Saying ‘no’ to someone may require some courage on your part but it is often necessary. It is only by saying ‘no’ to others, you can say ‘yes’ to yourself. Most of the time, setting personal boundaries can start by saying a simple ‘no’.
5 steps to set healthy boundaries
If you struggle with setting boundaries, then here are a few steps to help you get started and build strong healthy boundaries for yourself.
1. Know your rights
Establishing boundaries is part of your basic human rights. Psychotherapist and mental health author Dr. Judith Belmont says “It is important in setting boundaries to identify your basic human rights.” When you know your rights, you will realize saying “no” is not a crime. Your rights should be considered first and foremost when setting boundaries.
2. Listen to yourself
Listen to your mind, body, heart, and soul. If you find a person is violating your rights and personal space, then you need to speak up and take a stand. Every time you feel unsafe around certain people in a specific situation, then try to safely get yourself out of that space.
3. Understand your values
Identifying your own personal values can significantly help you in establishing your personal boundaries. Your values can prevent you from giving into distractions and help you decide what kind of behavior is acceptable or unacceptable.
4. Identify what you must change
After you have defined your rights and values, define what specific changes you need to bring about to maintain your boundaries. Identify the boundaries that are being violated and take steps to communicate what changes you require from the other person. You can ask them to respect your boundaries.
5. Talk about it
Whenever you are entering a new relationship, whether personal or professional, it is important that you communicate your healthy boundaries early on. Discuss your personal boundaries with the other person kindly and respectfully.
Boundary equals self-love
Healthy boundaries create healthy relationships. Boundaries not only strengthen our relationships, but it also protects us from toxic behavior and abuse. Personal boundaries protect our sense of self-worth and self-respect. It is a step towards self-care and self-love. Establishing healthy boundaries is a crucial element of self-care and mental well-being.
Psychologist Joaquín Selva, Bc.S. concludes “Setting healthy boundaries is a crucial part of life and an important aspect of any self-care practice. Someone who’s not used to setting boundaries might feel guilty or selfish when they first start out, but setting boundaries is necessary for mental health and well-being.”
Here’s an interesting video that you may find helpful: