Boundaries are beneficial to us all. They offer protection, set parameters, and most of enforce a pre-established rule. The strange thing about limits is for some; they are hard to establish. For example, an individual may be a stay at home parent, and for whatever reason, the community thinks you are the errand runner, the delivery person, the homeschool teacher. This assumption is not only wrong; it crosses the line of permissions and respect. The correct way to handle this is to establish the boundary at the beginning of the relationship, but if that time has passed, you can still limit it.
Some areas that require boundaries are our time, from the moment you open your eyes, you may already have a schedule of how you want things to go that day. So here are a few tips you can use to establish boundaries.
- Set appointments in your calendar. It doesn’t matter what the meeting is for, but set it in writing. For example, you can schedule a time to relax in the tub. Set the time and stick to the schedule
- Let people know you need a 48-hour notice. Sometimes people will drop by, show up, and expect you to stop everything to accommodate their wishes. Let them know that you have things planned, and they need to honor your requests.
- Take time to respond to requests from others. In this digital age, people expect an instant response. If it is not an emergency, wait to respond and establish the boundary of time management.
- Learn the fine art of saying no. No is not a curse word, and it can be said with authority and grace. Practice saying no, and no, you don’t have to follow up with an apology or a reason. No is a complete sentence.
- Finally, be prepared for shock and awe, and for some to become upset and want to know why you have made the changes. With some changes come discomfort, and eventually, it will get better.
As you practice the art of setting boundaries, you will find that it gets easier to set limits and hold firmly to them. In the meantime, set some appointments, I’m sure you have a book to read or a bubble bath to enjoy.