Are You Setting Healthy Boundaries? Find Out NowBy Homaira Kabir
You’re likely reading this article because you struggle to set boundaries with others. Perhaps it’s with the colleague who is always off-loading their work on you. Or the emotional vampire friend whose constant need for attention leaves you feeling drained. Or a child or partner who expects you to do everything for them.
And you’re beginning to resent this.
I get your pain. I’ve been there and coached hundreds of people who are tired of drifting through life because they can’t set the boundaries they know they need to without feeling guilty.
But just as often, I’ve coached people who are so single-minded about what they want that their boundaries are cast in stone. They’re oblivious to other people’s needs, and people have stopped asking them for help.
That’s certainly not where you want to be, either.
So how do you find the right balance? I’ve found that thinking of boundaries as a 2x2 quadrant helps, where Self and Others are the two columns and Open and Closed are the two rows. Where are you?
Quadrant 1: Open with Self
This is you if you struggle to discipline yourself. You finish the entire bag of chips or give in to the third cookie. You scroll your social-media feeds even though you know you should be sleeping or focusing on your work. You’re driven by your emotions, which is why you probably don’t feel as emotionally stable as you’d like.
What you can do: Keep temptations to a minimum. Don’t shop on an empty stomach and close all your social-media tabs when you’re working. Create reminders to help you stay disciplined—set up an alert every hour to remind you to get up and move; change your screensaver or laptop password to “Eat Well” or “Be Focused”.
Quadrant 2: Open with Others
This is where most of us struggle. After all, we’re a social species and we often fear coming across as unhelpful or inconsiderate. But if we’re