Do you feel guilty when you even think of setting boundaries? Well, I'm here to tell you that you're not alone!
One of the main reasons we avoid setting boundaries is that we mistakenly think they’re rude and controlling and that we'll get characterized as being mean and selfish. For many of us the problem is being stuck in a people-pleaser mindset, letting other people tell us what's right for us instead of deciding for ourselves.
We have all these negative beliefs because others have reacted poorly to our boundaries in the past. And this is especially present in dysfunctional families where people may feel guilty or unjustified in asking for what they want or need and never getting their needs met. Personally, I didn't have boundaries for a lot of reasons and when I met people who had them, I always thought "Oh my God, what a rude person!".
The relationship with my parents, and their parents was really dysfunctional and it was especially hard for me as a child to look at and to grow up in such environment. I didn't have anyone kind of role-modelling that it's okay to stand up for yourself, that it's okay to say no to things and that it's okay to, not to raise your voice but to speak your truth. And by getting raised by a family that acts a certain way, I just thought that I should be quite all the time and let people use me however they want, because those were the behaviors that I saw for such a long time.
When I moved to Zagreb, for University, I figured that people were acting differently here and I quite liked it. It was a transitioned period of me realizing that having boundaries is not rude at all, that's what should be the bare minimum of common courtesy to yourself.
Setting boundaries means, for once, putting ourselves first. And what it really does is, it protects us from being hurt and taken advantage of. In fact, setting clear boundaries creates healthy relationships and clear expectations as long as we learn how to set them properly and don't feel guilty. Therefore, we have to figure out how to find ways to set boundaries that work for us.
What if the most selfless thing we can do for one another is to respect each others’ boundaries? Tell us what you think!