just for the sake of avoiding negative emotions.
Even though people may get angry at first, they will soon realize they were asking too much from you. And if they don’t realize that and still hold resentment, that is not your fault. You should feel free to let them go.
Don’t Reward Poor Treatment by Giving People What They Want
When people learn that they get what they want from you even when they treat you poorly, they will be encouraged to continue doing that. By standing up for yourself and not giving them what they want, you’ll be teaching them that their behavior is not only unacceptable but also doesn’t get them anything positive. We have the power to guide how other people treat us by our reactions to their behavior.
Feel Free to Say No
You may be afraid to hurt someone’s feelings or appear selfish by saying no. However, you need to realize that saying yes when you mean to say no causes you to hold unnecessary resentment towards other people. That isn’t healthy for you and your relationships.
Saying no to someone doesn’t mean you are a bad or a selfish person. It means you are being honest about your feelings and desires.
See Also: The Courage To Say No
Make Yourself Unavailable
You can stop other people from violating your boundaries by making yourself unavailable physically or emotionally. Don’t answer their calls and messages or tell them you are busy. Don’t react when they try to get something out of you and don’t participate in conversations that make you feel bad about yourself. Often, the best thing you can do is remove yourself from a situation that makes you uncomfortable.
Know What You Want
To be assertive and to establish clear boundaries, you need to know what you want from people and what your values are. You need to be in touch with your own wants and feelings to be able to communicate them and recognize when they are being hurt or violated. Be introspective and ask yourself if there are things that make you feel bad or uncomfortable but you do them anyway because you feel pressured by other people.
Don’t Try to Change People
People who violate other people’s boundaries usually lack self–awareness and that’s why it’s difficult to make them change their behavior. They see nothing wrong with it.
If someone can’t understand that their behavior is unacceptable even when you explain why, there’s nothing you can do about it. Trying to make them change is a waste of time and energy.
Practicing self-care involves taking care of your health and body, taking alone time to relax and pursuing activities that make you feel happy.
When you practice self-care, you become more tuned with your own feelings. You learn to value and cultivate your own well-being. The more you practice self-care, the less likely you are to put up with people and behaviors that are not healthy for you.