Sometimes in life, we put others before ourselves, and that’s a good thing. However, it’s not a healthy thing if we put others before ourselves all the time. Sometimes it is the right thing to say “no.” Many people struggle to set boundaries and put themselves and their mental health first. There are many reasons people do this such as pleasing others, not offending others, or fear of retaliation or negative responses.
It can be easy to fall into being compliant and agreeable and forget to stand up for and take care of ourselves. Maybe you forgot how to say “no,” or it feels uncomfortable. Maybe helping and sacrificing for others has become a part of who you are. It is common to think that others will love us if we are agreeable and sacrificial. But one should not need to sacrifice their own physical or mental health to be loved.
What happens when we don’t have healthy boundaries? Our lives can become consumed by other people’s issues. It can put us in uncomfortable situations. It often leads to us being taken advantage of. So, while it is good to connect with and care for others, it is also important to set boundaries with people and in situations where we are experiencing unhealthy levels of discomfort.
There are a few different types of boundaries; the five basic boundaries you need are emotional, mental, physical, material, and time/energy. Through discussion, role-playing, and other exercises you can begin to develop skills for setting healthy boundaries in your life. This simple concept can relieve immense stress from one’s life, build confidence, and improve mental and physical health.