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In the whirlwind of daily obligations, it’s all too common for individuals to disregard their personal boundaries, often at the expense of their own joy and freedom. However, taking a stand for oneself doesn’t necessarily need to be fraught with tension. “We explore this theme, shedding light on the importance of boundary setting for a contented life.

The importance of setting boundaries

There is a scenario that many will find eerily familiar: giving up a much-anticipated relaxation day by someone else’s request for help.

It’s a simple, yet powerful example of the choices we’re presented with—succumbing to the demands of others or honouring our own needs.

This decision-making crossroads is central to the message; it is often a reflection of our own self-value and the ability to communicate our limits.

our self-worth

People-pleasing behaviours are underpinned by the deep-seated belief that our worth is measured by our utility to others, leading to a cyclical pattern of self-neglect and resentment.

Enforcing our boundaries is akin to managing a precious resource; imagine a jug of water—overextend your generosity and you’re left empty. As Tutty deftly illustrates, it’s about knowing when to pour and when to refill.

You can facilitate change. Define your uncompromisable boundaries and script out and rehearse communicating those boundaries with others around you. This proactive approach ensures clarity and conviction when the moment of truth arises. By doing so, we gradually re-educate ourselves and others about how we expect to be treated.

breathing through it

The simple hand-on-heart breathing technique can help navigate the discomfort of establishing new protocols for interaction. This calming practice is integral to maintaining equilibrium during what may be emotionally charged exchanges.

So place your hand on your heart. Take a deep breath in, and a longer breath out. Nice. Do this a couple of times until you feel that low level of agitation begin to subside

Boundary setting is a game, one that favours the persistent and consistent. These newly set parameters will inevitably be tested, but each reinforcement strengthens the fabric of our self-respect.

tough conversations

For those who find the thought of initiating boundary conversations daunting, seek out the people on your list and work out a convenient time for you to have this conversation.

Put your hand on heart, calm, deep breaths in, and a longer breath out. Do this before and after each conversation. After each conversation celebrate you. You did it!

Give yourself a high five. Dance a little dance. Pat yourself on the back. Trigger those endorphins by celebrating you.

enforce your boundary

Once you’ve had the conversation, we’re on to the critical part. This is where you get to enforce that boundary. You’re literally retraining yourself and the other person on what is acceptable behaviour.

It takes time and it needs consistency. So anytime your boundary gets butted up against, breathe.

When you’re calm, remind them of the conversation you had with them about that particular boundary and affirm what you will or won’t do. Boundary secure. The more you do this, the easier it becomes.