Being nice is great when you can make someone’s day. But like all things in life, too much of one thing can be bad for you. And when you’re “too nice,” it can put you in a tough spot where you suffer serious consequences. The worst part is hurting yourself. Everyone is doing better thanks to your help. So, why does it feel like you’re drowning? Because you forgot to help one important person: yourself. Culturally, we set the bar high today for what happiness and success mean. If you aren’t being or doing everything, then you’re not making the most out of your life. This is destructive and we ask that you pause and reflect with us. Psych2Go shares with you 7 tips to set healthy boundaries with others:

1. Be responsible for yourself.

When you avoid responsibility, you also avoid taking control. As a result, boundaries can easily be taken away when you allow others to take responsibility for you. When you aren’t active and don’t make decisions for yourself, people won’t know what is expected of them either. It’s important to show others how you want to be treated and when it’s not okay for them to interfere. Everyone needs a certain amount of space in order to feel safe. Realize that you are capable of creating the life you want and take your responsibilities seriously.

2. Know your limits.

It’s impossible to do everything as one person. Although it’s good to be kind and reach out to others when they are in need of help, realize that you also need to take time for yourself to rest and recharge. If you are constantly burning yourself out, then you won’t be able to help someone the next time around to the best of your ability. It’s good to be present and check in with yourself. When you embrace your limitations, this actually gives you room to grow in a healthy way and allows you to focus on what you can do without setting yourself up for failure because you were creating unrealistic expectations.

3. Practice saying “no.”

It’s strange how a two-letter word can sometimes be the hardest thing to say. But, saying “no” doesn’t make you a bad person. In fact, people will respect your honesty instead of being let down in the future if you can only follow through halfway with a promise you made them. If you’re dealing with a selfish person who becomes highly reactive when you set boundaries, understand that their reaction is only temporary. But in the long run, the more you stand your ground firmly and look out for yourself, the less power they will have over you. As a result, people will learn to respect you more.

4. Understand that you can’t fix people.

People aren’t projects or science experiments. We can’t mold them to be something that we want them to be, even if that desire comes from a heart of good intentions. It’s one thing to help someone if they ask for it, but it’s another thing entirely if you constantly over-extend yourself trying to save them. When healthy boundaries aren’t set, neither can your sense of self be recognized or built. This can be incredibly dangerous and you’ll start to feel guilt and shame for things that were out of your control to begin with.

5. Be self-aware about how your decisions affect your health and happiness.

Reflect on the past choices you made. Ask yourself if you want to repeat the same pattern, especially if they are toxic for your health and wellbeing. It’s important to know if something is worth being sacrificial and what it’ll do for you in the long run. Think about the big picture. Tap into yourself and ask yourself how you’re feeling. Are you stressed? Overwhelmed? Then, perhaps it’s time to put things down and let others know, too.

6. Practice self-love and take care of yourself.

Realize that you’re all you have. Even if you can come home to people who care about you at the end of the day, the way you view yourself is something only you can do. If you feel like you’re not worthy of respect and allow others to walk over you, then boundaries will continue to be non-existent. When you recognize that you deserve better, no one can take that away from you. Taking care of yourself is not only good, but essential.

7. Remove yourself from toxic situations and controlling people.

Sometimes, we don’t have a choice and we are brought up in toxic environments and families. If you find yourself in a situation like that, try to work towards goals that will allow you to be stable and independent. Once you’ve established that freedom and can embrace the responsibilities that come with it, then others will no longer be able to have control over you. Generally, it’s best to remove yourself from and steer clear of toxic situations. This can be hard sometimes when you care about someone with controlling tendencies or may even be in a relationship with an individual like that. But your safety, healthy, and happiness matters, too.

 

What do you think?

How do you set healthy boundaries with others? Psych2Go would love to hear your thoughts! Please be sure to leave a comment down below!

 

Want to say hello or send a personal message? You can reach the author at catherine@psych2go.net. ♥

 

If you enjoyed this article, then you may also like 6 Ways to Deal with Selfish People or 7 Ways to Deal with Highly Judgmental People.

 

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References:

Bockarova, M. (2016, August 1). 4 Ways to Set and Keep Your Personal Boundaries. Psychology Today. Retrieved April 10, 2018.

Brenner, A. (2015, November 21). 7 Tips to Create Healthy Boundaries with Others. Psychology Today. Retrieved April 10, 2018.

Tartakovsky, M. (2018). 10 Way to Build and Preserve Better Boundaries. Psych Central. Retrieved April 10, 2018.

3 Comments

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  1. So very helpful and building on what I am just now learning at 57. After being abused, misused, a punching bag and door mat my whole life I have been learning what boundaries are, why we need them and it doesn’t make me a selfish person to think about myself instead of always putting other people needs and wants above my own basic human needs.Thank you

  2. a good article! Many of the points (if not all) are very difficult to realise in reality. If one is not 100% mentally thereby one falls fast again into the old patterns.

    If I had to guess, point 7 and point 5 are particularly difficult to realize (especially in situations where you can’t even leave the room quickly – for example in offices).

    • Hi Chris, thanks so much for reading as always. 🙂 I’m glad you were able to take something positive from the article! Yes, points 5 and 7 are difficult to realize. They can also be hard to take action on because it may require a lot of reflection and resources the person doesn’t have, but can work towards, especially if they can’t remove themselves from the toxic situation alone.

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Written by Catherine Huang

Catherine Huang graduated from the University of Rhode Island with a BA in English. She has a penchant for storytelling, ramen, and psychology. Catherine is a writer for Psych2Go and looks forward to reaching out to its growing community, hoping to encourage others to tap into self-examination and confront life's challenges head on with the most difficult questions.

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