June 23, 2024
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Why Setting Boundaries Is Essential For Protecting Your Mind, Body, and Spirit

This is when there is so much focus on your partner as Valentine’s Day approaches. All you hear about is how you can make your partner happy and what you can do for them on that day that will make them feel appreciated. It is essential to show gratitude to your partner, but what about you? This day can be challenging for those who are single and want to find a partner or who have just broken up.

However, what if a day is dedicated to you focusing on yourself? That day is before Valentine’s Day, February 13th, and Self-Love Day. The best way to show yourself love and care is by setting boundaries essential for protecting your mind, body, and soul.

 

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What Are the Signs of Poor Boundaries, and Why Are Setting Them Often a Struggle?

Many people who live to please others struggle with boundary setting. They will struggle to say “no” to those who ask them to do favors they do not want to do or say “no” to things others impose on them. So many people struggle to set boundaries because they likely grew up not having their needs met or being made to believe that their needs were unimportant. Perhaps they were caregivers at a young age. Therefore, the reason usually stems from a childhood trauma involving being made to feel unimportant. As a result, they grow up craving approval, so they will go out of their way to please others and make sacrifices they don’t want to make. They fear rejection and criticism.

Another common dilemma that people-pleasers with no or poor boundaries have is that they avoid conflict as they may have been unfairly treated in their childhood by caregivers or peers. Conflict is triggering as it erodes their self-esteem. Therefore, they will do it if they agree to do something for someone they don’t want to do but feel will win their approval.

 

Why Are Setting Boundaries Essential, and What Are the Consequences of a Lack of Them?

Setting boundaries is essential for your mind, body, and spirit, and that is because having a lack of them will have grave consequences. Firstly, if you constantly keep doing favors for others you do not want to do or end up in situations you don’t want, you will keep making sacrifices, which means you are constantly putting your needs on the back burner. Therefore, that will only fuel resentment and anger. That is a sign that there is a lack of balance within.

It will negatively impact your physical and mental health, career, and personal relationships. And others will not approve of you if you keep doing things for them, as they will not respect and take advantage of you. You will also see that eroding your self-esteem even more.

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Even though conflicts may be triggering, others will respect you if you clarify what you will and will not accept and begin saying “no” to those who ask you to do things you don’t want. They may not like you refusing to do things for them that you don’t want to do, but you will gain their respect for you standing up for yourself and your beliefs.

Another reason that setting boundaries is essential is that they create safe relationships. If you have boundaries, people will not take advantage of you. They will hear you, validate you, and appreciate you. That way, family, friends, boss, or colleagues will not take advantage of you.

When you set boundaries, you create rules for how others will be around you and how they treat you. If you clarify what you will accept and what you will not accept, others will know their place. Setting boundaries will help raise your self-esteem because you will create your values and priorities and meet your needs. Setting boundaries will help you meet goals, which means you will feel empowered and, in the end, be of better service to others.

You must also remember that setting boundaries is part of self-respect, self-care, and self-love. It helps you stay assertive without being mean, and boundaries help you express yourself quickly. You will also be a better listener, avoiding resentment, and as you set boundaries, you will set consequences for anyone who violates them.

Now you know why setting boundaries is essential and what the consequences are if you don’t, let’s begin to discuss how to set boundaries, as you will want to start slowly if this is an area of struggle.

 

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Discover Why Your Boundaries Are Important

To care for yourself and your values, you need to set boundaries. However, you cannot set boundaries for the sake of developing them. You must know why the boundaries you want to set are essential. For example, if your mother keeps going to your home without calling you first, and it makes you uncomfortable and irritable that she is doing that, but you allow her to do it, then it is time to explore that. For her to stop, that is a boundary you need to set. You know your mother is coming to your home without first notifying you, and you don’t like that.

You also know you don’t say anything to her, so she keeps doing it. Therefore, after acknowledging and examining this issue, you know it is time to tell your mother that she must call you before she plans to come to your home. When you do that, you are setting a boundary. If she goes to your home without calling you first in the future, you have the right to tell her that she crossed your boundary because you said she needed to start calling or texting you that she was coming over before going, and you need to remind her that she must keep doing it. You may one day not let her in if she doesn’t.

