Do you tolerate people’s rudeness because you want to be seen as “nice” rather than rude or bitchy? Do you find yourself agreeing to things that you don’t really want to do? Do you have a hard time standing up for yourself?
As children we were trained to be “nice” and polite.”
Let me just say this right here: Being “nice” isn’t an indicator of your success as a human.
Being able to honor yourself and your boundaries is what will take you farther in life.
Welcome to step one of creating stronger boundaries.
The first step to setting boundaries is to gain self awareness.
This is typically the hardest but most crucial step because if you don’t know what feels good to you or not, how will you ever know if you’ve just let someone violate your boundaries?
Pay close attention to people, places, and things that bring you down, feel a knot in your stomach, or want to cry (or rage).
The first step of gaining self awareness around your boundaries is to identify where you need more breathing room, space, and self-respect.
Another way to identify your personal boundaries is by completing the following sentences.
List at least 10 examples for each.
1. I feel violated when people ________.
Example: give my unsolicited advice, humiliate me in front of others, crack jokes about my weight, make racist jokes in my presence, etc.
2. It’s my right to ask for __________.
Example: send back my order at a restaurant if it’s not correct, more information before purchasing something, privacy, quiet time, help around the house, etc.
3. In order to protect my time and energy it is OK for me to_______.
Example: put my phone on “do not disturb,” screen phone calls, not respond to emails immediately, cancel a commitment if I’m not feeling well, change my mind, etc.
I’ll be back in your inbox next week to continue with the remaining two steps to setting boundaries. The reason why I’m not giving you all three steps is because I want you to have that self awareness first before moving forward.
What I have found is that most people just want to know what to say when someone crosses a personal boundary. But the thing is, if you don’t know what feels like boundary crossing, no amount of strategy or script will help.
Start with the first step.
Stay tuned for next week when I share steps two and three in setting personal boundaries. I’ll be going over exactly what to say when a boundary has been crossed and will also help you navigate through the guilt that comes with setting boundaries.
Looking forward to hearing your responses from this exercise.
Talk soon and as always, feel free to set up a 20 minute chat with me to go over boundary setting. You can do it, I promise.