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Whether you’re beginning a business, new relationship, new job, rebuilding a family relationship or recovering from burnout, you are probably hearing that you need to “set boundaries.”

What the hell are boundaries? (Besides my favorite topic and middle name)

Boundaries are the rules and limits you set for yourself. It’s like an imaginary fence around your life. You determine who comes in and out and what is allowed within your fence. According to Brene Brown in Rising Strong, boundaries means being clear on what behaviors are okay and what’s not okay.

Why are boundaries so important?

Plain and simple: It protects yourself.

  • Protects you from being taken advantage of.
  • Protects you from being disrespected.
  • Protects you from people trying to manipulate you.
  • Protects your children from outsiders who want to manipulate their parents.
  • Protects you from having to explain yourself multiple times.

What does setting boundaries look like?

  • I cannot work on Sunday because of family obligations.
  • I need to take a break from certain housework. My back pains are getting worse  by doing ____________.
  • You cannot come to my house under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  • I will not accept any business calls after 8PM. I will return messages starting at 7AM.
  • I cannot take on any additional committees or responsibilities at this time. I need to focus on the work already on my plate.
  • Do not ask me for money again.
  • Don’t call me any vulgar names like bi—, cu—or ho. Ever.
  • Do not text my phone continuously if I don’t respond. Do not call me multiple times because I did not answer my phone.
  • I don’t allow men that I date to come to my house until at least 6 months of dating.

The problem with boundaries is staying consistent with them.  When you say no, say it firmly.

A manipulator doesn’t listen to a soft no. Click To Tweet

I will never forget this phrase that I learned while working in addiction treatment.

If you are known for always saying “yes” to others, it will be difficult staying consistent with boundaries. People who are used to hearing you say “yes” will be resistant to your new boundaries.

  • Imagine all the tasks you could do for yourself if you said NO. If you set a boundary with business will you have more time to unwind, spend with family or take that trip? Say no more…..
  • Imagine all the drama you avoid because family and friends don’t ask you to save them or loan them money. Imagine how much time you save because you’re not repeatedly explaining yourself to partners or potential mates.

 

If you need to learn more, check out the books below.

 

I could write 10 pages on the importance of boundaries but I wanted to start with a simple explanation.

Boundaries are as crucial as breathing. Seriously. Don’t get taken advantage of because you are simply afraid of standing up for yourself. We’ll continue this conversation, I swear!