How to Set Boundaries in Relationships

Hello everyone!

Today we will be diving into the topic of setting proper boundaries with people and relationships around us. This is a big topic, and I’ve chosen to speak about it in the context of professional work settings and personal relationships. We’ll talk about actionable steps to take away and apply so that you can conserve your self care efforts and overall well being.

The most common personality type that struggles with this issue is people pleasers. People pleasers have a harder time and struggle with setting boundaries. The primary reason is that they don’t like saying “no” to people because of the fear that others might be upset with them, leave them, or even be disappointed in them. This codependency makes them more susceptible to giving more than actually getting back.

Society conditions us to take care of others despite the fact that you also have to learn how to give back to yourself. Fill your own tank first before you can give back to others. For example even in the playground, we see parents that tell their kids to share with others. Even though we want to teach our kids to share with other people, it’s also important to teach them and see if they are ready to share. Sometimes, they need to keep the toy longer, and we should consider this fact first before we automatically assume that they are ready to share. There has to be a balance between both of these things.

Even though it’s great to help others, it’s not ok to not take care of ourselves. We’ll feel depleted, resentful, and always look for validation. Sometimes we think, “If I don’t do this then I must not be a good person.” It’s important to understand that if we’re always helping others, we are taking away their lessons for their journey. To figure out whether or not you should be in a “giving” state, ask yourself: “Is this good for me right now? Should I be doing this right now?”

Next, learn to say no and not have to explain yourself. We tend to over explain because we want to feel validated by the other person. Sometimes, we might think that we need to explain because we’re dealing with a pushy or narcissistic personality that won’t take no for an answer. Guilt can be used against you, knowingly or not. If someone is loving towards you, they will not make you feel guilty for saying no and will respect you regardless. Just remember that you don’t owe anyone anything that is outside of your comfort zone. No means no, no explanation necessary.

When someone asks something of you, rather than automatically saying YES, slow down and get in touch with your thoughts, where you are, and what you need. You can say, “I might be able to do it but I’ll let you know.” Learning how to say these phrases is important. Someone that really respects you will be ok with that answer. Personally, when I ask myself “Is this good for me at this point in time?” and really consider the answer, I help out when I am in a good place. It’s not about who they are, what they think of me, or what I might get out of it.

This extends towards self respect and teaching others how to treat you. Calling someone out on their pushiness is a great way to stand up for yourself and disengage. You will never regret putting yourself first. It’s not your job to fix other people and carry their problems as a burden. The more you ask yourself those self loving questions, the more you will learn how to be in touch with your needs. Boundaries are your standards, and communicating with other people that this is the way you want to be treated is crucial. You have to know how you want to be treated and be able to verbally communicate that. You should also do this in a non emotional loving way by being mindful.

Now, let me share the three steps that I came up with that will allow you to practice all of this.

  1. Create: Consider your WHY in the context of the relationships around you. I grew up in a codependent family dynamic. I realized that I had to change this, learn how to be independent, and learn to rely less on others around me. So my WHY was that I needed to grow. I was so clear on why it was important to me that it became easier to identify my own needs first. I realized that in order to be more self reliant, I needed to become less available to others.
  2. State: Clearly communicate your needs to others and be able to separate yourself from other people’s reactions. People get used to you being a certain way, so when you change, they get confused. You need to learn to manage your own feelings and separate yourself from the other person’s feelings as well.
  3. Maintain: Follow up with what you say. You don’t want to go back to your old ways and get tempted because it’s easier to let things play out. If you don’t follow up or hold yourself and others accountable, you give people the ok to push back.

This process will take time and it’s not a quick fix. Over time, you will be able to shift your relationships into whole new dynamics and they will become very fulfilling. The end result will be healthier, happier, and more fulfilling relationships. You want to go through the growing pains so that you can get to the other side.

Stay tuned for more great topics and tips that you can use in your life and business right away. If you found this post helpful today, be sure to subscribe because it will only get better from here. I cannot wait to connect with you here again next week!

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I am Elona Lopari, author, host of the life school masterclass podcast and CEO of the Elona Lopari Coaching where we help mission driven entrepreneurs.