If you leave conflicts wishing you’d spoken up for yourself; if you feel drained in social situations because you feel like you’re performing; if you over-commit to obligations and under-commit to activities that bring you joy; if you agree to be intimate with people, but later regret your decision; if you feel like you give much more than you receive in your relationships: this can be the year you break the pattern and begin speaking—and living—your truth.
Here are nine tips that break down the boundary-setting journey into simple, actionable habits.
1. Name your feelings in interactions with others.
Challenging emotions like overwhelm, anger, and frustration can be helpful guideposts as you uncover when, where, and with whom to set boundaries. These emotions signal that others might be impinging on your personal time or space. Developing literacy with your own emotions enables you to set impactful boundaries in the future.
Instead of pushing the feelings away, ask yourself, “What am I feeling? Why am I feeling this way? What would need to change for me to feel safer?”
2. Prepare your well-being disclaimer.
Preface conversations about boundaries with a disclaimer to set the stage for a compassionate, permissive discussion. (This can be a particularly useful tool if you’re concerned about rocking the boat by changing entrenched patterns in existing long-term relationships with family or lovers).
Break the ice by sharing your resolution to set boundaries. Explain why it’s important to you and how you believe it will benefit you. Centering your own well-being sparks a meaningful exchange around an indisputable value: your own wellness and health…