On my blog, I frequently discuss acts of self-care and a vital component of self-care and self-love is reinforcing and setting clear boundaries with those around you. Our sense of self relies on doing this day-to-day to ensure our energy is focussed on the correct areas of our life and for our own progression. In this blog post, I will share some helpful tips which will hopefully help you avoid frequent people-pleasing.
Risks of being boundaryless
There is a large risk of losing yourself when you live without any real boundaries which is what makes them so important. Here are some common signs:
- Not looking forwards to the day ahead in the morning
- Resenting those around us for having so many needs
- Lack of caring about much in general and having a sense of meaninglessness
- Constantly feeling bulldozed by those around you
- We feel a twinge of sadness as we think about what we have to look forward to
- Feeling like a “firefighter” always moving from crisis to crisis and fixing things
- Feeling selfish when creating a boundary with others
If the above feels familiar then it is a sign that being “nice” isn’t working for you anymore and it is time for a change.
Boundary Creation Reminders:
- People close to you should be capable of hearing and accepting of you saying “no”
- Saying “no” doesn’t require justification through an explanation
- Other people should NOT be allowed to control us when “they” want.
- People need to be accountable for their own actions and problems
- Those around us should understand there are natural consequences to their actions
Consistency Is Key
People will often try to wear you down by retesting your behaviours. Although this is not always intentional, it’s important you continue to maintain your boundary and reinforce it at every opportunity. Love sometimes involves supporting people to problem solve independently so they do not require “saving” on a regular basis. The constant saving removes the learning opportunity they need to develop their problem-solving skills. Generally, self-discipline is taught through people setting reasonable limits on behaviours which also helps them understand what is best for you.
Some helpful actions:
Withdrawing from those who persistently make you feel inferior or unworthy
If you just don’t want to go, say no
Don’t work free overtime
Remember what you’re doing is important too and so you don’t always have to drop everything you’re doing for others
Be clear with others about how you want to be treated by them
The Process of Protest
A painful initial challenge when setting boundaries with those around you is the process of protest, often in the form of anger. This may involve being accused of multiple things such as being “selfish” which will trigger fears of feeling as though you are being unfairly mean or rude. This is in the hope of you falling back into the cycle of people-pleasing and ultimately leads to returning to ignoring your own needs. It is important to keep in mind throughout the protest process your personal intentions. If your intent is not malicious then it is your right to hold those boundaries. It is not for anyone else to determine your boundaries but for you.