How to Set Healthy Boundaries
Many people avoid setting boundaries for fear of rocking the boat. Or fear that others will not think they are nice. Or fear that they will hurt someone’s feelings. Or maybe because they don’t know how to say it. But setting boundaries is one of the healthiest things you can do in your life.
It is OK for you to say, “No.” It is OK for you to say, “Not right now.” It is OK for you to say, “That doesn’t work for me.” And you will be stronger and healthier for it.
I’m so excited to share this information with you. Tune into this episode of the podcast to learn about the importance of setting healthy boundaries and how to do it with grace.
For more inspiration, join me in my private A Life Designed community on Facebook.
Also, I have created a free Marriage Communication Masterclass for you! This class is for you if you want to stop fighting with your husband and feel like you are on the same team.
Welcome to A Life Designed.
My name is Tina Haisman. I teach busy moms how to get everything done and still have time and energy for themselves. My passion is for helping women create more heart-to-heart connection with their husband and children so they can feel deeply fulfilled in those most important relationships.
The topic of today’s podcast is How to Set Healthy Boundaries
But before we get started I want to let you know I have created a free Communication in Marriage MasterClass for you. This class is for you if you have ever felt like you can’t get through to your husband. If you feel like your husband never listens to you. If you lose your cool during difficult conversations. If you’re tired of fighting with your husband.
In just 30 minutes, this class will help you lay the foundation for healthy communication in marriage and teach you how to handle difficult conversations so you can feel more connected and like you’re on the same team as your husband. Visit the link in the show notes to access it.
Also, I have a FREE private group on Facebook where you can come to get inspiration for your life. It’s called A Life Designed. It’s actually a happy place on facebook. I hope you’ll join us!
Now let’s Dive IN and talk about How to Set Healthy Boundaries
I would say I am someone who has struggled with setting healthy boundaries.
I’ve failed to set boundaries at all. I’ve gotten angry and set boundaries in haste. I’ve said “yes” to things I wanted to say “no” to. And as a result, I’ve found myself in situations I didn’t want to be in. And I wasn’t true to myself. I didn’t honor my values. I didn’t have my own back.
All because I didn’t know how to set a healthy boundary.
When I learned how to set healthy boundaries, it completely changed my life.
I felt like I got permission to live my life the way I want to. That it was OK for me to take care of me. That it was OK for me to have my own opinions and preferences on things. That it was OK for me to say “no” to something I really didn’t want to do or that went against my values.
You see, I’m a conflict avoider. I value peace and harmony, and so I would fail to set healthy boundaries for fear of rocking the boat. And also for fear that if the other person pushed back on me that I would lose my cool and get angry and regret my words. Or that I wouldn’t be able to think of what to say to defend my decision. It was like be nice at all costs.
Well, my friends, that is not a healthy, authentic or fulfilling way to live.
So I want to share with you today how to set healthy boundaries so you can start living more authentically you.
First, what is a boundary. A boundary is an imaginary border you create around yourself by the limits you set on -- who you spend time with, whom you let into your life, and the activities you allow to take up your time, and how other people treat you.
A good boundary system allows you to live authentically and focus on your values.
A good boundary system allows you to spend your precious time and energy on things that are good for you and that feel good to you – whether it’s people or activities.
A good boundary system keeps you safe mentally, emotionally or physically or all three.
A good boundary helps us have a good relationship with ourselves, because when we honor the boundary, we honor ourselves. We treat ourselves with respect.
In case you learn better visually, think of a boundary like the moat around a castle. If you want to connect with a person or an activity, you lower the drawbridge and let them in. Otherwise, keep that drawbridge up, girlfriend. (This concept is not my original idea I read it somewhere.)
Want to know something cool about setting healthy boundaries? When we do, we end up attracting people who have similar boundaries and maintain them well. This makes for healthy relationships! But when we maintain weak boundaries, other people with weak boundaries are attracted to us, and they show up needy and deplete our energy.
Here’s what a boundary is not -- a boundary does not tell someone else how to behave. It only tells them how we will behave if they cross our boundary.
Make no mistake. Some people will not appreciate the boundaries we set. They may be hurt by them and they may challenge them.
And so remember, we aren’t setting boundaries to be mean or to punish anyone. We are setting them to take care of us.
And so how to set the boundary. How to say no.
I think one thing we may worry about is how we say no. At least I do. And so I thought I would share with you some ways to say no gracefully. I’m going to share 5 different scenarios with you.
Scenario #1. If someone suggests something you would like to consider, but you’re not sure yet. You could say something like, “This sounds like something that may be a fit for me, and I’ve just committed to sticking to three other priorities right now. Will you come back in a few months and give me another chance to consider?”
Scenario #2. How to say no when the timing isn’t right. This one is easy. “I wish I could, but it’s just not possible right now. Thank you for thinking of me.” Or even, “I hate saying no to you, but I really must this time.” Or “I’d love to help you with this, but I just don’t have the time.”
I should point out that it’s best to keep your responses short. And that you are not obligated to justify yourself. Giving more information just gives the other person more ammunition to come back at you.
Scenario #3. How to say no when you’re asked to do something that goes against your values or priorities.
An important note to make here is that it’s best to say no quickly so the requestor knows you will not change your mind.
“No. I’m unable to do that. I’m committed to XYZ right now. It’s what is most important to me.
You can always extend a little more grace by complimenting the requestor. For instance, “Although I’m saying no to your request, I want you to know how much I value you as a colleague.”
Here’s one my entrepreneurial clients will love. Scenario #4. How to say no when you’re asked to do something for free that you usually charge for doing. You could say something like this, “I do pro bono work on a limited basis, and that time is already committed at the moment. Would you like to be put on the waiting list for X months from now?”
Now there’s one more kind of boundary we should talk. Scenario #5. That is when someone is doing something that violates your values or makes you feel unsafe.
Some examples of when you might need to set this type of a boundary include if someone is hitting you, yelling at you, smoking near you, using drugs in your presence, driving dangerously, or maybe using language you don't agree with.
Notice these are all situations where your values are violated and you might not feel safe.
A boundary in an instance like this might sound like, "If you continue to yell at me, I will walk away."
The importance of this kind of a boundary is that we are taking care of ourselves. We are not trying to control another human or tell them what to do. We are just standing up for ourselves in a healthy way. We are saying what we will do if they continue that behavior.
I have a client who had to set that boundary, because her husband would want to finish their fights when he was angry. But that was uncomfortable for her. So she had to say, “I will finish this conversation with you when you are calm, but not before.”
He did not love that, and that’s OK. But she was taking care of herself by not subjecting herself to being yelled at.
And that’s at the heart of boundaries. Taking care of ourselves in the most authentic way possible.
So, I hope this has helped you.
And that you can see when we set healthy boundaries and are willing to follow through on those boundaries, we will create relationships that are free from resentment, or lying, and that are filled with love and compassion and honesty. And we feel good about ourselves along the way.
I know this is way easier said than done. So if you could use a little help with this, reach out to me. Let’s work on it together.
In the meantime. Remember! I have created a free Marriage Communication MasterClass for you. Just click on the link in the show notes to access it.
Don’t forget to join the Life Designed Community on Facebook!
Thank you! See you next week!
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