Boundaries Are Essential For Happy Relationships

We’ve all had people in our life who treat us badly.

They’re rude to us, they talk down to us, they can be really aggressive or manipulative. They might even be verbally or physically abusive.

And it can be really difficult to know how to tell them to stop. Because, like I mentioned in the video, most of us didn’t grow up knowing how to set boundaries.

But it’s essential, for our relationships and for our happiness, to be able to teach people how to treat us better.

We need to learn how to say no, how to set effective boundaries, so that we don’t reinforce their undesirable, manipulative  or abusive behavior.

The 5 steps below are something I’ve used again and again to help me set boundaries, to remind myself that I deserve love and respect, and to walk away when I’m not getting it from someone so that I might give it to myself.

These steps were put together by the psychologist Kati Morton. They may be of value to you if you struggle with setting healthy boundaries.

Step 1: Notice when we reinforce the bad behavior of others. This is an important  first step if, like me, you’ve grown up in a home without boundaries. So pay attention to when you say yes to someone when you really want to say no.

Step 2: Recognize that we have the right to walk away from others. You do not have to stay in a conversation or situation that makes you feel like crap. You might tell the other person you’d be willing to speak with them if they stop being disrespectful or manipulative.

Step 3: Understand that we have the right to say NO if something is not in our best interest. Saying no doesn’t make us rude or selfish or a bad person. It’s actually a sign of healthy self-respect because we’re honoring what we need for our happiness.

Step 4: Act upon our recognition that the relationship is unhealthy. We always have the ability to distance ourselves from toxic people. Even if we live with those people we can still limit the time we spend around them, we can still choose to be emotionally unavailable for toxic people.

Step 5: Stick with it. If you feel guilty for setting boundaries ask your self “is it more important that other people like me or that I like me?”  This is where heathy self-respect, healthy self-love, comes from. Reinforcing this and acting consistently will help to ensure we’re treated the way we want to be.

How to Tune Out Negativity

#triggerwarning

“I hope you get raped again.” 

That was one of the messages I received after speaking publicly about being raped.

A year before that message would’ve broken me. 

I would’ve either been crying hysterically in tears or arguing angrily with someone who was determined to  hate me. 

But that day I just rolled my eyes and reported it to the platform. 

It was so easy for me to do this largely because of a simple technique I learned from Brene Brown’s amazing book Daring Greatly.

This technique is called a Squad Square. 

And it’s been life changing for me.

Literally. Life. Changing.

I think it’ll be helpful to you too.

Because we all come into contact with people who are toxic, negative, and in my case, downright hostile.

And if we were to let all those voices in we’d probably be paralyzed by fear and overwhelm. But if we blocked out all the voices in our world, we’d cut ourselves off from genuine connection and helpful feedback. 

What we need is a filter. 

One we can use to decide whose opinion is allowed into our hearts and whose isn’t. And that’s exactly what creating a Squad Square does.

Check out the video below to how to create your own Squad Square: 

The Two Exceptions I Mentioned in the Video Are:

  1. People who are thriving in an area of life you’d like to thrive in also- so these are people like mentors, inspirational role models, experts in their industry… basically someone who’ve proven themselves by going through a process that’s in alignment with your values to get an outcome you desire.
  2. Sometimes a person on your list might have feedback on a certain subject that you know is not in alignment with your values. For example, my mom’s on my list. But she has really traditional opinions on relationships and gender roles that I would honestly never even consider.

So give yourself permission to be flexible. 

The point of this is to get clarity on the people whose opinions matter, and more importantly, whose doesn’t so that you can focus on what truly matters in life.

Be sure to let me know if you try it!