This is the 3rd post in a series that discusses ways you can set healthy boundaries to achieve happiness. In my initial post, I focused on a list of essential rights you have as an adult. Today, I will focus on the next five rights from that list. If you did not read my first post on June 20th, please go to Healthy Boundaries–Your Ticket to Happiness, before continuing to read this one.
Sometimes working on accomplishing your goals may mean a loss for others, since you may not have as much free time for them. When people feel this loss, they may discourage you from focusing on your goals. If anyone makes a negative comment about not spending much time with you because you are pursuing your goals, you may benefit by setting a healthy boundary. If someone is important in your life, you can say, “I will be busy for awhile, but when my schedule lightens up, I will let you know. We can then figure out when we can spend time together.” If someone is not very important in your life and they make a negative comment about your goals becoming too much of a priority, you may want to say, “I am sorry that you feel that way.” You have the right to set goals for yourself. If you know that others are not going to be supportive of your goals, then it is best not to share that information with them. Only share your goals with people who want you to succeed and will encourage you.
You have the right to follow your own values and standards.
You have authentic values and standards and the right to fully support them by setting healthy boundaries. At some point, people may challenge your values and standards. They may try to control and manipulate you, so you change your values and standards and become more like them. Never compromise here. If you do, then you will be unhappy and regret that decision. If someone judges your values and standards, stay strong and respect your own values. No one has the right to continue to challenge your beliefs. If someone does, after you request that person stop telling you what is right for you, then you either need to set the boundary of seeing that person less often, or end the relationship.
People often like to please others. There is nothing wrong with pleasing others, as long as this is not at your own expense. If you have anxiety and your anxiety is not due to a medical issue, then it is likely you are pleasing others while neglecting your own needs. I have never met anyone with high anxiety who did not please others at their own expense. I find that some of the most loving, wonderful people have high anxiety. They are so giving to others. Being a giving person is wonderful, as long as you feel good after the giving occurs. If you please others by suppressing your needs, then let the word “No” need become your new best friend. When someone asks you to do something that is going to stress you out or you intuitively know is not right for you, say, “No.” This boundary will alleviate much of your stress and free you to take better care of yourself. You have the right to say no!
You have the right to change your mind at any moment.
I find that some people love to make others feel wrong when they change their mind. Some people act as though once something is said, then it is written in stone. I have had people try to make me feel bad when I change my mind and the fact is this is something I rarely do. I will gently remind others I have the right to change my mind. You, too, can set that boundary of letting people know you have the right to change your mind!
You have the right to prioritize what is important to you.
It is a good idea to prioritize each day what is important to you. If not, then you are likely to neglect some of your needs. When you are clear about what your priorities are, this will help you set better boundaries. If your spouse asks you one day to do a specific thing that you won’t have time to do, unless you skip your priority of working out, you can set a boundary by saying, “I will do that tomorrow when I have more time.” If you don’t prioritize each day, then you will not set healthy boundaries and you will put your needs aside.
Which of these boundaries do you need to set the most? Good, now you can work on setting that boundary this week. Once you are comfortable setting that boundary, go and work on setting another boundary from this list. You deserve to live a peaceful life. Setting healthy boundaries will allow you to experience great inner peace and happiness.
Read the next post in the series, Healthy Boundaries–Your Ticket to Happiness, Part 4, and see how developing personal boundaries in your relationships is the key to self respect.