Everyone wants to be loved, noticed, and accepted. In some cases, people sacrifice their happiness to be validated by others. If you fail to set boundaries, you are likely to lose yourself in other people's needs, feelings, and opinions. That is a form of self-neglect that many people struggle with in their lives. While most people may not be aware of it, failing to love oneself makes it difficult to set boundaries.
According to Rachel O' Neil, a therapist at Talkspace, people who follow their emotions when making judgment calls have problems setting boundaries. For example, if you are not in the mood to go out tonight and your friend asks you out, your sense of guilt will cause you to attend dinner even though you never wanted to. This means you have gone against your wishes to be accepted and loved by others.
Struggling as a People Pleaser
I am an emotional person and being a people pleaser started when I was very young. I was in the habit of taking in everyone's pain and thought it was my duty to cheer them up. I feared that if I failed to say or do the right things, I would be lonely with no friends to hang out with, my bosses would despise me, and my spouse would look for someone else.
The thought that people will only love and accept you if you are perfect is known as "contingent sense of self-worth." I pressurized myself to become what others wanted me to become and in the end, I lost a part of myself. The part that is aware that regardless of what I say, wear, do, feel, believe, accomplish, or express, I'm worthy of love.
Over time, I came to learn that being a people pleaser was a defense mechanism against the sadness and pain of rejection. O'Neill believes that people who have difficulties setting boundaries fear disappointing people or being disliked by others. Some are even concerned that when they set boundaries, they will be expelled from a certain social network.
Boundaries and Self-Compassion
Learning to love and accept oneself has been a life-changing experience for me. Studies have shown that when you practice unconditional self-acceptance, you begin silencing your inner critic. The following five approaches will help you set loving boundaries:
- Allow Yourself To Say No: People who have difficulty with setting boundaries often feel guilty or fear what is likely to happen when they do so. O'Neill affirms that the first step towards setting boundaries is allowing yourself to say "No."
- Determine Your Emotional State: Understanding how people and situations affect your feelings about yourself will help you determine when to set boundaries. According to O'Neill, this might be as simple as not responding to text messages or phone calls or taking some time to regroup.
- Meditate: When you are feeling sensitive, try meditating to increase your self-love. It is hard to set boundaries when you do not love yourself.
- Beware of Self Sacrifice: Notice when you are acting out of obligation or doing things you would rather not do. If someone is sacrificing their well being to serve others, that shows they should work on their boundaries.
- Seek for Support: Seek therapeutic help to determine the cause of your tendencies to please others.
Talkspace provides affordable and convenient therapy services for all. The mission of this company is to make therapeutic services available to those who want to live healthy and happy lives. With this company, it is possible to send text messages, audio messages, pictures, and video messages to therapists in a private chat room. This service stands out because it is affordable and convenient.