6 Unexpected Benefits of Setting Clear Boundaries

It’s crucial to look out for your #1

Dec 16, 2016
There’s no shame in looking out for yourself. (Shutterstock)

There’s no shame in looking out for yourself. (Shutterstock)

While saying no to people from time to time may not be easy, there are a number of benefits that come with putting yourself first every once in a while. When you create limits - or set boundaries - you give yourself the chance to focus on what will make you the happiest and feel the most comfortable. There’s no shame in looking out for yourself, especially when it means that it will eventually put you in a better position to help others. Building and sticking to your limits takes some practice, but in the end the rewards will follow:

1. YOU BECOME MORE IN TUNE WITH YOURSELF

When you decide which situations are comfortable and which ones are deal breakers, you learn more about your wants and needs and how you can take care of yourselves. You’re then able to make decisions with confidence and turn your energy towards those things that “give you life.”

2. YOU LEARN TO RESPECT OTHER PEOPLE’S BOUNDARIES

We all know that respect is a two way street and that you first have to earn it, before you can demand it (in a constructive way of course). When you set your own limits, you also become more aware that others have them as well. It's all about R.E.S.P.E.C.T.

3. SETTING BOUNDARIES LEADS TO BETTER RELATIONSHIPS

Aiming to please everyone 100% of the time is certainly not realistic. There must a be balance. Setting boundaries accomplishes two things: it encourages you to acknowledge other people's limits as well (see above) and gives you some well deserved time to yourself and helps to avoid feeling stressed and overwhelmed.

Strong boundaries give you some well deserved time to yourself and help to avoid feeling stressed. (Shutterstock)

Strong boundaries give you some well deserved time to yourself and help to avoid feeling stressed. (Shutterstock)

4. IT’S EASIER TO FOCUS ON THE POSITIVES

Everyone has things they’re working through. Setting boundaries makes it possible to help others without ignoring your own needs and this is essential to both your mental and physical wellbeing. It’s much easier to stay positive when you’re feeling good about your relationships with yourself and others.

5. COMMUNICATING OPENLY BECOMES SECOND NATURE

After considering and creating limits, it’s time to take a deep breath and share what those are to family and friends. The more we practice clearly communicating, the easier it becomes.

6. YOU LEARN TO PUT YOURSELF FIRST

Saying “no” isn’t easy, but it’s necessary from time to time. Actress and writer Lena Dunham agrees and writes in her blog that the simple two-letter word empowered her.

"It was a slow process, but a polite ‘no’ soon entered my vernacular ... And something miraculous happened: my personal life followed suit. ... People respond well to honesty, to reality. They understand. And so with those no’s, YES sprung back up everywhere. Funny how that works."

REBECCA WOJNO, CONTRIBUTOR
Rebecca is passionate about reading, cooking, and learning about people doing good in the world. She especially loves writing about wellness, personal growth, and relationships.