4 Reasons We Don’t Set Boundaries

What are the 4 biggest things that get in the way of us setting and keeping our boundaries?

1) Discomfort

fear, awkwardness, or guilt. It will not be easy, so don’t wait for it to be! Discomfort always comes with delivering a boundary package. Try to embrace this. When we tell someone no, or are specific about our wants, others may not like it. Let them have their own emotions. We can’t control the responses or experiences of others. Detach, exhale consciously, and you’ll feel some relief.

2) Wishing

we’d only have to set them once. Yet boundaries are not a one-time deal. People will need to be reminded of our boundaries.

3) Waiting…

until we’re resentful! Set boundaries early on. Sooner is better & makes it easier to be polite. We can speak up before we become angry when we know what we need and tell others. Explanations are unnecessary.

4) Wanting

to voice them, but not knowing what to say. How to state boundaries? Be: direct, brief, & firm while kind. No maybes, no “Think I might’s.” If we’re not super-clear about our boundaries, others won’t be either, & they won’t honor them. They’ll ask again or overstep.

Practice becoming comfortable with discomfort.

Express small boundaries wherever you go. Try saying, “No thank you” or, “Not now” graciously & firmly, often. Tuning into ourselves, we become more aware of our own feelings, honoring our needs. We stay with our discomfort: mindfully waiting in lines, at stop lights, or in meditation, sitting still with elongated spines. Extending respect via listening and really hearing others, without speaking much, helps.

All these things strengthen our boundary bravery.

A great book: Set Boundaries, Find Peace, by Nedra Tawwab