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Self Love Means Setting Boundaries

Growing up and into adulthood, I wanted everyone to like me. I would even bring myself down to make others shine. I would stay small to make others feel big. Patiently staying silent to not ruffle any feathers. Walking on eggshells just to keep the peace. Can you relate? We’re often told to think of other’s first, but at what expense?

What you give your time and energy to is important. In order to establish healthy relationships, it’s important to establish clear boundaries. Boundaries are the limits we set for people on what type of behaviour we will accept from others toward us. It comes from a healthy dose of self worth that does not rely on our external circumstances or other people’s feelings or actions towards us. It’s important to know who you are and set boundaries in these areas:

  • Intellectual: Respecting thoughts & ideas and engaging in appropriate discussion

  • Emotional: Respecting feelings & how much personal info you share

  • Physical: Respecting personal space & physical touch & what’s appropriate

  • Time: Respecting time & making time for all areas of your life before attending to other’s needs

  • Material: Respecting money & possessions & setting limits on what you’ll share

Setting boundaries isn’t always easy, but having no boundaries can lead to frustration and anxiety over time. Not everyone will like them, but you can’t expect them to be respected if you don’t set them in the first place. It will take courage to set and communicate your boundaries. Once you have them set, then you get to choose how to respond to a situation when someone passes those limits. No one has the right to violate your boundaries - just like you don’t have the right to violate theirs.

The more you define your boundaries and what you will accept, the more easier it will be to communicate your boundaries. Use your intuition to identify any situation using the steps below:

  1. Identify what boundary was crossed: Use your feelings as a navigation tool. How are you feeling? Angry, sad, overwhelmed? Are you having any physical reactions? Shaking, anxiety, nauseas fast breathing?

  2. Communicate your boundary: Be clear, polite and direct. Give yourself permission to say no without explaining yourself. Use “I” statements.

  3. Anticipate resistance: Remain firm in your stance, but not aggressive. Try and understand the other person's negative reaction of the importance of boundaries as an indication that they may not have healthy boundaries of their own.

  4. Set repercussions: Voice your boundaries and then follow with action. If someone chooses to continue disrespecting your boundaries after you have clearly set them, you no longer owe them anything. No one has the right to make you feel uncomfortable.

When you choose to value yourself over the comfort of others, your relationships will change - your life will change!

Now days, I recognize my worth and choose to surround myself with people who value me and choose situations that respect my boundaries. When you choose to value yourself over the comfort of others, your relationships will change - your life will change! While it will take practice, over time it becomes easier and you become more confident in only accepting behaviour that aligns with you and your values. Remind yourself of your worth and expect nothing less from others.

Remember, your best life all begins with you!

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