It is important to develop healthy personal boundaries in your relationships to maintain self respect. Today, we’ll focus on five more boundaries you can set as discussed in the first post of this series, Healthy Boundaries–Your Ticket to Happiness. I’ll show you how you can be empowered to establish boundaries and have a happier life. Please read the first blog post in the series, to see the full list of some of your fundamental rights as an adult, before reading this post.
You have the right to end conversations that make you feel uncomfortable.
How many times have you had a conversation with someone that made you feel uncomfortable? I would guess many! We have all had this experience. You may have been taught as a child that you should just continue with a conversation, since this is the polite thing to do. Yet, you end up paying the price by feeling lousy afterwards. You have the right to end conversations that make you feel uncomfortable. A great boundary to set when this happens is to say, “I don’t want to talk about that.” If someone ignores your request, then remind that person again. It is best to keep your voice in a firm, neutral tone. If you discover someone is continuing to ignore your requests, then you can say, “If you continue to talk about that when I already asked you not to, then I will need to end this conversation.” If that person persists, then gently end the conversation all together.
You have the right to not answer a question that is off limits.
In social situations, when someone asks you a question that is off limits, you may benefit by saying, “I would rather not discuss that.” This simple statement can be very powerful. You are indirectly letting the other person know that they have crossed your boundary and what they want to know is off limits. People who have poor boundaries and tend to be controlling may not like it when you take care of yourself in this way. Stay strong and stop pleasing others at your expense.
You have the right to no longer be your family and friends emotional dumping ground.
People who come from dysfunctional families are often taught as young children how to be everyone’s emotional dumping ground. On some level, they feel they need to rescue and fix everyone. I did this for many years of my life and it was utterly draining and exhausting. In 1998, I decided to stop trying to rescue and fix the people who are the closest to me. That was one of the best decisions I ever made in my life. When your family and friends talk about how miserable they are, you can set a boundary by saying, “It would be good for you to talk to a professional who can help you.” Keep saying this over and over. Eventually, your family or friends will either seek help or they will stop telling you all their troubles. Encouraging someone to go for help is one of the best things you can do. I find the healthiest people are the ones who are seeking help or who sought help. These people are either working through their issues or they have worked through their issues. People who are in denial and don’t think they need help, when their lives are a mess, are the ones who would benefit the most from professional help.
You have the right to set limits in how much you give to others.
Giving to others is one of the greatest joys in life. However, giving to others at your expense, where you feel drained and unhappy, is not healthy. Over the next week, become aware of how you feel every time you give to others. If you feel any negative feelings, then this is your intuition’s way of letting you know that you need to set the boundary of no longer giving in that way. When you no longer give in ways that make you feel badly, then you will have more energy to discover other ways to give that make you feel great.
You have the right to be treated with respect in every situation.
No one has the right to be disrespectful to you through their words or actions. Make a commitment today to set a boundary within yourself that you are not going to tolerate anyone disrespecting you in any way. It is your right to be treated with respect in every situation, at all times! If you are experiencing any form of physical abuse, please seek professional help.
Read the next post in the series, Healthy Boundaries–Your Ticket to Happiness, Part 5, and see how developing personal boundaries in your relationships is the key to self respect.