“Living a connected life ultimately is about setting boundaries, spending less time and energy hustling and winning over people who don’t matter, and seeing the value of working on cultivating connection with family and close friends.”
– Brene Brown
Many of us, do not realize that, even though we love our families and hang out with them, they can still cross a line with us, which indirectly hurts us. We grow up thinking, that our family is a perfect one, where nobody fights. Maybe it is true for some of us, but on the other hand, there are people in our family who are the closest to us, who end up draining our energy and hurting us!
And if this happens in your family often, the first thing you need to realize is that even though that person is family, they have no right to abuse your personal space and play with your emotions. They cannot control you. Only you can do that. And I speak from my own experience. Always wanting to please my family members, I somehow found myself trying to help them, even if I was exhausted or not in a mentally stable state. I could not give in to my relative’s needs when I was not paying attention to my own. I was always thinking about their emotions and how they will feel, without thinking about my own!
It is very important to set boundaries with your family members. You need to tell them politely, what you will accept and what you will not accept. And if you are confused on how to do so in a polite manner, read down below!
1. Set Your Priorties Straight
Once you have set out what are your top priorities and what you want to spend more of your time on, you will automatically figure out whether you want to spend your precious time on others’ work!
2. Be Firm With Your Decision
If someone were to ask you for a favor, or if someone keeps on pressuring you, you need to answer in a polite, yet stern manner. You must seem confident in your decision, so that the person in front, will realize that you are not messing around and you stand by it! This way they will not try and persuade you into doing something.
3. Think It Through
When someone asks you to take your time off for something, think about it for a second. There have been multiple times, when I said ‘yes’, without really understanding what I said ‘yes’ too. And most of the time, I regretted agreeing with them. Hence why it is very important, to think it through. Ask yourself, “Will it be a good opportunity for me?”, “Will It Be Worth My Time?”.
4. You Do Not Have To People-Please
Again, going back to what I was saying before, regardless if that person is your family member, and maybe be a bit older than you, you do not have to always say ‘Yes’. You have choices. You are an adult. Offer alternatives to that person, be firm! You do not have to second-guess yourself, because you know what is more important to you!
5. Last Step, Communication!
Be sure to tell the person who keeps on crossing the line, that you are not going to tolerate the behavior if they keep on crossing the line. Be polite, but be firm! If the person is baffled by your new mindset and boundaries, then do not be afraid to limit contact with that person. It does not mean acting rude every time you meet them, but it means that whenever you do meet them, you will be aware of your boundaries and think about your answer.
Establishing such boundaries is indeed very hard, and very uncomfortable to communicate to your family members at first. But it is very much needed, for you to live a peaceful life, where you are not drained out of your energy every time your family gathers.