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Is it hard telling people “no?” Boundaries can be difficult to set and can be even more difficult to maintain. The topic of boundaries is tossed around in conversations, but what does it really mean to have healthy boundaries? Having healthy boundaries vary depending on the person and situation. Ultimately, boundaries focus on the individual’s needs, time, and priorities, and they are set through communication.  Having healthy boundaries can set a person up for success in various areas of their life.  Learn how to say no and set yourself free. Time management can improve, you can feel more productive, and your relationships can build. However, without boundaries, it can lead to overwhelming outcomes.

People with poor or inconsistent boundaries…

  • Worry that they will let people down
  • Feel guilty when doing self care
  • Avoid speaking up when feelings are hurt
  • Have difficulty making decisions
  • Tell people “yes” even when you don’t want to or to keep the peace
  • Feel burnt out over small tasks

It is important to not only establish boundaries, but to maintain them. This includes checking in with our boundaries regularly, being honest with what we can handle, and advocating and communicating needs. For many people, saying the word “no” can be daunting. Here are some alternatives that maintain a boundary, but can be easier than saying the dreaded “no.”

  • Not at this time
  • I’d like to, but I have a lot on my plate
  • My schedule is full this week, but check in with me again next week
  • Thank you, but I need to take care of myself right now
  • I’m not sure, ask me again later
  • I need time to think about it