28 Jan Setting Boundaries in Your Relationships
Use these tips to create kind boundaries in your relationships so you can stop allowing others to control your time and energy.
Why Should I Set Boundaries?
Why? Because not everyone needs 100% access to you 100% of the time. To figure out which relationships should have boundaries as yourself the following questions.
Ask yourself, do I…
- feel comfortable being myself around this person?
- change my behavior to avoid punishment (like the silent treatment, anger, disappointment) from them?
- tiptoe around them because I’m afraid of what they’ll say or do?
- constantly try to get them to approve of me?
- work harder on their problems than my own problems?
Reflect on your answers. You’ll know if you need to make changes.
If you don’t set boundaries, you’ll burnout and end up allowing other people to control YOUR time and energy.
Boundaries can vary by person
Different people can (and should) have a different level of access to your life.
For example, the people in my home know they have 100% access to me. I will drop anything for them.
Our employees know that they have access to my husband and me, even when we’re on vacation. It’s not 100%, we give them clear expectations by saying, “If something can wait, let it wait. If you can handle, then handle it. If not, then call us.”
Tech Tip: Phone Settings
Most phones have a do not disturb setting. You can even set it to not ring, unless the person calling or texting is on your favorites list.
I started doing this from 7pm to 7am. If I look at my phone, I can still see calls or texts, but I don’t receive notifications.
You can also set notifications on apps. If you’re spending too much time on Facebook because you can’t stand to have the little red badge on the app, then change the notifications.
Check social media on your schedule by setting boundaries ahead of time.
Do everything in love
Let’s look at some examples of kind boundaries:
The needy friend
You have a friend who is always calling to tell you their problems. You patiently listen and give godly counsel, but they never take the advice you give. Instead they give reasons why the advice wouldn’t work.
The next time they call…don’t answer the phone. If that feels too harsh, you can answer and say, “I’m busy right now, but I have time to talk on Friday.” and make sure to keep that date.
Make the appointment at least 5 days away. It’s likely that she just wants to vent or monopolize your time. She wants to know you’ll always pick up. When you don’t drop everything, she’ll start calling someone who will.
The discouraging family member
You have an extended family member who is always shooting down your ideas and dreams.
The next time you have a family gathering, you can still talk to them, just don’t share anything about your ideas or your dreams. There’s plenty of other things you can talk about with Aunt Millie.
Save those conversations for people who encourage and lift you up.
Above all, do everything in love
Notice that in both situations, you weren’t imposing a boundary on the other person. The boundary you create is for YOU.
You can choose to be kind and respectful to anyone no matter what. But remember, you can be kind without trusting them or giving them 100% access to your life.
To learn more about friendships and relationships, check out the Thriving Moms Club. In TMC, I share all about cultivating godly friendships: finding the right friends, things to do, qualities you should look for in a friend, and more! See if it’s a good fit for you and get 30 days free!