There is a lot of self discovery and awareness that comes with setting healthy boundaries in life. Whether it be in a work setting, a relationship, friendship or any other setting, boundaries are extremely important and here are a few things I have learned along the way on how to assertively set them.

1.Know Who You Are.

To me, setting boundaries is about self-respect and self-esteem. Clearly defining and knowing your values, beliefs and morals enables you to quickly spot red flags when your boundaries are about to be crossed. Knowing how you want to be treated is necessary in order for you to set healthy boundaries.

2. Define Your Boundaries.

It is important to know what you will or will not accept. If it helps, write down a list of your personal boundaries and beliefs. This helps you to prioritize your feelings and thoughts and also helps you in self-care. For me, respect is very crucial in my interaction with people. Whatever I do, I always try to maintain a certain level of respect whether we agree on an opinion or not. Unfortunately, sometimes this is not the case with other individuals.

3. Communicate

I think it is important to speak up when you feel like your boundaries have been crossed. Sometimes people unintentionally say and do things they do not mean, but when dealing with toxic or manipulative people, their intentions are never good, so it is essential to mention how you feel when they have crossed the line. For example, I believe that during arguments, the parties involved should stick to the facts, however, some individuals hit below the belt and start saying very hurtful and unnecessary things just to score points. This is when things turn ugly, and some words can never be reversed. You need to stand up for yourself and make it very clear that you will not accept or tolerate any disrespect.

4. Be Assertive.

So, this is where I had the most challenging experience. I thought I was a person with very strong boundaries, until one day, I found myself being treated like a doormat. I discovered that, no matter how strong your boundaries are, toxic people will identify your weaknesses and use them against you. It is so mentally draining when you are constantly being walked over and disrespected. If you let a person cross your boundaries once without consequences, they take full advantage repeatedly. Deciding to set boundaries in my life was a bit of a daunting task because I was afraid to lose certain people but, I realized that I am doing myself a disservice by accepting being pushed around. This is why I also suggest asserting your position and the way you want to be treated at the beginning. Whether it is a relationship, friendship or at work, once a toxic person is comfortable with disrespecting you, hauzomugona after a while. One day I decided enough is enough! It was scary, but I asserted my position and I said to myself IT IS OK TO SAY NO and I HAVE A RIGHT TO MY OWN FEELINGS. You have to follow through with consequences when your boundaries are crossed. For example, you can choose to walk away if a situation is getting volatile or if a conversation starts getting disrespectful,you are allowed to not engage.

5. Start Today.

Start with the small changes. Know that you are worthy of receiving love, respect and reciprocity. I have learned that it is not my jobs to fix others and I AM ENOUGH. I have started resetting strong boundaries and I can tell you, it does work. I feel much stronger and it has improved my self-esteem. This post has been very freeing for me to write and thank you for reading.