Years ago, I didn’t have good boundaries; I would let people take advantage of me, undervalue myself and my time, and give and give until I couldn’t give anymore. I was seeking acceptance from people that couldn’t accept themselves and didn’t respect me.
Then one day, I woke up, set some boundaries, and realized that if people didn’t accept me for who I am, they weren’t my people. I realized I didn’t need to let people take advantage of my kindness to be accepted and loved. Today, I am a boundary queen, not perfect, though; I still have my slip-ups!
When I began to set boundaries and stopped letting people take and take from me, they disappeared—Poof, gone like the wind. At first, I was upset, lost business, lost friends. Then I realized those people weren’t my people. New, better people entered my life, people that respected my boundaries. I truly believe the closer I got to God, the more I woke up and realized I didn’t need people’s acceptance. Especially people that didn’t respect me or my time.
When we have boundary-setting issues, we believe “if I do this or that, then people will like and accept me.” The need for acceptance from others is a natural human tendency. However, the basis of it comes from insecurity. It stems from how we interacted with our family members, siblings, and friends as a young person.
One of the biggest reasons I hear from clients that they are afraid to set boundaries with family and friends is because they don’t want to lose people. I always ask them, so you would instead be treated in a toxic manner and disrespected than lose someone?” Lots of times, initially, they say yes. You see, setting boundaries is not necessarily an easy thing to do, especially if you have never had them.
Setting boundaries doesn’t always mean losing people, though; you can have good boundaries and still be respectful while letting the world know, you won’t allow it to eat your lunch. It’s important for your mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual health that your boundaries need to be non-negotiable.
You have to be willing to let people know what you will accept and what you won’t accept without any bitterness. When you develop good boundaries, you’ll find that you don’t need to win people over, and you can always keep people from violating your space.
You are allowed to; you deserve to have your own identity, your own set of rules. You don’t need to explain your boundaries to people, but you can kindly ask them to respect your boundaries. Then, they can decide if they will abide by them or walk away. You also can walk away if someone isn’t respecting your boundaries. Setting a boundary can be a matter of stating that I will have this reaction because this action is not acceptable to me if you do this or that.
Let me give you a personal example of boundary setting…. Forever and ever, I have had people, friends, random people, etc.. message me, call me and ask me to help them with their problems, read this for me, tell me the answers. Some would even call me and trap me in hours of conversations about their issues in my free time, not respecting that it was my free time. When I didn’t have boundaries, I would do it without any pushback. People would be messaging me all hours of the night and day, I would respond. I wanted to be accepted.
So I changed. I realized these people didn’t care if what they were doing was infringing on my free time because, at the time, I didn’t care. I choose to respond. I allowed it.
I started setting boundaries by saying we can set up an appointment if you would like? So I can better get to the root of your issue. I set a boundary, so people weren’t infringing on my free time all the time. Those infringing people would always either not respond to my boundary and not talk to me, or say no, never mind; I’ll figure it out. Some would set up appointments, though, and it benefited them to do so. Today, I feel so much more at peace because I set that boundary. Many of the people, mostly all of them that were infringers, have parted ways with me. Strange huh?
You can start setting boundaries too. Start slow, baby steps. Set small limits, then bigger ones. Learn to accept yourself, learn that it doesn’t matter who else accepts you. You don’t need to win people’s acceptance; you can be kinder and more gentle toward yourself. You’re worth it; you deserve it; toxic doesn’t look good on you.
You find your tribe once you raise your vibe. Boundaries save your soul and help you find your light, and keep it!