Many times we find ourselves spreading thin and doing several things for others. We may have a difficult boss with whom creating boundaries and saying a "no" feels impossible, maybe we find ourselves in situations and relationships that feel toxic- the worst of who we are comes out.
Here are some tips on creating healthy boundaries and keeping toxic relationships out:
- First, explore the places in your life that could use some limits. Every person is different. Recognizing your limits and noticing your behavior pattern can help you maintain the boundaries, which is an act of kindness to everyone concerned.
- Secondly, prepare yourself for the reactions you will undoubtedly encounter when you first start announcing your restrictions. Another person's anger can be disconcerting or frightening. When a person reacts to a limit with anger, do not take his or her feelings personally. Maintain your position. The person with the anger is the one with the problem, not you.
- Finally, prepare for guilt. Another person will usually pull the guilt card out of his or her bag of tricks to convince you to go their way. A good therapist can help you prepare for this and remain strong. A good response would be to listen and be understanding while standing your ground. For example, “It sounds like you are disappointed that I'm unable to help you right now. I'm sorry that you're upset."