March 11, 2019

9 Ways to Set Boundaries with People, Food & Time without Feeling Deprived

Written by Rachel Eddins

Woman looking for ways to set boundaries

There are many ways to set boundaries. Often, the tricky part is enforcing them. The boundaries we choose to set and how we implement them say a lot about who we are.

What Are Boundaries and How Do We Set Them?

While “boundaries” has become trendy as a word, especially in big cities such as Houston, the concept is both crucial and timeless. For starters, let’s establish that setting boundaries is how we accept and express that we are entitled to our own:

  • Thoughts
  • Feelings
  • Social circles
  • Space
  • Opinions
  • Beliefs

But this list is just a small taste. Such boundaries are important when it comes to our mental and physical health. However, especially in the age of social media, it’s way easier said than done. Even those closest to us may perceive your boundaries as a personal attack.

In addition, you may find yourself questioning such boundaries. Staking claim to your needs can, at first, create confusion. As you settle on ways to set boundaries and your limits are set and enforced, your life will change. This might feel odd and even give you a sense of being deprived or alone. What was once jam-packed and overwhelming feels empty during the early transition.
Use these ways to set boundaries to get what you need from life.

9 Ways to Set Boundaries with People, Food & Time without Feeling Deprived

1. Learn Patience

The key words above are “early transition.” Boundary-setting is a fluid process. Practicing patience is a key component for success. This patience also comes in handy when dealing with anyone who sees a boundary as more of a challenge to be conquered.

2. Identify Your Needs and Limits

Things are about to change for you. Setting boundaries with things like people, food, and time is a big step. The initial reactions — including your own — may be daunting. This is when you need an acute awareness of your needs and limits. Knowing this is how you can stay firm in the face of challenges and guilt.

3. Learn How to Be Assertive Without Aggression

In the age of memes and trolls, aggression appears to be the norm. But it’s rarely productive. Being assertive, however, is sustainable.

4. Practice on Social Media

If you’re unsure what it feels like to have your boundaries crossed, log in to your Twitter account and have a good look around. Social media is often a minefield and the ideal place to hone your skills.

5. Avoid Black and White Thinking

Not everyone who crosses a boundary is an enemy. Even those you love may endure a learning curve. Be patient before formulating an assessment.

6. Stay Consistent

A powerful way to establish respect is consistency. Plant your flag and stay the course.

7. Be Open to Outside Input From Trusted Allies

Understand that situations, perspectives, and beliefs change and evolve. Stay tuned for new input — especially from your trusted allies. 

8. Remind Yourself That You Are Worth It

It’s normal to feel deprived, confused, disrespected, and frustrated at times. The result is worth the work because you are worth the work.

9. Be Willing to Step Away (or Delete and Block)

Boundaries can serve as a litmus test or truth serum. Stand up for yourself and watch to see who stands up with you. However, not everyone is won over or changes because we ask them to. Step away if you must. Delete and block is sometimes the only self-loving option.

Boundaries Are Strongest When You Have Help

The goal here is not you vs. the world. Boundaries are designed to help you find peace within the world and you don’t have to go it alone! Learning new ways to set boundaries is best accomplished with the help of a skilled guide. Work with a therapist is where clarity and boundaries are born. Eddins Counseling Group has qualified therapists that can teach you ways to assert boundaries with people, food, and your time. Call us at 832-559-2622 or book an appointment online.

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