Five steps to set bet­ter bound­aries

The Irish Times Magazine - - BOOKS -

bound­aries = lit­tle self- es­teem

Hav­ing a strong set of per­sonal and pro­fes­sional bound­aries gives you the power to strengthen your self- es­teem. Your bound­aries are based on your val­ues. Bound­aries de­fine how much or how lit­tle you re­spect your­self. Bound­aries are your friend.

core val­ues

I don’t like to talk on the phone after 9pm, so when I’m at home I set my phone to “do not dis­turb” from 9pm un­til 9am. This al­lows me to spend time after work with my fam­ily, which is one of my per­sonal val­ues. Once you are clear on what mat­ters most to you by un­der­stand­ing your per­sonal val­ues, you can then start set­ting your bound­aries. Just make sure that you com­mu­ni­cate this to other peo­ple! This is key. Don’t fo­cus on set­ting your bound­aries around other peo­ple in your life; your bound­aries are about you.

change oth­ers, but you can change you

We can­not change other peo­ple. Much as we would like to think we can, we are also not re­spon­si­ble for what they say, the choices they make or their re­ac­tions to life events or things we’ve said. Since you can’t change other peo­ple, learn how to change how you deal with them to re­duce your stress.

else pushes your

Know­ing what your bound­aries are al­lows you to plan how to man­age your­self when oth­ers try and push yours ( and they will, be­cause that’s life. The best way to fig­ure out how to man­age your­self when peo­ple cross or push your bound­aries is to spend some time ask­ing your­self how you will re­spond. Don’t leave this part to chance, as it will re­sult in you re­act­ing rather than re­spond­ing and maybe even com­pro­mis­ing your bound­aries.

be­hav­iour, not just your words, speak for you

It is hugely im­por­tant to com­mu­ni­cate your bound­aries clearly to peo­ple and then let your be­hav­iour around those bound­aries do the talk­ing. So if any­one calls me after 9pm and I an­swer the phone, I am clearly say­ing “It’s okay to call me after 9” when it is not! By not stick­ing to my bound­ary through my be­hav­iour, I am say­ing one thing and do­ing an­other. Peo­ple will re­spond to your be­hav­iour, not just your words.

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