Do you feel like the people in your life are overdoing themselves? Do you feel pushed to the limit but do not want to speak for fear of appearing insensitive? Is the thought of enforcing limits causing stress and anxiety?
When it comes to interpersonal relationships, people tend to forget that some actions are forbidden. Limits they are vital to ensure proper socialization, but the question is how to enforce them in a healthy way?
What are the limits? And how do stress and anxiety affect?
TO Perimeter it is a boundary between you and another person. It is the demarcation line between where your rights end and the other person’s rights begin, and vice versa. The purpose of setting a limit is to protect you and your needs.
According to the therapist Hanna stensbyBoundaries are about being clear about your values and setting boundaries around people and activities in your life that don’t bring you joy.
Types of limits:
Here are some categories of limits that you should know:
- Physical: you have the right to your space, however wide it may be, like everyone else.
- Emotional: you have a right to your feelings, just like everyone else.
- Intellectual: you have the right to your thoughts and opinions, just like everyone else.
- Sexual: you have a right to your body, just like everyone else.
- Financial: you have the right to your financial freedom, just like everyone else.
- Social: you have a right to your friends, just like everyone else.
- Spiritual: You are entitled to your spiritual beliefs, just like everyone else.
Often people feel entitled to certain opinions that could cross these boundaries. For example, your friend might think it’s fair to split the bill evenly, but you used less than half the bill. Or maybe your partner might think it’s okay to kiss you at any time without asking for your permission.
Not understanding the needs of the person you are interacting with can lead to dangerous situations: you could end up being hurt, feeling violated, you could feel guilty, and act in ways you are not comfortable with, and so on. Not only does this hurt you and put you in uncomfortable or toxic situations, it can destroy trust in a relationship and create an imbalance of power.
Boundaries are vital to your well-being, as well as to the well-being of your social interactions. The problem is that many people feel guilty, stressed, and anxious when they try to enforce them. But why is that?
Why does enforcing limits create stress and anxiety?
Dr. Ramani Durvasula, a clinical psychologist, believes that the main obstacle people face when setting limits is guilt. People tend to feel guilty for drawing a line and are afraid of potentially hurting someone else’s feelings by doing so. The fear of being rejected or rejected is also something that prevents people from discussing what their limits are.
Studies They have found that guilt leads to stress and anxiety. Whenever people try to set limits, they feel like they were mean to someone else. By believing that you are a bad person, you start to think that he violated your moral and ethical framework, so you feel ashamed and worthy of guilt. This has been linked with the need to repent of their actions, which induces self-deprecating behaviors, usually stress and anxiety.
Stress and anxiety are not only harmful because of their immediate negative effects, but also because they have a lasting impact on your health.
What about cortisol?
Overexposure of the body to cortisol and other stress hormones can lead to the following:
- Heart problems
- Low energy
Therefore, setting limits can be quite a scary process. If you try to do this, you may run into a wall of guilt. If you do not establish them, you may have problems in your relationship and your rights will be violated. So how can you effectively navigate the sea of obstacles that come with setting limits?
3 ways to enforce limits without stress or anxiety
Now that you know the importance of drawing the line, let’s see how.
1. Identify and remember why you set limits in the first place
It is expected to be afraid of alienating the people in our lives. That doesn’t mean you should let them trample you.
To properly enforce limits, you must first understand why do you put them first. If your limits are absurd and hurt others, they are likely not based on legitimate values and not protecting your rights, but rather restricting the freedoms of others.
The first step in finding out what your core values are is self reflection. What are you comfortable with? What makes you feel uncomfortable? And what triggers your fear, anger, or anxiety? These and more are vital questions when trying to understand your limitations.
It is also important to remember that limits can differ from person to person. You will probably have more flexible limits when it comes to your relationship with immediate family members than with friends or associates. Some friends will make you feel more comfortable than others, so they require fewer limits. You have to understand yourself and how you see and interact with others to have a real understanding of your needs and values.
If you have true values as the basis for the limits, you will feel it. They will be based on self-esteem, on trying to strengthen the bond in the relationship or on compassionate and meaningful reasons. Whenever you feel guilty about setting limits, instead of feeling overwhelmed by stress and anxiety, try to reconnect with that core value that shapes your limits.
Dr. Julie Hanks He suggests using reminders of why your limits exist when you feel guilt approaching.
Have mantras like these:
- “It’s okay to have limits.”
- “I have legitimate reasons to set these limits.”
- “Just because I feel guilty doesn’t mean I did something wrong.”
As soon as you remember why the limit exists and how it helps you and others, you will find that the guilt will disappear. So you won’t have to deal with overwhelming stress and anxiety.
2. Let go of what other people will think
Are they going to get mad at me for asking them to be less susceptible? Will they stop being my friends if I ask them to stop making me feel guilty and offer them financial support? The list of questions goes on. And they will never go out of your mind if you don’t try to get rid of them.
By learning to set limits effectively, you must also learn to deal with all kinds of responses from people, whether they are positive or negative. You have to face the inevitable fact that some people will not agree that you want to enforce limitations all of a sudden. And that’s okay. Stop trying to please others at the cost of your well-being. Instead, try to learn that life is too short to hold onto certain people desperately. Whatever you do, you can never please everyone. The only feelings and well-being you have complete control over are your own, so you should always pursue your best interest.
Letting go of people is inevitable in your life. You must learn to accept this rather than being forced to let them go after they cause damage. You can’t change someone else’s behavior if they aren’t willing to change, and you shouldn’t have to.
The people who will not accept the limits you need to set are the ones that you shouldn’t have in your life anyway. Rather than viewing a refusal to respect your needs as if you are doing something wrong, understand that it is just a red flag warning you Cut that toxic person out of your life ASAP.
The sooner you accept that some people are not worth your time, the easier it will be for you to focus on their needs and set the limits you need to set without feeling stressed or anxious.
3. Learn to communicate
When learning to enforce limits, most people make mistakes in setting them in their minds but do not communicate them to others. That can create stress because you have certain expectations that cannot be met. After all, the other person doesn’t know what you need until you tell them.
Don’t expect people to read your mind, be assertive and tell them what you need and why you need it. If you have a clear set of rules in your head that the other person doesn’t know, you will feel frustrated and stressed every time you break those rules. The sooner you tell them, the sooner they can adapt to what you need. It will empower you to feel less stressed or anxious.
Also, you need be compassionate and ask others what your limits are. If you demand, you will feel guilty, but if you ask and learn to give back, others will feel safe around you and will be more open to accept your limits without any rejection.
You can’t expect someone to go out of their way to make you comfortable without also respecting what they need. The limits can also be flexible and can be decided after a conversation with the other person.
Respect is a two-way street, and the more you communicate, the better your relationships will be and the less stress you will face asking about your needs.
Final Thoughts on How to Enforce Boundaries Effectively Without Stress and Anxiety
Limits are a complicated subject. On the one hand, they are the key determinant of a healthy relationship. On the other hand, they are this unknown and terrifying thing. If you are anxious to broach the topic of setting limits, remember that your feelings are valid. It’s hard to set limits that work for everyone effectively.
If the thought of having to set limits stresses you out and makes you feel anxious, remember that there are ways to enforce them in a healthy way. As long as you understand and remember why they exist in the first place, you are one step closer to managing them correctly. Learn to accept that some people will disagree with the limits, and that means they are toxic, and you must let them go and, most importantly, learn to communicate and respect other people’s limits as well.