Boundaries serve to protect our personal and professional lives. Saying “no” is not a sign of weakness, it’s the biggest sign of strength that you can show. Having a lack of boundaries can have a detrimental effect in your mental health and overall wellbeing.
LACK OF BOUNDARIES AND UNDERSTANDING ITS CONSEQUENCES
I would like to start by defining what boundaries are – they are simply invisible lines that help to protect us in the emotional, physical, and psychological aspects of our lives. Without them, you can be manipulated or abused by self-centered people.
The key to having boundaries is to communicate to others what we are willing to accept and not. Setting boundaries and placing limits is key if you want a life of inner peace and freedom.
Most people don’t have boundaries because they don’t want to hurt the other person’s feelings, feel guilty, minimize the concerns of their own needs, “save” the other person…
But the consequences of not setting are countless and the main one is that you might end up losing yourself. Here you have some examples of the negative consequences:
– Feel like we live on edge
– Feel constantly emotionally drained and stressed
– Inefficiency and lack of productivity
– Negatively affect building your own resilience
– Hinder your ability to explore new opportunities
You’re not going to hurt your friend by telling her that you don’t feel like going out for dinner. But you are going to hurt yourself by constantly saying yes to everything.
FEAR OF REJECTION AND LACK OF BOUNDARIES
Often, the fear of rejection and lack of boundaries go hand in hand.
Fear of rejection refers to the fear of being criticized or disapproved by others. It is a natural response that we as human beings have as we like to feel loved and that we belong. It can stem from low self-esteem and self-doubt too. But this can definitely be improved by working on your mindset and shifting your perspective around situations and thoughts.
We might think that by saying “no” to that dinner our friend might reject us and ignore us and will not ask us to go out again. Well, let me tell you something: If they want to, they will. If they want to see you, they will check in with you again.
By setting boundaries it doesn’t mean that you’re selfish and that you don’t love that person. It’s simply a matter of putting yourself first because you can’t pour from an empty cup.
Try to do the exercise of saying “no” next time someone asks you out and you don’t feel like it. You’ll see how they might respect you even more and they will also be even more excited to see you.
HOW CAN LACK OF BOUNDARIES PUT A STRAIN ON RELATIONSHIPS
Usually, the first thing to suffer when we fail to establish boundaries is our relationships.
The first issue is emotional exhaustion: you might find yourself people-pleasing without taking care of your own well-being.
Similarly, there can also be a loss of identity and individuality as everything that you want or desire might be conditioned by what your partner wants or desires.
Codependency is a common issue that affects a lot of couples and it’s basically that the couples excessively rely on one another and they are constantly reaching out to each other – this can lead to obsession.
Also, when you are constantly compromising your own needs and putting the other person before you (when most times that person hasn’t even asked you to neglect yourself) that might lead to resentment and frustration.
Furthermore, without boundaries, there might be difficulty in conflict resolution and expressing yourself. These issues will build up until one day you “explode”. This might lead to feeling trapped in an unhealthy relationship.
In conclusion, we could say that maintaining healthy boundaries is key to personal and professional success. By saying “no” you will not lose the love and acceptance of others but you might lose yourself instead.
If you want to learn how to set boundaries and put yourself first, click on this link to book a free coaching session with me.