Understanding what your boundaries are and how to vocalize them has been a hot topic lately, for good reason. Getting really clear on the things that make you comfortable or uncomfortable in any kind of relationship can help you be more in tune with yourself, build your confidence, and strengthen your ability to communicate your emotions with others. Setting these clear boundaries allows you to see more definitively when and how you are being mistreated or even disrespected. Communicating these boundaries is a key step in all of this to set explicit expectations within all of your relationships. So, how do we set boundaries? Well, depending on the situation and your personality type (i.e. confrontational vs. passive) there are different ways to approach conversations about boundaries.
Here are 3 different ways you could set boundaries in your life and your relationships:
1. Shutting things down immediately
If you don’t like the way you are being treated by someone, you can shut it down right away. Getting in the habit of telling people immediately that they are treating you in a way that you do not wish to be treated can set a clear boundary early on. Even if you don’t catch it right away, open up the conversation and be transparent about your feelings. It’s ok to realize after the fact that you weren’t treated in the way you want to be and let the other person know. Make sure to tell them in order to get it off your chest and set that boundary!
2. Letting yourself digest before reacting
When something happens that upsets you, sometimes it’s best to take a step back and think before you react too. You can use practices like the 5 second rule, counting down from 5, letting you cool down, take a deep breath, and react with a calmer state of mind. Sometimes in the first few moments of a situation happening, anger is the first emotion to arise, but pausing to think through the other person’s intent, perspective, and where your feelings are coming from first will help you approach the situation with a level mind. Remember, that we are all humans feeling the same range of emotions and taking a moment to understand what you are feeling can help relay your message with ease!
3. Analyze your emotions
If you’re feeling triggered by something, you can let it out in a safe space such as writing a message in your notes or writing it down on a piece of paper. Then, walk away. Go meditate, take a walk or just let yourself sit in silence. Being present in the moment and quieting your mind will quiet those thoughts in your head that make you your biggest critic. You can only catch bad thoughts when you’re actually paying attention to your thoughts. Sometimes it’s easy to stay so over-stimulated that you can’t even focus on how you’re feeling. Take a deep breath and process how you’re feeling so you can quiet your mind.