Setting limits is necessary for self-care and for maintaining healthy interpersonal relationships. You may have a boss that you just can’t say “no” to or a partner that you are a little scared of because they get angry when you say something other than what they think. You may have recently divorced and your ex is overstepping the proper lines of communication.

One of your friends may be constantly seeking advice and venting their feelings on you at inappropriate times. How do you deal with these issues and set and enforce limits? The key to doing this effectively lies in assertiveness. There are several steps to effectively establishing imaginary lines in social situations so that you can protect yourself. We’ll tell you then.

Consider the situation and the goal you want to achieve

In what situation do you need to set limits? Is a rebellious ex-spouse determined to walk all over you? A domineering boss ? Situations should be handled differently depending on the context in which you find yourself. It is also important to determine exactly what you want to achieve in the situation. 

If your ex is picking on you, for example, you may want the unnecessary communication to end. If your boss manipulates you into doing tasks that you should not do or have time to do, you may want this activity to stop.

Find out what you want to say ahead of time

Especially if you are the type of person who has trouble expressing what you want, it is important to establish exactly what you want to say ahead of time. Write it down and practice saying it ahead of time if necessary. This will help ensure confidence when it comes time to hand it over to the overdone party.

Use clear and simple language firmly

If you speak badly to a person, they will not listen to you nor will they understand what you want to convey to them. It is important to be direct and convey your point of view in the simplest way possible. For the ex, you could say something like, “Don’t text me anymore. If you need to contact me, an email is fine.”

If your boss asks you to work overtime, you can just say, “No, that doesn’t work for me.” In saying this, be firm. Don’t let hesitation or lack of confidence show in what you are saying. Imagine disciplining a child. If you don’t trust what you are telling them, they are not likely to take you seriously and will try to walk all over you.

At the same time, if you yell at a child, they will definitely not hear what you are saying and can express negative behavior even more. He handles adults, regardless of the circumstances, in a similar way.

Don’t acknowledge disrespect

If the offending party treats you negatively , such as swearing, yelling, or threatening you, don’t acknowledge it or allow it to get under your skin. They are just frustrated because they are not used to NOT getting their way. Stand firm and don’t let them give up your position.

Repeat, repeat, repeat

Repeat this action as many times as necessary. In the boss’s example, if the need to manipulate you into working longer or having longer hours persists, simply make the same “no” statement each time. Eventually they will grasp the clue and understand its solid limits. You will be seen as an individual who defends himself, and they will not take advantage of you anymore. Your security will be what will help you to put those limits so necessary before people who do not deserve your attention .

Cut ties if necessary and possible

But if, despite all this, you realize that some people have a too toxic relationship with you, the appropriate thing is that if you can, cut the relationship completely. There are people who do not have to be in your life and less if they do not contribute anything to you. In this sense, if there are people who, although you set limits, do not respect you … it is better that you gradually remove them from your life.

Setting limits is not an easy thing to do. Being assertive effectively is also very difficult at times. Boundary setting is tricky, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll see how easier and less stressful your relationships can be . It’s a really wonderful skill to have on your tool belt and to be able to use it when needed.

Elle Mcdonald

I am Elle Mcdonald Specializations in Psychology . Graduated in psychology from the University of Tennessee in 2000. Diploma of Advanced Studies in the Department of Personality, Evaluation and psychological treatments with excellent results.

First Level of Master in Clinical Psychology at the Center for Behavioral Therapists (recognized with a scientific-professional nature by the College of Psychologists)

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