Having healthy boundaries means KNOWING and understanding what your limits are. They are centered around what values and beliefs are most important to you. Work in this area of your life will only ENHANCE it and create healthy relationships! Check these out:
1/ Name your limits.... this is all about knowing yourself. What you can tolerate / accept? What makes you uncomfortable / stressed? Knowing these answers can help you to identify what your physical, emotional, mental and spiritual limits are.
2/ Tune into your feelings and practice self-awareness.... Red flags that your boundaries have been breached: resentment and discomfort. Pursue firming your boundaries when resentment and discomfort hit the higher levels - - like on a scale of 1-5, 3 or above need to be addressed. Just because someone else expects something of you does not mean you have to comply. Your values are more important.
3/ Be direct and assertive in a respectful way... this especially applies to people that have different communication styles, views, personalities and general approach to life than you. They will need you to be direct so, "USE your WORDS" :) It is also IMPORTANT to not expect others to be able to "read your mind" - they don't necessarily know what hurts you. Assertively communicate in a respectful way what in particular is bothering you so you can work together going forward.
4/ Give yourself permission... We may fear the other person's response if we set up and enforce our boundaries. We might feel guilty by saying "no" or speaking up. If you feel drained or taken advantage of, you'll need to give yourself permission to possibly disappoint them. HOWEVER, this will create self-respect and they will actually respect you more too. People do not respect "push-overs" (or whiners who've had their boundaries stepped on but did nothing).
5/ Consider your past and present.... our childhoods, our previous relationships, experiences and the roles that we've played have all created "conditioning" - unconscious already-been-used responses to experiences. We do not have to revert back to past-conditioning responses in the present if they are no longer working. We can choose to create / honor whole new, HEALTHY boundaries in this moment if that works better.
6/ Make self-care a priority... give yourself permission to put yourself first. What makes you happy - pursue it. Bonus: others will benefit if you are happy.
7/ Seek support... friends, family, support networks, church, therapy, books. Those who love and care about you want to see you succeed, so do not hesitate to ask for support.
8/ Start small.... build upon your successes. Give yourself a break if you mess up, but keep trying. Setting boundaries takes courage, practice, self-love and respect but is worth the effort because of the wonderful difference it can make in your relationships and therefore your life!
BEST of luck, namaste!
condensed from an article from PsychCentral.com by M. Tartakovsky