How to set limits?

Who I am
Louise Hay

Author and references

Being able to set limits in our life, and more importantly respecting them, is fundamental, because it helps us to outline relationships with the people around us, but it also helps us not to forget who we are and what we want. On the contrary, not setting ourselves limits, in a certain sense, means leaving our life at the mercy of others, allowing them to decide for themselves.

Most of the limitations we set ourselves are simple reactions to problems that arise. As a result, we often set limits that are too wide or too rigid, which end up hindering our relationships with others. The good news is that it is possible to set boundaries that allow us to grow as individuals and, at the same time, improve our relationships.

  1. Define your values ​​and beliefs. Having a clear understanding of what we believe in and what our values ​​are is essential for setting limits. For example, do you think your work is one of your priorities? Are you one of those people who love order and punctuality? To what extent are you willing to compromise? Knowing yourself will help you determine what your current limits are and how you can become more flexible. The only way to avoid being trampled on is to know who we are and what we want.
  1. Learn to do your own assessments. If you allow others to evaluate your work, your relationship with your partner, or the decisions you make, they will determine what your limitations will be. If you want to set your own limits, you must learn to work out your own assessments based on your beliefs, life experiences and expectations. Of course, this does not mean that you should not listen to other people's opinions, but you must always remember that these will always depend on their point of view and their conclusions do not necessarily have to coincide with yours.
  1. Set concrete boundaries. When deciding to set a limit, you must make sure that you are as specific and clear as possible. It will do no good if you set too broad or contradictory limits that no one understands, because that way no one will respect them. For example, if you want to devote more hours to rest, don't just say: "From today I will reduce my working hours", you should be more specific: "From today I will only work eight hours a day." As you can see, it is a much more specific goal, and it will allow you to establish a precise program that you do not want to stray from.
  1. Be true to your limits. Respecting limits is as important as setting them. Imagine, for example, that one of your limits is not to allow long interruptions while you are at work, but while you are working you answer the phone, check your e-mail and reply to a friend and then abandon everything to go and help your colleague who has need you. In this case, it was you who betrayed your limits. This does not mean that you should become too rigid a person, but when you set limits you should do everything to respect them.
  1. Clearly express your limitations. As you can imagine, the people around you don't necessarily have to know your limits, especially if you've let them set them for years. So when you have decided not to allow certain behaviors, make it clear to everyone, without going around it. It is important for everyone to understand that you are unwilling to tolerate some things. Of course, you don't have to be aggressive, just stand up for your rights.
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