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A Guide To Setting Boundaries To Maintain Your Mental Health

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Jul 09, 2021
09:00 A.M.
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Learning how to say no and respecting your own boundaries are signs of self-respect and self-love.

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It’s mesmerizing to me how much conflict, false expectations, and disappointment you can avoid simply by setting boundaries with others. I didn’t know that until recently.

It took me nearly 30 years to realize that those first 30 seconds that you tell someone “no, I’m sorry, I can’t,” or “I’d love to meet you but this weekend I’m busy” is complicated and sometimes, even painful. But once it is settled, a massive peace of mind comes with it.

What Are Boundaries?

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Photo by Gabrielle Henderson on Unsplash

Photo by Gabrielle Henderson on Unsplash

People with healthy boundaries are able to set their expectations clear and show others what they are keen to accept or not. With healthy boundaries, they can establish what behavior other people can expect from them.

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The Benefits of Setting Boundaries

Photo by Lenin Estrada on Unsplash

Photo by Lenin Estrada on Unsplash

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  • It improves the dynamics of relationships. You become the priority in your life, and others will see and respect that.
  • It improves your sense of self-esteem.
  • You protect and conserve your emotional energy.

How To Set Boundaries

If you’re not sure how to set your own boundaries, we’ve rounded up some approaches your can try.

Start Small

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Photo by Ayo Ogunseinde on Unsplash

Photo by Ayo Ogunseinde on Unsplash

Whether you have difficulties setting them or have no boundaries whatsoever, it’s essential to start small. Doing so at a slower pace will make you more comfortable, and with time, you’ll become more confident to set your expectations with others.

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Set Boundaries From The Begining

Set Boundaries From The Begining

Set Boundaries From The Begining

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Putting boundaries right from the get-go makes things a lot easier for you and others. Sometimes it’s challenging to set limits on existing relationships; that’s why the earlier you do it, the better. When you do it from the very beginning, you avoid frustration, expectation, and confusion.

Communication is Key

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Photo by LinkedIn Sales Solutions on Unsplash

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In the case above, you can start by communicating with them about the changes you’ve decided to make in a pre-existing relationship with loose boundaries.

For example, suppose you have a friend who is constantly messaging or calling you to talk about their dramas, and they’re used to you replying right away. In that case, you can tell them to drop a message, and you’ll reply as soon as you can because now, you’re focusing on some personal projects.

Don’t Go Black Or White

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Photo by Nadine Shaabana on Unsplash

Photo by Nadine Shaabana on Unsplash

If you’re new to putting boundaries, you might slip a bit and go to another extreme and might end up setting rigid boundaries. Be aware of that and try to start by setting healthy boundaries by finding your sweet spot.

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