Why Resentment May Be a Sign That You Are Not Holding Your Boundaries
The Importance of Boundaries for Self-Care and Relationships
We've all been there before. You say "no" to a friend's request, and suddenly they're giving you the cold shoulder. Or maybe you have a neighbor who is always asking for favors, and you start to dread seeing them. That building resentment can be a helpful sign that it’s time to make some changes! In both of these cases, resentment may be a sign that you are not holding your boundaries.
It's important to set boundaries in our relationships so that we can maintain our sanity and our relationships! But how do you set boundaries without coming across as rude or unneighborly? Read on for some tips.
What Are Boundaries?
Before we dive into how to set boundaries, let's first take a step back and define what boundaries are. Boundaries are limits we set in order to take care of ourselves. They help us protect our time, energy, and resources so that we can focus on what's most important to us.
For example, let's say you love spending time with your friends, but you also value your alone time. In this case, you might set the boundary of only hanging out with friends one night per week so that you can have the rest of the week to yourself. Or maybe you're someone who hates small talk. In this case, you might set the boundary of only engaging in conversations that are meaningful to you.
How Do We Set Boundaries?
Now that we know what boundaries are, let's talk about how to set them. When setting boundaries, it's important to be clear, direct, and assertive. For example, if you don't want to go to your friend's party because you're tired, don't beat around the bush—just say no! It might feel awkward at first, but with practice it will get easier and more natural.
It's also important to remember that you have a right to set boundaries, even if others don't agree with them. Your time and energy are important, and setting healthy boundaries can be an essential part of self care. Others might want more from you, and that’s ok. Your feelings and boundaries are still valid even if they are not always liked by others.
Asking Others To Respect Your Boundaries
Once you've set your boundary, it's important to communicate it to others in a way that is respectful and supportive of the relationship. For example, if you don't want to go to your friend's party because you're tired, you might say something like, "I'm sorry, but I'm really not up for going out tonight." This communicates your boundary clearly while also showing that you care about your friend and value your relationship with them.
Setting boundaries is an important part of taking care of yourself and maintaining healthy relationships with others. If you find yourself feeling resentful towards someone, ask yourself if there's a boundary that needs to be set. And when in doubt, err on the side of being direct—it will save everyone involved a lot of time and energy in the long run! At RAFT Counseling, we often work with our clients and their families on how to set and maintain healthy boundaries. If we can help, please reach out. We would love to hear from you!