If you don’t have healthy boundaries, what can you do to create healthy boundaries with yourself and with other people?
- Accept the reality that you do not exist to please other people. You, me, and everyone exists to be who God wants us to be.
- Consider the idea that people pleasing isn’t sincere. You are saying and doing what other people want you to, but you are not being true to who you are.
- Relationships can be challenging at times and conflict is natural. It will be helpful for you to work on changing your thoughts about conflict. Instead of thinking “conflict is bad and I want to avoid it”, try thinking “conflict is a natural part of relationships and I can learn how to manage conflict with people in my life”.
- Understand the difference between actual guilt and false guilt. Actual guilt is when we have violated a Biblical or legal principle. False guilt is what we feel when someone is not pleased with our choices (even though we haven’t done anything wrong) and we don’t like that feeling of someone being upset with us, so we feel guilty.
- Weak boundaries mean that at times, we are enabling other people to sin or to be irresponsible. Sometimes what you call helping is actually enabling.
- This is a book that I use with many of my clients. If you want to learn how to have healthy boundaries, this is a great place to start – Boundaries
- Ask God to show you where you need to start saying no. Ask him to help you get past feeling guilty for saying no.
- The more you say no, the less guilty you will feel. But you have to get started.
- You don’t have to give a reason for saying no, but most people who struggle with boundaries have trouble just saying no without reason. Here are some ways you can say no: “I’m sorry I would like to help you, but I have another obligation”, “I already have plans for that day, but I hope you can find someone to help you”, “I don’t think I can, but let me check my schedule and get back to you”, “Thank you for asking me, but I don’t think I can make it”, “That’s a great idea, but unfortunately it won’t work with my schedule”, “I can’t help you today, but maybe another time”
Our counselors help many people learn to create healthy boundaries and we would love to help you.