Setting boundaries: just say no

by Lindsay on October 1, 2010

in Personal Growth, Relationships

Creating healthy boundaries is one of the most difficult things to do in life, but it’s also one of the most important. Boundaries aren’t just physical lines or fences erected to protect a building or border. Boundaries are about how you talk to others and how others talk to you.

Do you have a hard time saying ‘no’ to someone for fear of upsetting them?

A lot of us have anxiety when it comes to saying no and setting healthy boundaries. For women, saying “no” is a no-no in our society. Sometimes it’s easier to say ‘yes’ than deal with the anxiety of worrying about making someone mad by saying ‘no’. Even if you set a boundary and have said ‘no’, you can’t stop thinking about pissing the person off you said no to!

If you want to set healthy boundaries, this way of thinking has to stop. True compassion is the capacity to tell someone NO on behalf of a perception that’s seen with the eyes of the soul. No, I’m not going to keep enabling you by saying ‘yes’ anymore!

Let’s face it – most parents don’t always teach us about good boundaries. Anyone have a Mom who could never say ‘no’ to anyone asking her favors? Or a Dad who violated your privacy by reading your journal?  The way you were modeled with boundaries is the same way you go out and violate others with their boundaries, too.

Healthy boundaries are about carrying yourself in a way that shows that you have self regard.

The #1 factor to creating boundaries is esteem – how you feel about yourself has everything to do with your capacity to say “this is my boundary, this is my limit”. Esteem is about checking in with the soul and being anchored with yourself in such a way to know how something feels.

If you have no self regard you won’t care if someone violates your boundaries. You think – underneath it all – that you’re not worth it. Believe me, I have been there. It doesn’t feel good. Often times when you’re in that head space you don’t even realize it. But I’ve since gotten out of that mentality I feel like a new person (and I am!). I’m not afraid to say no anymore. I respect my boundaries and the boundaries of others as well.

In our culture, compassion = sacrificing the self to something or someone else. That is just simply not the case, though. If you truly care about someone and want what is best for them as well as yourself you will simply say no. If you don’t want to do something but you end up doing it anyway, you don’t do it from your heart and soul. And that’s not benefiting the other person, anyway!

Energy always emits the truth. So if you don’t have a strong sense of self regard and what your boundaries are, anybody on the street can read that in your energy field. They may not be able to verbalize it, but they DO feel it. Everyone who comes across your path is sensing you out and feeling out “how far can I go with this person?

Making changes

If you’re going to change, you will get some flak – people like the way you are. Do yourself a favor – if you’re going to set a boundary with someone – don’t set it until you’re willing to go to the measures you NEED to in order to enforce the boundary. Don’t set an ultimatum if you don’t really mean it. Like children, people know when you’re bs’ing and they know when you really mean it.

As your esteem grows and you start to remodel your esteem template, your boundaries also change. How you relate to people shifts as well. Your life changes for the better.

Beginning today, promise yourself that you will honor your own boundaries and those of others.

Do you have any advice for setting (and sticking to) boundaries? Post them here!

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