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If you haven’t set any boundaries with the people in your life, you may have noticed that they continually walk all over you, disrespect you, and possibly, treat you like crap. This is why it is so important to set boundaries: to put a stop to all that nonsense!

I had no boundaries my entire life. I let people do whatever they wanted, whenever they wanted. I so desperately wanted love and acceptance that I sacrificed my self-worth and self-respect for it. Not anymore.

It wasn’t until last year that I finally realized the true value of setting solid boundaries when a friend I had lied to me and verbally abused me. I was so done. I took a big, thick magic marker and drew a very big line around my space.

And that was the end of that.

Set boundaries find peace—the end.

Today, I want to share with you some tips on how to set boundaries in a relationship and in general, and stick to them. I hope this article helps you find your voice, use it, and build some self-confidence at the same time.

Take what you need, leave the rest.

How to set boundaries

If you’ve never had boundaries before with anyone in your life, this will feel really hard and icky at first, but trust me, once you get the hang of it, you’ll enjoy doing it. It truly is empowering!

Let’s go over some ways to help you form solid boundary lines and stick to them.

1 Practice saying no

This may feel really weird, but I literally practiced saying no in the mirror. I used to have a hard time saying no to anyone for anything. When I realized I needed more boundaries, I took to the mirror and would just stare at myself and say no.

It will feel funny and awkward but also liberating. You can pretend you’re directing that no to someone in particular so when it’s time to actually say no to them, you’ll be ready.

2 Write a love letter to yourself

Yes, do it. When was the last time you wrote a love letter to yourself claiming all the amazing and wonderful things about you that no one else seems to notice (don’t fret about that anyway)?

Write out how great of a person you are, how you are wonderful and deserving of respect and love. You just write out all kinds of awesome things about yourself, and the next time someone tries to disrespect you or treat you like a doormat, you remind yourself of how great you are and walk away from them.

3 Be clear and firm

Don’t be a church mouse. When someone is crossing your line, be assertive, clear, and firm, and let them know they are disrespecting you. People need to be told these things, especially if they’ve been mistreating you your entire life.

You need to use that voice that’s deep inside of you that’s been quieted for so long. Speak up for yourself and show these people the true you! The one who has been hiding all these years.

4 Have a goal

Let’s say that Henry has been dissing you for far too long. Set a goal that the next time he tries, you are going to let him know that you will no longer tolerate his disrespectful behavior. Practice saying that if you have to before you actually have to say it.

Then set more goals with other people in your life or situations you feel you may be put into where you have to set a boundary. Having goals and sticking to them will make this much easier for you.

5 Start small

You don’t have to go crazy setting boundaries when you first start. Start small with the people who are closest to you in your life. This will be challenging, but it will also be a good test for you.

Focus on one or two boundaries at a time, set and conquer them, and then work your way up to more. This way, you’ll get more comfortable doing it as time goes by.

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6 Be consistent

It’s crucial that you are consistent with your boundaries and they are the same for everyone across the board. Don’t say ‘no’ to Henry for something, and then turn around and say ‘yes’ to Susan for the exact same thing.

You must stay consistent and remember why you’re setting these boundaries in the first place. This will help keep you focused and stay true to yourself.

7 Set boundaries on social media too

Too many of us get sucked into ridiculous threads on social media and let people bully us. And then a fight ensues. Learn to step away from these toxic online arguments and get off the internet for an hour or so if you have to.

We all try to set boundaries in real life, but social media can also be an ugly place for disrespect, bullying, and worse, emotional and mental abuse. Shut it down before it cripples you.

8 Learn to walk away

If someone is crossing your newly formed boundary line that they know is already in place, walk away. Don’t argue, don’t fight, scream or yell. Just leave.

This person clearly doesn’t have any respect for your boundaries, and you don’t need that kind of toxicity in your life. You’re better off without them.

9 Set boundaries in a relationship

If you’ve never had boundaries in your relationship and you’re ready to set them, this can be tricky but not impossible. Let your partner know that his behavior for the past x amount of years has taken its toll on your mental health, and you need to set boundaries in the relationship.

He will either want to talk it out and apologize or argue with you. If he does the latter, it may be time to rethink this relationship.

10 Know your personal values

Knowing and respecting your own personal values and core beliefs will help you set boundaries and stick to them. I’ve often contradicted my values just to make someone else happy. I don’t do that anymore, and neither should you.

What’s important to you? What are your values? What are non-negotiables in your life? Write these out and honor them. This will help you set boundaries and enforce them.

Why is it important to set boundaries

If we don’t set boundaries, people will continue to take advantage of us, mistreat us, and even abuse us. We are not doormats. We are human beings who deserve love and respect. Period.

We show people how to treat us; if you don’t love and respect yourself, neither will they.

By setting solid and firm boundaries, you are practicing self-love, self-respect, and self-confidence. When people see this new you, they, in turn, will love and respect you and admire your new self-confidence.

And in the end, you’ll be much happier for it.

Author: Iva Ursano

Title: Writer

Expertise: Anti-Aging, Mental Health

Iva is a 60-something woman, originally from Northern Ontario, Canada, who now resides in sunny Guatemala. She helps women over 50 love the skin they're in and empowers them to live their best lives ever. When she's not blogging, she's out on her scooter feeding and rescuing street dogs.  

You can also check out her amazing eStore here. It is full of powerful self-help eBooks, personal development courses, and so much more—ALL at affordable prices!

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