2 Ways You Need to Set Boundaries
From the learning soul of a twenty-something who has spent far too long convinced that being kind should come at the expense of feeling joy and a society where people are either too nice or too mean, I’m offering a different idea: balance and boundaries. If you’ve spent your time spinning your wheels, welcome to the club. Here’s how I’ve started listening to myself and giving myself the space (and time) to live well and learn to love who I am.
1. Set boundaries on how other people make you feel
Teach yourself to recognize how you feel versus how other people make you feel. It’s easy to get the two confused, so let me explain. You spend a few extra minutes getting ready in the morning and feel way more confident than usual. Then, as soon as you walk into work, someone comments on how your pants make you look like a genie and suddenly your self confidence is on the ground. If you’re me, your face will get hot and thoughts will start spinning. Wondering if it’s true, wondering why they thought they could say that, wondering if they were trying to be mean or funny or if you have any sense of fashion at all.
But here’s the thing. Your pants have nothing to do with them. And their opinion doesn’t actually mean that much and it definitely doesn’t dictate your worth. What you felt was confidence, it was their comment that produced worry. I didn’t write this to tell you to let other people’s comments roll off your back, I wrote this to help you recognize that, take it or leave it, that feeling came from an outward source. You get to choose to take the comment in or just leave it there. You get to choose whether you call them a jerk and walk away or give them a look and be on your way. You get to choose whether you want to laugh it off or if it changes your opinion about them. You get to choose whether or not you wear the pants again. You also get to choose whether or not you want to avoid them the next time you see them. The boundaries are set the moment you decide what to do with those feelings and interactions.
2. Setting Boundaries on your time
This isn’t about time management, so read through this point instead of skimming, but this one is pretty easy.
If you know someone that doesn’t respect your time, whether it’s the amount of time they ask you to spend helping them week after week, or how long they spend on the phone with you talking about their own life and never yours, or cancelling plans at the last minute or showing up late over and over again, then teach yourself how to set boundaries on your time. Make sure the phone call stays under 5 minutes, make sure you confirm before leaving the house and make sure you teach yourself the value of every minute in every week.
I emphasized the concept of people doing things repeatedly because everyone asks for help, shows up late, and talks too long sometimes. I absolutely encourage you to be there for people and help them out. But if someone repeatedly takes too much of your time and has no regard for it, it’s okay to shorten the time you spend with them. If you are in the middle of a grocery store conversation that makes you feel uncomfortable, feel free to give them a “nice talking to you,” and walk away.
You can be kind and walk away. You can be a good friend and take care of yourself. Find the balance that works for you.
And speaking of balance, if you'd love more tips on how to grow your soul and live well, follow me on Instagram @chelsaywhat and subscribe below to get the FREE Grow Your Soul Bundle, created to help you revive your routine and get organized! -Chels