Setting Personal Boundaries

I’m sure we have all experienced moments when we felt like people have “gone too far.” It could be through inappropriate comments or literally physically touching you. If you use public transport or have been to the market in Nigeria, then you’ve definitely had this experience.

I’ve always been bothered by why people I barely knew felt comfortable enough to ask me personal (sometimes uncomfortable) questions. I have also wondered why people find it okay to comment on the way I look or even invite themselves over to see me. 

Being a friendly person is something I have always been proud of, so I believed that was the answer to all my ‘WHYs’. After years of tolerating this uncomfortable behavior, it finally hit me that this was not about being friendly. I realized that I never set personal boundaries with people, which is why they constantly overstepped them. In fact, I realized that I tend to overshare my experiences.

It is important, however, to set personal boundaries. Personal boundaries are the physical, emotional and mental limits we establish to protect ourselves from being manipulated, used, or violated by others. They are the imaginary lines you draw around yourself that nobody should cross physically nor emotionally without your consent.

How To Set Personal Boundaries In Personal And Professional Settings

Many people can relate to having to please at least one person on a daily basis. It is difficult to manage all the demands and take care of our needs at the same time. Something can be done though, it’s called setting boundaries. Here are some tips on how to do that.

  • Don’t be afraid to upset people or be perceived as rude. Fear is what makes us people pleasers. But once we take the risk of setting a boundary, we will find out that people won’t react negatively.
  • Start by clearly stating what is acceptable and what is unacceptable or uncomfortable to you.
  • Don’t set boundaries you’re not willing to enforce. it is a way to honor and protect your own physical, emotional and energetic space.
  • Be confident in setting your boundaries. If you have the tendency to say “I’m sorry” every time you say “no” to something, it sends a mixed message that weakens and dilutes your position.
  • Keep the focus on your feelings. The clearer you are about how people can treat you, the easier your interactions will be.
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