 

Begin Taking Baby Steps and Start Setting Boundaries Early In New Relationships

If boundary-setting is new to you, and you have spent your life avoiding conflict, setting boundaries may frighten you as this is entirely out of your comfort zone. When you move away from your comfort zone, that is growth, but it must be done slowly so you keep moving forward, or else you will fall back and not be willing to move away from your comfort zone again.

Your comfort zone has been people-pleasing, and now you know what that is costing you. Therefore, that is why you know it is time to start setting boundaries. However, you can only put a few boundaries at a time since you are beginning. Therefore, only set a few for anything important to you at first.

You can go back to the mother example, as you can set the boundary for your mother to contact you before she comes over before she does so without letting you know. But if you are not ready to tell those who ask you to do a favor, you don’t want to do “no. ” Don’t worry about that yet, but as you get used to setting boundaries, you will become more comfortable.

The other thing to remember is that when you form new relationships, begin setting boundaries early so those people know what to expect from you. For example, suppose you connect with someone new on social media and see that they may become a good online friend. You don’t want anyone contacting you after 8 pm on a weeknight. In that case, that is a boundary to set immediately. Tell them you will not speak to anyone after 8 pm, and if they message you after that time, you will follow up with them the next day.

 

Be Consistent With the Boundaries You Set

When setting boundaries after years of people-pleasing, you may be comfortable with putting a few boundaries here or there, but what will get you the respect is if you are consistent. Therefore, if you begin to set boundaries, you must consistently keep them. If you are not consistent with your boundaries, no one will take you seriously, and you will be upset with yourself for not sticking to them.

For example, if you clarified to your mother that she must not come to your home unless she contacts you first, you must keep that as a consistent boundary. Don’t only tell her that she must do that once or twice, and then allow her to keep coming over without contacting you first. Once you have a boundary in place, it is set in stone, and sometimes, you must also remind others of your boundaries.

 

“No” Is a Complete Sentence

As you become comfortable setting boundaries, you will begin to set more. You may develop comfort in saying “no” to those who ask you to do things you don’t want or cannot do. That shows you are making significant progress. However, when you say “no” to someone who asks you to do a favor you cannot or don’t want to, you may say “no” and give plenty of apologies and explanations as to why you cannot help them. You do not have to explain yourself if you tell someone “no.” That is because “no” is a complete sentence. If you want to say, “Sorry, but I cannot help you,” that is also okay, but there is no need to explain. No is no.

 

Make It Clear to Those Who Crossed Your Boundaries

Unfortunately, there will be people crossing your boundaries after you set them. And you cannot stay quiet about it, even if you want to do it because of how you used to avoid conflict. However, now you know that when you set boundaries, you must honor them, clarify to those who cross them that what they did was unacceptable, and remind them of your boundaries. That will be challenging to do, especially since you have been conflict-avoidant, but it is necessary to make it clear to anyone who crosses them that they did and that you will not accept that in the future. They may have forgotten your boundary, so you must remind them.

 

Be Selfish and Focus On What You Need and Love

When you set boundaries, you see your worth; to keep seeing your worth, be selfish but healthy. Carve out time for yourself and do the activities that make you happy and enjoy. If you struggle to see your worth and don’t carve out that time for yourself, you will work with boundary-setting, which will keep harming your self-esteem.

Remember that the more you engage in activities and hobbies you enjoy, the more feel-good hormones such as endorphins, dopamine, and serotonin rise. That will encourage you to keep going. That will only help you see your worth and increase your self-esteem, so you are consistent with your boundaries and will become much more comfortable with setting them, which will be second nature to you.

Self-Love Day is on February 13th, the day before Valentine’s Day, which means there is a day dedicated to you for self-love and self-care. The main thing you can do for self-care and self-love is to set boundaries for those important to you so you no longer allow anyone to walk on you. That way, you can see your worth, increase your self-esteem, and see that your needs and wants matter like everyone else’s. If you struggle with boundary-setting because you struggle with self-esteem issues and need to seek approval from everyone, then boundary-setting will be new for you. Still, it is necessary to do self-care and self-love so you can balance your mind, body, and spirit.

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