boundaries are. What are some things about your interactions with others that make you uncomfortable?
Is it foul language? Is it the way a certain person speaks to you? Is it someone asking you for favors constantly, despite knowing that it will put you in a bind to help out? Is it a coworker who puts extra work on you unfairly? Whatever it is, you have to be able to pinpoint the problem before you can address it.
Once you have defined the particular issue, I recommend that you practice setting the boundary. Get in front of a mirror and practice what you will say.
The last thing you want to do is come across as not resolute about what you are saying, or else the person may not take you seriously, which could be infuriating.
You also want to make sure that the message is clear. The person on the receiving end needs to know what behavior is problematic for you and what the consequences are.
An example would be, “When you use such foul language around me, it makes me uncomfortable. I am asking that you refrain from using that language around me. If you are unable to do so, it will interfere with our ability to hang out regularly”.
Once the boundary is set, it is important that you follow through with the consequence that you provided. If you don’t, that person will not take you seriously for this or future boundaries you try to set.
Setting boundaries can be tough but practice is key. Once you get in the habit of doing this, it becomes easier and it improves relationships because you no longer have that unspoken issue between you and the other person. What boundaries do you plan to work on?
Dr. Nicole Washington is a board-certified psychiatrist, speaker, author and host of The C-Suite Confidant, a biweekly podcast covering topics pertinent to mental wellness for the high performer. She enjoys discussing and providing education on all things mental wellness in hopes of decreasing the stigma associated with mental health issues.