Setting boundaries in our lives is so important to our well being on all levels: physical, emotional, mental, spiritual, relationship, and financial. In most cases we are asked for something outside of ourselves. We are asked to give of ourselves: our time, our energy or our money (resources). When this happens there are three questions we can ask ourselves. Make sure you are honest with yourself.
- Do I have it to give?
- Do I want to give it?
- Under what conditions?
After asking yourself these questions and answering them truthfully, you can answer the request in a way that honours you and your boundaries. This is most difficult for women to do, we are so used to our roles as caregivers and nurturers. We are not used to or comfortable with saying ‘no’ or ‘not now’, or ‘maybe, if _____’. It is up to us to set consequences if and when necessary. Setting boundaries with younger children may look very different than setting boundaries with a spouse, friends or colleagues.
When you set healthy boundaries, you are practicing self-respect. It isn’t easy at first and you may be tested, in fact, you can count on that. You may be tested several times when you become clear on what is appropriate for you and what is not. This is also positive role modelling for others.
Here’s to the healthy setting of boundaries for everyone concerned.