Saying no does not make you a bad person. It is something you have to do, if needed, for your wellbeing. It is impossible to meet everyone’s expectations and spread yourself thin doing all the things you have committed to. If you want to avoid needless pressure and stress, you have to firmly say no to things you cannot do without sacrificing the time you need to focus on the more important ones. Setting clear boundaries protects your emotional, mental, and physical health. It is necessary in building positive relationships to people around you and in nurturing your self-worth.
Know and accept your limits
You have to know and accept your boundaries. Understand the limits of what you allow to happen in your life. Everything you accomplish depends on your ability to focus on the things that are important in pursuing your personal goals. You cannot let anyone use your compassion, kindness, and willingness to help manipulate you to abandoning your own goals. You have to protect your own dreams and the time you need to work on them. And you have to stay true to your own beliefs.
Emotional boundaries. Healthy relationships uplift and strengthen you. On the flipside, unhealthy attachments can make you emotionally vulnerable. Behaviors and words that chip away your self-esteem should not be acceptable. The longer you stay in relationships that do you no good, the longer it robs you of opportunities to grow.
Mental or psychological boundaries. Your beliefs, choices, and decisions are your own. Weak boundaries, however, can inadvertently allow others to influence your thoughts. Finding ways to set boundaries empowers you to gain clarity of your personal belief systems and try to live up to them in your own way.
Physical boundaries. The sense of privacy and personal space may vary from person to person. But they form part of the physical boundaries many choose to protect. Setting clear physical boundaries can help establish limits as to how much physical distance, level of closeness, and infringement on your privacy you are willing to tolerate.
Be nice but stand your ground. Your personal boundaries and feelings matter as much as others’. Use assertiveness and directness to send your message. Just make sure to do it in a nice way. Be clear about the message you wish to send instead of letting others guess or figure it out for themselves. While many people may be more discerning than others, being direct minimizes the chance of misinterpretations and misunderstandings.
Honor your feelings. Pay attention to your feelings, especially when it involves anger and discomfort. Anger caused by resentments or frustrations may suggest that you are pushing beyond your limits to meet others’ expectations. It would help to keep in mind that something that you would willingly or happily do for others would not trigger ill feelings or negative emotions from you.