Yeah, you could go out for drinks to celebrate your boyfriend’s cousin’s dog’s birthday after an exhausting work day, but consider this: you could just say no.
While setting boundaries can seem intimidating and difficult to navigate, it doesn’t have to be awkward or confrontational. Personal boundaries are incredibly important to our mental, emotional, and even physical well-being. A strong sense of where we draw our lines, so to speak, helps develop our sense of autonomy, identity, confidence, self-efficacy, and well-being. At the end of the day, you are responsible for the energy you put forward, and if someone or something is souring your vibe, it’s your prerogative to take control over it.
While the most obvious boundary is our physical body, personal boundaries are important in all avenues of our life, from work to romantic relationships to emotions. Types of boundaries we should keep in mind include:
- Physical — “I’m not a hugger”
- Conversational — “I’m not comfortable talking about that”
- Time — “I can only hang out for an hour”
- Internal — “I need a self-care night alone”
- Mental — “I don't agree with your belief”
- Emotional — “I don't have the emotional bandwidth to help you with that right now”
- Material — “I’m not comfortable with you borrowing that necklace”
It’s important to understand our limits and recognize the things that bring us joy versus the things that make us feel burnt out. Next time something makes you uncomfortable, try to think about which of these boundaries is being crossed and reinstate your limits with that person, either verbally or by simply removing yourself if it’s a boundary that’s been crossed multiple times.
Now that we’ve talked about recognizing personal boundaries…stay tuned for next week’s newsletter to hear the tea about sticking to them!