The holidays are a time for love, family, and relationships. But with these wonderful experiences, many people struggle with setting boundaries.
In order to outline a few tips for setting boundaries, let’s first identify what a boundary is. A boundary is a limit on what you will accept of another person’s words or actions.
Setting boundaries is important, because it is a way to make sure that both your needs, and the needs of others are protected. When boundaries are set clearly, you tend to experience a better quality of life. However, for many people, boundaries get blurred. Having blurred boundaries often creates situations where other people feel gratitude and comfort at your expense. Lack of boundaries are not healthy for anyone because there needs Often get lost. get lost. Oftentimes we struggle with setting boundaries because we don’t know how to, and subsequently leading to negative life experiences. If you have trouble setting boundaries, these tips will help you learn to set boundaries just in time for the holidays.
Become more aware of your needs.
After all, it would be very difficult to set boundaries around your needs, if you do not know what they are. Therefore, I suggest that you know, with absolute clarity, what you need to feel happy and secure during this holiday season. This requires getting intune with yourself and your surroundings. If you are unclear about what your boundaries are, you may want to rely on previous experiences to assist you. For instance, if you feel uncomfortable being around your mother, there is a huge likelihood that that need would need to be protected during the holidays more than ever. It’s important to keep these things in mind, because when boundaries are not protected, people feel disrespected and invalidated and it could lead to other problems, such as depression and anxiety.
Honor your needs.
Once you have identified your needs, you need to honor them. It doesn’t help to know what your needs are if you’re not willing to reinforce and protect them. If being around your family members is toxic to your well-being, you have to set boundaries for spending time with them.
The word “no” is a complete sentence.
I’d like to share an example with you and I will refer to the previous example regarding the toxic relationship with your mother to illustrate this. If you want to spend time with your mother over the holidays, but spending time with her has yielded negative results in the past, you want to limit his time as much as possible. For instance, you may spend Thanksgiving with her but not Christmas. You might also consider spending two hours with her on whichever day you choose, instead of the whole day. That way, you satisfy her by spending quality time with her but you also protect yourself in the process.
Many of our clients don’t recognize that they have the right to establish boundaries with your family members and do not have to spend time with them if they don’t want to. in fact, it can be very damaging to spend time with someone with him you know it’s going to hurt you.
Last, but certainly not least, make sure that you don’t lock yourself into something that you don’t want to do, if you’re not quite sure of how to address it initially. The last thing that you want to do is feel compelled to follow through on something that you were not fully committed to to begin with. This may not seem like a big problem initially, but chances are, it will be a big problem for you later on. For this reason, I would stir clear of words like “always,” “never,” and “definitely.” Instead, I would say things like “likely,” “hopefully,” or “probably not” as this gives room for renegotiation at a later time if necessary.
The holidays are a difficult time for many people, and one of the main reasons it is so challenging is because of issues surrounding setting boundaries. If you would like support with setting boundaries for the holidays, please contact us today and schedule your free, 15 minute consultation.