Are you an introvert who struggles with being social, but people don’t seem to understand that? To change that, you need to be setting healthy boundaries.
As an introvert, your time alone is how you recharge and remain balanced. However, you may find it uncomfortable to ask for the space you need when you need it. Learning how to set boundaries will help you define what you need in a manner that is structured, clear, and specific.
When you begin asking for space you may feel guilt or shame, or that you have let your friend, partner, colleague, or employer down. While it may be uncomfortable at first and a shock to those who must adjust to the change, it will be better for everyone in the long run.
Setting healthy boundaries doesn’t only provide you with the mental and physical space you require, but it can improve the quality of time you invest in every area of your life.
These 5 tips will help you get started.
1. Boundaries aren’t walls.
A wall pushes people away while boundaries provide you with the healthy limits you require to thrive. If you currently feel guilty asking for what you need you must first accept your need for space.
Consider how you feel when you don’t prioritize your solitude. You feel physically drained, mentally drained, irritable, disconnected, spread too thin, and out of sorts. These aren’t healthy feelings and they can be minimized by setting boundaries.
You can show up fully and engaged for yourself and the people in your life when you take the time required to recharge. With consistency, you can transform your life.
You deserve it!
Want to know more about how you can properly set boundaries? Read Setting Boundaries That are Clear and Well-Expressed
2. Determine what drains you most.
Even with excellent boundaries, a hectic day can leave you feeling drained, creating a last-minute need for space. This is why it’s important to define what activities drain you most so that you can proactively determine what you will need, and schedule it ahead of time.
Here are a few examples of planning your boundaries ahead of time:
Although you’re looking forward to getting dressed up and going to a charity event on Saturday night, you know you’ll feel drained when you get home, so skip your weekly Sunday brunch. So that you don’t miss out on your time together, invite your brunch buddies to the event. Or make it a date night and head to dinner before and only attend the event for an hour or two.
When returning from vacation determine what you’ll need before you jump back into the swing of things. This might mean returning on Saturday instead of Sunday so that you can have a full day to yourself. Don’t make any plans for the day you’ve set aside.
Going to your grandma’s all-day birthday party is something you don’t want to miss, so consider how to remain balanced. This might mean sneaking upstairs to the guest bedroom for some time to yourself in the middle of the day. Or taking a long walk.
After a chaotic day at work, you may need to lighten your after-hours obligations. Maybe you ask your partner or babysitter to pick the kids up from their extracurricular activities and take them out to dinner before returning home. Or, work from home the next day.
3. The sooner you begin the better.
The sooner you share your boundaries with new friends, colleagues, or employers the better. Simply let them know that you’re introverted and require solitude to recharge. It’s helpful if you provide an example or two.
As mentioned above, share with your new employer that having the ability to work from home after a hectic day will help you remain innovative and productive.