It’s not easy to set boundaries when others are accustomed to you not having any. Whether we like to admit it or not, people take advantage of other people. Boundaries are always important but when we’ve been betrayed, redefining boundaries so we can heal from betrayal and shattered trust is more important than ever.
When others take advantage of our kindness, it leads to resentment and lowered self-esteem.
The solution is to set boundaries. Your boundaries can be anything you choose.
A few examples include:
- Don’t loan money or your favorite books to anyone.
- You no longer allow people to yell at you.
- Choose not to spend time with people that are drunk.
You can have boundaries regarding your own behavior too, such as:
- Don’t watch any shows or movies that promote violence or fear.
- Give yourself 24 hours to think about an expensive purchase before making it.
- You turn off the TV by 10pm.
Set some boundaries of your choosing and enjoy these advantages:
- You’ll have less stress in your life. When you have boundaries, others stop taking advantage of your good nature. When they understand there are limits, they tend to respect them. A good set of boundaries reduces the amount of stress you experience in your life.
- You’ll receive more respect. We all know the person that always says yes to additional chores, tasks, errands and responsibilities. Because they struggle with saying no, people pleasing or letting someone down, they go to exhaustive efforts…at their own expense. They’re pushed past their limits, yet neglect to say or do anything to change. They often aren’t respected either.
When you respect yourself and your time by setting boundaries, others will respect you, too.
- You’ll be less annoyed with others. When fewer people are making demands of your time, you won’t be so annoyed with them. When you have less stress and more respect, you’ll also be less annoyed.
- You get to practice being assertive. Setting boundaries is a way to be assertive. The people that need to set boundaries are often the people who need the most practice being assertive.
- You develop more respect for the boundaries of others. You become more aware of the boundaries of others when you set boundaries. You’re more respectful when you receive respect.
- You learn how to say “no” to others. Saying “no” is a valuable skill. It’s not easy to deny the requests of others, but it’s important. You can’t accommodate everyone at every moment. There are times that a refusal is the only reasonable response.
- You’ll have more free time. Fewer people making demands on your time means having more time available to spend in the way you want to. What would you do with more time?
- Your life improves overall. If you’re less stressed, more respected, less annoyed, more assertive, and have more free time, your life is bound to be better overall. It’s amazing what a few boundaries can do.
- More self-respect and self-esteem. When you stick up for yourself and fewer people are taking advantage of you, you’ll experience more self-respect and self-esteem. It’s easier to like yourself when you treat yourself well.
You have the right to determine what you will and will not accept in your life. It’s your time, life, and attention. You can allocate them any way you choose. When you’re healing from betrayal, you choose what works and what no longer works for you based on a new version of you that you’re designing and creating.
Start by making a list of boundaries that you’re like to apply to your life and the people around you. Expect resistance at first but be firm. The important people in your life will eventually understand that the happier you are, the better it is for everyone.
Founder and CEO, The PBT (Post Betrayal Transformation) Institute