Happy New Year, friends. I hope you enjoyed the holiday season and are looking forward to 2023 with enthusiasm! Late in 2022, I read this book on the importance of setting personal boundaries. It helped me realize what a powerful impact boundaries have on our ability to enjoy rewarding relationships and have a happy life.
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Many women my age were raised to believe that both asking for what you want and not readily agreeing to what others ask of you, could be perceived as rude. But in reality, boundaries are exactly what are required in order for you to live the life you want!
Why Boundaries are Important
Without effective personal boundaries, you risk a number of negative consequences. These include:
- power struggles
Conversely, setting personal boundaries leads to several fantastic benefits, such as:
- improved work/life balance
- more rewarding relationships
- an effective means for dealing with toxic people
People do not have to like, agree with, or understand your boundaries to respect them.
– Nedra Glover Tawwab
Signs That You May Need Boundaries
In the book Set Boundaries, Find Peace, author Nedra Glover Tawwab identifies six areas where boundaries are important: physical, sexual, intellectual, emotional, material and time. She also lists some powerful clues that you may be lacking boundaries in one of these areas:
- Feeling overwhelmed.
- Avoiding calls or interactions from people who might ask something of you.
- Having no time to yourself.
- Daydreaming about just disappearing.
- Feeling “guilt-tripped” by certain individuals.
- Experiencing burnout or resentment.
- Often feeling like you give a lot but get little in return.
Perhaps you’ve encountered one of the common scenarios below:
- Regularly being required to immediately respond to emails long outside of work hours.
- Intending to have a productive day but instead spent most of your time scrolling social media.
- Being betrayed by a friend with whom you shared something in confidence.
- A relative or friend who continually asks you for money without paying it back.
- An emotionally needy relative or friend that monopolized your time or drains your energy.
Boundaries are a reflection of how willing you are to advocate for the life that you want.
– Nedra Glover Tawwab
How to Begin to Establish Personal Boundaries
WARNING: Creating boundaries will make you feel uncomfortable. But fear not, creating them will get easier with time. Try to remember that people can not guess your needs/wants and that it’s your job to relay that information. Clarity saves relationships!
I’ll admit, reading some of the author’s proposed verbiage for setting boundaries initially made me cringe inside. In the early chapters, she seems particularly harsh in her phrasing. The latter half of the book presents, in my opinion, more viable options for successful boundary setting.
While reading, I often times felt that the simplest statement is the best. For instance:
|The friend that gives unsolicited advice.||I just need someone to listen today.|
|The office chit-chatter or gossip.||Let’s catch up during lunch, I’ve got a couple of projects I need to wrap up.|
|In a relationship (especially dual-employed households).||I need more help with the kids (or meal prep, yard work, etc.)|
|If you’re prone to FOMO or get wrapped up in news tragedies.||Unfollow those whose posts impact your mood.|
Again, this is apt to be uncomfortable at first, especially if you have a people-pleasing personality. Start small or with self-boundaries and expand from there. Keep in mind, you only get one life, and every minute that you spend in a state of anxiety, resentment, or feeling powerless is 100% wasted time.
Lastly, follow through with your boundaries. Others will not take your boundaries seriously if you don’t honor them yourself. If they are not being respected after multiple reminders, it may be time to let the relationship dissolve or look for a new job. Recall that YOU hold the power for creating the life you want!
January is the ideal time to do some goal-setting and planning for a successful and fulfilling 2023. Every year I update my Planning for Success printable with new goals for the current year. You can download it HERE and use it to log your goals for 2023.
Thanks so much for your likes, shares, and follows! Until next time,