I’d love to be completely open with everyone. I think being vulnerable and honest is how we create the most authentic and beautiful connections with people. Those connections are some of my favorite parts about life. I think my ability to connect to others is my real talent. I may not be the smartest, prettiest, fastest, strongest, or funniest, but I think my connections make me special. However, I don’t feel safe enough to connect like that to everyone. There are some people in my life that I have boundaries with, and it took me a long time to be okay with those boundaries.
Some people are toxic — that’s just the truth. I don’t open up as much to those people, or maybe I did once and got burned by it, so I don’t anymore. If you have people in your life who are negative, toxic, hurtful, or hard to be around, it’s okay to set a boundary with them. Not everyone is good for your mental health, and setting boundaries can be small changes in your actions that don’t cause a lot of waves.
Not Everyone is Good for Your Mental Health
It’s hard for me to be around people who are gossipy, judgemental, defensive, and combative. People who are complainers, or who can’t help but be negative are hard on my mental health as well. Those are the people in my life that I need to set boundaries with. It might make sense for many people to just cut those people out, but that’s not always possible. For example, colleagues, family members, other parents, and friends of friends are people who you may be forced to see or talk to. Sometimes you don’t have the ability to remove them completely (which I also think is okay to do if you need to), but other times you have to just stick it out.
But the truth is that not everyone you meet will be good for your mental health. It’s okay to set a boundary with those people if they are difficult for you to be around. Those types of people make me anxious, frustrated, and judged, so I keep them at arm’s length, and that’s okay! You’re allowed to decide who is in your life, and how they play a part.
How to Set Boundaries
Setting a boundary doesn’t have to be a big production, or cause any waves. If it did, it would be a lot harder for me to do! Setting a boundary can mean avoiding certain topics of conversation with them, not divulging too many personal stories, or walking away when they become frustrating to be around. They might notice, they might not, but it’s okay to set a boundary without saying you’re doing so. Just say you need to use the bathroom, or change the subject. You can also limit the amount of time you see them, keep visits to certain times or settings, or to ignore calls or emails that aren’t important.
Of course, you can also set larger boundaries, or have an open discussion about those boundaries with those people too! I’ve had to do that as well, but it’s not as common, and causes some conflict. How you set a boundary and why you set it is totally up to you. Either way is totally okay, and may be necessary if they are really hard on your mental health.
It took me a long time to realize that boundaries are a form of self-care. My happiness has to be a top priority, so sometimes that means I have to put a wall up between my mental health and certain people. The point is that some people are toxic, and you can set big or small boundaries in order to keep their toxicity away from you.
Have you had to set boundaries with people in your life? How were you able to do that?
Talk to you soon!
P.S. I talk about this topic, as well as other personal development topics, in my program called Our Womanhood! If you’re interested in more topics like this, check it out!