Wanted to write a little post on boundaries both as a reminder to myself and to share with anyone who may resonate.
For the majority of my life, I don’t think I quite understood the full definition of boundaries, and how crucial it is to uphold them for yourself. In some ways I did have a sense of boundaries – I have a strong moral compass and naturally see certain things in black and white. But in many other ways, I didn’t – especially when it comes to nurturing healthy boundaries.
I came across an Instagram post by Dr. Nicole LePera (@the.holistic.psychologist) recently that really struck me. It was on how to set a boundary in terms of turning down an invite. Here were her instructions in summary:
- Be gracious. Thank the person for inviting you. Say something like — “That sounds like a wonderful event”, “I appreciate the invite”
- Decline. — “but I won’t be able to make it”
- Work through discomfort. You have every right to say no, and you do not need to give an excuse. It may feel very uncomfortable – likely even terrifying – at first but it gets easier with practice.
Growing up I was raised in an environment where I felt I had to always please others. Maybe that’s how I learned to receive love – I learned that achievement earns you love. But in the process of pleasing others, where do you fit in? Who will care about you and speak up for you if not you yourself? What’s the cost of pandering to others?
It’s a slow and often painful process, but I’m learning to set those boundaries. Whether it’s turning down an invitation in order to make time for myself, or choosing not to respond immediately to every single message I receive on the x number of communication channels that command my phone, I’m trying to remind myself as often as I can that I don’t owe anyone anything. That above all, I need to prioritize my space, my health, and my happiness above the satisfaction of others.
I invite you to consider doing the same. What’s one boundary you can set today?