Setting Clear Boundaries
Posted on March 02, 2010 by Randi Shuster, One of Thousands of Life Coaches on Noomii.
Setting clear boundaries with friends and family seems to be important, if not crucial, to our well being. What are boundaries and how do we set them?
Boundaries, seems to be a buzzword you hear lots about these days. Setting clear boundaries with friends and family seems to be important, if not crucial, to our well being. What exactly does it mean to set boundaries? When I hear the word boundaries, the image of a tall strong fence or wall comes to mind and I often wonder, when we set boundaries are we keeping things from getting out or from coming in or both?
BENEFITS OF SETTING CLEAR BOUNDARIES:
- Better time management since we are discerning when we agree to take on a new commitment instead of saying YES to everything that is requested of us.
- Due to better time management, we feel more in control of our lives and are better able to juggle our many responsibilities.
- We have more time to take care of our physical, emotional and spiritual self.
- Due to being able to take good care of ourselves, we are better equipped to take care of others when needed.
- Increased self esteem.
- Increased self respect.
I often wonder, if the benefits of setting boundaries are so positive, why do so many of us struggle to set them? Personally, I often worried that friends and family would not understand. They would think I was being selfish. I felt that I was letting them down by saying NO. I quickly learned that by being the proverbial people pleaser, I ended up feeling overwhelmed, resentful and depressed and was good to nobody. Once I understood this, it became much easier for me to set boundaries.
Now that I am very clear with myself and others regarding what I can commit to, I feel more confident and better about myself. I make sure to take care of my needs, physically, emotionally and spiritually and as a result I am a much better support to family and friends.
HOW TO ESTABLISH CLEAR AND HEALTHY BOUNDARIES:
- Establish clarity around your own needs. How much time do you need to carve out on a daily or weekly basis to tend to your physical, emotional and spiritual needs.
- Learn when to butt out! As humans, we tend to stick our noses into stuff that is none of our business.
- Communicate clearly with family and friends when they forget to butt out!
- Ask yourself, what is the motivation behind my saying yes?
- Also ask, what is the cost to myself for saying yes?
Another important point, boundaries are not set in stone! As we grow and develop and our needs change, so do our boundaries. Just as life is dynamic, so are our boundaries and it is important that we re-evaluate them from time to time in order to ensure that they are supporting and serving us.
I invite you to take stock and consider how you can set up boundaries that would be supportive.