How to Be a Boundary Boss
Boundaries are healthy limitations we set for ourselves. Boundaries make us feel safe and calm and can even help to boost our confidence level. Setting healthy boundaries is a crucial life skill to have. There were countless times in my life when I was invited to an event I knew I didn’t want to go to, and for some reason, I said I would go; only for me to muster up some lame excuse on the night before on why I “can’t” make it. I am glad to say I am a retired-people pleaser, but maybe you can relate; perhaps you will understand the stress I felt afterward, thinking they hated me for canceling. I hate to sound cynical, but people think about you much less than you think.
To be a boundary boss doesn’t mean you have to be rude or mean or careless about others’ feelings. No, not at all. To be a boundary boss, in my opinion, means you care about others a lot… other people’s time, effort, and lives. Think about it this way; if I didn’t care about said event hostess, I would continue to be flakey, cancel plans last minute, or even be a no-show. Do I ever drop the ball sometimes? Of course, I do; I am human. But, sometimes things do happen, and we have to deal with them. I am happy to say that I am a boundary boss 90% of the time, and the other 10%, you can blame it on accidents, emergencies, dilemmas, and Aunt Flow (shrugs am I, right ladies?). So, if you’re ready to be a boundary boss, continue reading.
Get to Know Yourself
A boundary boss exudes self-assurance. You should know yourself more than any other person. Get to know your likes and dislikes, what genre of music you like, your favorite foods, and which ones you detest. Why does this matter? The beauty of knowing yourself is that you are in control of whether or not you wish to step out of your comfort zone. For example, I keep a period tracker on my phone and check it periodically.
If I plan a trip, reply to an invite, or schedule an interview, I first look at my period tracker. I know myself pretty well that I plan everything around my menstrual cycle. This makes sense, I promise; think about it, a week before my period, I start acting moody, then my period comes, and I get that “ah-ha!” (that’s why I was acting so cooky) moment, then the next week, I am just trying to recover from what I went through. Then I only get ONE good week or a couple of days when I say, “hm, I feel cute today.”. So, do yourself a favor and get to know yourself.
Stop Telling Your Business
To have healthy boundaries does not only mean with your body and time, but it can also mean emotionally. I learned this the hard way, but not everyone has your best interest at heart. Every boundary boss has a good group of friends or a trusted family member in their corner. These people can be the ones you go to for moral support, ask for advice or opinions, or simply for comfort during a tough time in your life. A couple of ways to find out if you can trust someone with your personal information are:
- Have you known them long enough? You should be careful not to give personal information to people you have never met (i.e., online) or a stranger. This applies to everyone, especially romantic interests (when we are at our most vulnerable emotionally). I learned recently that “no” can be a complete sentence. You don’t have to explain every time you say no. You can state your boundaries crystal clear.
- Does this person tell you the truth? People who tell you the truth because they believe it’s in your best interest are the type of people you need in your core group of relationships. To test this theory with one of your friends before the next time you two hang out, text her a picture of the outfit you plan on wearing and make sure the outfit looks terrible on you; ask her what she thinks of your outfit. If she says, “It looks great!” you know one of two things a. she is either lying to you to not hurt your feelings, or b. she is lying to you to make herself look good. You then have to determine what kind of friend she is. Neither the too-nice friend nor the egotistical friend is good to have, so remember to not go to either friend if you want an honest opinion on a situation.
Listen to Your Gut
You know that feeling you get when you don’t feel comfortable doing something? When you get that gut-wrenching feeling. Yes, listen to that feeling; it is trying to tell you something. You can avoid unwanted interactions by setting up firm boundaries. For example, if someone you are messaging with on Letgo tries to get your information or give out theirs to you to connect outside the app. You can set a boundary by containing all communication to remain within the app. Listening to your gut or instincts can save you time, money, or even your life.
A few more examples of getting yourself out of entanglement by setting up some boundaries:
- Don’t give out personal contact information such as your address, phone number, or email to anyone you don’t want to have it.
- Don’t give people your time unless you feel like the relationship is worth the investment.
- Don’t post photos of your kids on public social media accounts; this is a personal choice, and I choose to unsubscribe to doing this.
- You don’t have to accept everyone who sends you a friend request online or follow everyone back. If you feel bad after viewing someone’s account, you can choose not to view their posts and stories: point, blank, period. For example, after a challenging time in my life, I didn’t want to follow certain accounts that reminded me of my situation, so I decided to unfollow them so that I won’t see their posts.
- Boundaries by Henry Cloud
- The Life Changing Magic of Not Giving a F**k by Sarah Knight
- Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes
Ta-Ta for now…
I hope you enjoyed reading; if you did, feel free to like this post or leave a comment, I would love to hear from you. If you haven’t already, subscribe to my blog so you can get notified whenever I post. You can also find me on Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, and Twitter, all under the same handle @amandamadewith. Until next time!
-With love, Amanda