How To Exactly Protect Your New Boundaries From People Who Just Don’t Get It

How To Exactly Protect Your New Boundaries From People Who Just Don't Get It

When attempting to make a change in your life (which is especially popular around the start of the year), it is beneficial to have the support of those around you. Whether it’s changing how you engage with an ex, finding a better work-life balance, or setting healthy boundaries with friends, the people in your network mustn’t directly question the new habits you’re attempting to form. After all, it’s difficult enough to establish new limits and behaviors without having to contend with outside pressures. So understanding how to protect new boundaries from those who don’t understand is critical. According to experts, the best defense is a solid offense. With that in mind, according to psychotherapist Tracy Livecchi, LSCW, the first step in preserving your boundaries from others, especially those who don’t necessarily appreciate or understand them, is committing to them yourself. Setting an actionable, realistic objective and devising a plan to achieve it can be examples of this. “It will be even more difficult to convey to other people if you don’t truly understand why you’re doing it and what the benefits could be of making this adjustment,” she says. After you’ve committed, you can make plans to notify the right individuals and then lay down the law regarding your boundary. You can let stakeholders in your life know how they can help you after you’ve discussed your goal or new habit with them. The purpose of this activity is to help your circle understand how they can best assist you while also preparing them for the expectations you will have of them.

For example, if you’re participating in Dry January, you could inform your brunch and happy hour buddies. Perhaps you just want to let them know ahead of time that you’re going to be alcohol-free for a month and don’t want them to inquire why at every hangout. Or perhaps you want to avoid certain occasions where others will be drinking, and you want them to understand so they don’t persuade you to join them, despite your goal.

Let’s imagine you want to consume more nutrient-dense meals at home. In this scenario, you should inform the other members of your household that your grocery list may vary or that you will be reducing your reliance on takeaway. Whatever your aim is, make sure you “communicate clearly and compassionately to everyone in your social network who needs to know to support and help you,” says Elissa Epel, Ph.D., professor of psychiatry at the University of California, San Francisco, and author of The Stress Prescription. Boundaries can be large or little, and you can share yours in whatever way you like.

What Is the Purpose of Boundaries?

Personal boundaries are the foundation of a happy, balanced existence. Without them, people can easily become absorbed in their work, relationships, familial responsibilities, or service to others. They may even be used or taken advantage of by those who do not value them.

These boundaries help define what you’re willing to say “yes” to and what you’re willing to say “no” to. They give you a sense of control and agency over your decisions.

Boundaries, like an internal compass, might begin with a “gut feeling” that tells you when you have the time or energy to dedicate to something and when you need to say “no.”

Good limits allow you to live your life on your terms.

Boundaries that are Healthy vs. Boundaries that are Unhealthy

Because they prioritize their well-being, people with strong boundaries have lower stress levels and more self-esteem.

People who lack boundaries, on the other hand, may unintentionally allow others to take advantage of them.

They may lack self-esteem, a sense of direction, or a distinct identity to guide them through life. “In business or our relationships, weak boundaries lead to resentment, rage, and burnout,” writes counselor Dr. Dana Nelson.

People who lack boundaries are more readily convinced to do things they don’t want to do since they are acting out of guilt or responsibility rather than self-love.

You Shouldn’t Be Afraid to Say No

Have you ever encountered someone who seemed to always say “yes”? People who are reluctant to say “no” frequently wind up with an overflowing plate of chores and responsibilities with which they are unable to keep up. They often neglect self-care to meet the demands of everyone and everything they said “yes” to.

“No” is a strong word. It sounds eerily identical in dozens of languages and can be identified through simple motions or facial expressions.

Nonetheless, many people today have been taught to feel bad for saying “no.” In actuality, saying “no” is like drawing a line in the sand. It represents bravery, self-love, and control over your daily decisions.

Keep in mind that every “yes” and “no” you say changes your world. You can direct how you spend your time and energy. If something does not seem right in your stomach, you should usually avoid it. For healthy limits, the word “no” is crucial.

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