“NO” is a complete sentence and it’s one that requires no explanation.
I don’t need convincing and please don’t ask me anymore questions after I said what I said.
Nowadays, when my boundaries are ignored or pushed, I immediately go into defense mode and all respect is off the table.
It has honestly taken me a very long time to get here to this moment in time of establishing healthy boundaries, and I love this for me. When you grow up as the “shy” and “quiet” one, people love to take advantage of that. And me being naïve and gullible, I definitely became a people-pleaser. I always avoided confrontation by agreeing to do things I didn’t want to do which got me into a lot of hot water back in the day.
Saying yes or maybe when I really wanted to say no. And whenever I did muster up the strength to say no, I would always add LOL to keep things light-hearted and nice. I wanted to protect other peoples feelings while completely regarding mine. I responded to every text, every phone call, every DM, email, tweet, postage letter, etc. Pouring from an empty glass got exhausting real fast.
So, what are personal boundaries?
“Personal boundaries are the mental, emotional, and physical walls we create to protect ourselves from being used, manipulated, or violated by others. These limits help us to clearly distinguish who we are and what we need, from other people and their needs. Creating and maintaining personal boundaries is a key way to cultivate physical, emotional, and psychological well-being.” – Loner Wolf.
There are several reasons why it’s important to have strong boundaries. Boundaries create safety (emotionally and physically) from things that hurt us or make us uncomfortable. Having boundaries is also a form of self-care. You’ll learn to make your own decisions, put yourself first, and ask for what you need without needing to please others.
Setting boundaries with family and friends
I used to feel so guilty for wanting alone time and not wanting to socialize and go out every weekend. I’ve become very comfortable with myself over the years and I know how to be alone without feeling lonely. I’ve realized that when I say I’m not doing anything or that I don’t have any plans, people will take that information and run off with it. I’ve noticed this a lot with certain family members and friends. They’ll start wanting me to do this, do that, go here, go there..
Honey, my free time is not an indication of my availability.
Just because you can reach me 24/7 doesn’t mean you should.
I love my family and friends dearly, but my block and mute button don’t discriminate. I didn’t used to have any boundaries when it came to family, and that made me mean and spiteful towards certain ones. Of course they would always be oblivious as to why I felt that way and it’s because I never spoke up and said what was bothering me or told them that I really didn’t want to be there.
That’s why it’s also important for me to have people in my life that gives me space, ones that know I’m not “the club/party-hopping friend”, and ones that understands I still want to be invited but that I might not go and they won’t get upset.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m still very much a fun-loving, outgoing, loyal, sweet person and I will do almost anything for the ones I love, but sometimes I gotta let the phone ring, and leave a few texts unanswered for my own sanity and b-o-u-n-d-a-r-i-e-s.
Boundaries with family and friends look like: not engaging in the same toxic drama or gossip, leaving when you’re ready to go, declining an invitation, keeping certain opinions to yourself that might hurt your loved ones feelings, and not accepting unsolicited advice from someone who’s life is a hot mess too.
Setting boundaries in romantic relationships and dating.
Relationships are something I do not have a ton of experience in so this section will be kind of short. Boundaries in relationships and dating for me looks like: knowing my partners love language so I’m not smothering them with gifts when they actually value quality time more. Not putting up with any type of disrespect or abuse, not agreeing to date/go out with someone I’m really not interested in, and not settling for less than I deserve.
Boundaries also look like not doing something sexually that I’m not comfortable with doing. As a victim of sexual assault as a child, I definitely do not compromise when you have me fucked up as a grown ass woman (excuse my French). I don’t care if you are 6″4, 300 pounds- I will fight you and that’s that.
Setting boundaries on/with social media.
Constantly posting on social media is an energy and spirit drainer that I can’t quite describe. Especially when it comes to posting pictures because all you’re thinking about is how many likes and trying to respond to all the comments. That’s why I rarely post pictures plus my body dysmorphia loves to kick in if I stare at my picture too long before posting it.
If you follow me on Instagram, you should know the party is my stories and highlights. Even on my stories, I choose not to post my face or body all the time cause I know I’ll get overwhelmed with the DMs and I’d rather people focus on the other things that I post instead of just my looks.
And I don’t know who needs to hear this but, I am not obligated to respond to anyone on social media. Don’t keep messaging me after I stopped responding and don’t blow me up for a response. And just because you see me online and posting after I said ‘good night’ doesn’t mean I’m now in the mood for the boring “you up?” conversations. Sometimes I just want to scroll and kee-kee on TikTok in peace!
Social media boundaries also look like: taking social media breaks, knowing when to log off, not arguing with people on the innanet, unfollowing and blocking people who are annoying or add no value, creating a nonjudgmental Close Friends on IG, putting your page on private, not engaging in cyber bullying, deleting unused apps and decluttering your digital space.
Setting boundaries at work.
Boundaries at work to me looks like: addressing my issues as soon as they arise, not taking on more work than I can handle, asking for help, not gossiping, not oversharing my business, taking personal time off- mental health days are important, and not bringing home my work-related stress.
Once I clock out for the day, in my mind, I am no longer an employee.
*cues City Girls*: “I don’t work jobs, b—- I am a job!”
And I make sure to report anything that doesn’t feel right or any incident that may jeopardize my job. For example, if Mr. Bob Earl keeps standing a little too close to you at the water foundation after you done told him to back his nasty ass up, don’t be afraid to
give him two chops to the throat report him to HR immediately.
Luckily, I’ve never had an incident of sexual harassment on the job but I know I would not stand for it and neither should you. Never stay with a company you feel unsafe at. If a company is not doing whatever it takes to protect their employees, addressing your concerns, helping you grow, or not treating you with the utmost respect-leave and never look back.
The real question of the day is: how do you set boundaries with management without getting fired? Cause I really need to know. I understand that when we are hired to do a job, we are agreeing to do what’s written in the contract or job description, but what happens when enough is enough?
Setting boundaries with thyself.
Last but not least, I feel like we don’t talk about the boundaries we need to set with ourselves nearly as much as we should. I’m still learning what these boundaries are for myself.
Setting boundaries with thyself looks like: stopping your negative self talk mid-sentence and replacing it with positivity, affirmations/speaking life into yourself, not self sabotaging, and not repressing your emotions.
One boundary that I’m learning to set with myself is not procrastinating on important tasks. I really be out here getting on my own nerves and stressing myself out cause I waited till the last minute.
And that’s all I got for now.