Setting emotional boundaries is the key to a healthy relationship, but it isn’t always easy to do when you’re so focused on another person’s needs and wants. To make sure you’re still taking care of yourself, follow these essential pieces of boundary-setting advice from three “SuperSoul” guests who have learned the hard way.
1. Say “no” ― without offering explanations or excuses.
As television producer Shonda Rhimes puts it, “’No’ is a complete sentence.” Though many of us are wired to run through reasons why we can’t, won’t or don’t want to do something, Rhimes says she has learned that we are not required to defend our “nicehood.”
2. Don’t let people that don’t matter too much matter too much.
When it comes to making decisions ― large or small ― there’s always this universal fact no matter what you decide: You won’t please everyone. That’s why best-selling author Wes Moore suggests not letting people who don’t matter, matter. “The decision that you make is not going to impact them, nor [should] anything they do … impact you,” he says.
3. Don’t make someone else’s “crazy” about you.
In her childhood, life coach Iyanla Vanzant believed her grandmother’s meanness was somehow all about Iyanla herself ― and many of us have a tendency take on other people’s problems like this, she says. Don’t get swept away by someone else’s story. “You’ve got your own stuff to handle,” Iyanla says. “You don’t have to take on anybody else’s.”
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