Two women talking over a table.

Communicating Your Boundaries

To start communicating your boundaries, remember that these boundaries come from the love for yourself. They are not selfish or mean.

In fact, setting them tells another person that you have faith in their ability to handle the particular situation that is coming up. It is a mutual expression of love for them, and love for yourself.

Okay, But How?

First, one way to set a boundary is to acknowledge how the other person is feeling while still communicating your decision to set the boundary.

Dr.s Henry Cloud & John Townsend state that, “Deciding to set boundaries is difficult because it requires decision making and confrontation, which, in turn, may cause pain to someone you love.”

You first start by just saying no to the request. Here is a link to a lot of different ways to say no.

Some of my favorite ways to say no are, “It’s not a good idea for me,” “Not at this time,” “I’m not comfortable with that,” “I’m here for you, but I really can’t do what you are asking for.”

Or be straight up with others and say something like, “This decision doesn’t align with my values, so I have to say no. I hope you can understand.”¬†

There are many ways to communicate, overall, and your self love journey needs to involve you finding the most comfortable way for you to advocate for yourself.

People pushing a van

What if They Keep Pushing?

If someone keeps pushing their requests on to you, start by acknowledging their feelings.

Say something like, “I understand that you are frustrated that I can’t do _____?”

“I get you want me to _____, and you’re upset, but I can be here for you in other ways.”

Also, using an I-Statement when you set the boundary can help you be clear with your expectation.

Repeat the Boundary and Stay Consistent

You will have to repeat your boundary to others consistently for them to really understand that you are serious. 

People will need some time to rearrange their thinking about you. Because of this, you will need to keep nurturing and loving yourself while holding your ground. In the end, it is not always easy to keep firm with your boundaries, but it is best for you and others.

Conclusion

Try these strategies out as you move forward with boundaries. If you are feeling unsure, write out some boundary statements for some situations that you anticipate coming up soon. This way you can practice and be ready if you are nervous while talking to someone.

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