How often have you found yourself agreeing to do something you’d rather not do? How frequently do you back down from a confrontation just to keep the peace? And when you finally muster up the courage to say ˜no’ to someone, are you plagued with guilt for days? If so, you aren’t alone. Most women struggle with the art of setting boundaries and limits. It’s easy to get caught up in the please everyone mode of operation and before we know it, we’ve become the ˜yes-woman.’ Somewhere along the line, we have forgotten, the most important person to please, is quite simply, yourself.
No question about it that saying yes at times and doing things for others brings one a great deal of joy. However, it’s when the asks of you become too much to handle that you begin comparing yourself to a taut rubber band threatening to snap, and start to wonder if you are being taken advantage of, it may be time to consider re-evaluating or establishing your boundaries and limits.
A daunting task by any stretch, the process begins with a thorough bout of self-reflection. What irks you? What things tie your stomach into knots? And what have you found yourself resenting?
When the list has been compiled, this is where the real work starts. Spend some time thinking about how you would like to see the situation unfold. If you could live the ideal, how would that look? Your answer will likely be different than others. What works for one, doesn’t fit for all. At the same time, consider what your ideal would offer you? More time perhaps? Freedom. Maybe less stress.
Communication. Once you have identified what you would like and what you are asking for, it’s time to start thinking about communicating it, whether that be to your boss, your husband/boyfriend, friends or family. Every one takes in information differently. Think about what works best in your situation and prepare for potential negative responses. You are after all, rocking the proverbial boat and your decision to change forces their hand in dealing with you differently.
Boundaries are rarely set on the first go. If you find you are getting nowhere and you are still feeling pressured into saying yes and doing more, stand your ground and reinforce what you are asking for. It will take time for others to adjust and recognize there is a new normal with you.
Remember this is about you and what makes you happy. When you feel happier, you relate to the people in your world better and with more positivity. Whoever said you need to take care of yourself before you can take care of others was a smart lady.