Whether with colleagues and bosses, parents and siblings, or friends, setting boundaries is important because it’s a form of self-care. Boundaries help you communicate your rules and limits as to how you would like to be treated and tell others what is or isn’t acceptable. Sure, it isn’t easy to enforce boundaries, especially with loved ones, but once you start putting yourself first, it’ll just get easier. Here’s how to get started.
Identify what bothers you – in the workplace, at home, or with other people. Is it the tone that’s being used with you, the demands or requests being made, or other behavior.
Set your limits in your head by visualizing what would make you feel better. Perhaps you’d like your boss or colleague to treat you with more respect, or you’d prefer it if your friend could handle basic tasks on their own, or you’d like to take things a notch down with your partner.
Write down your limits in your journal. Go through them and tell yourself that these are things you need to be at ease, and that you shouldn’t feel guilty for your feelings.
Communicate your boundaries with the concerned people openly. Use positive language, a calm tone, and be firm. Don’t be afraid of hurting the other person or be worried about the outcome. You have to do what you have to do!
Be ready to face criticism or defensive statements or arguments. Have your case well-prepared, continue to stay calm, and work your way through it.
Don’t be rigid when it comes to relationships; if the other person is ready to meet you halfway, see if you can rework your boundaries. But don’t commit to anything you’re not sure of!
It’s possible to slip into old ways and habits over time, so ensure this doesn’t happen. Don’t shy away from reiterating and upholding your boundaries.