Boundaries, by Hannah

Something that has been on my mind lately as I painstakingly attempt to set boundaries with friends and working relationships is that "Daring to set boundaries is about having the courage to love ourselves, even when we risk disappointing others." -Daring Greatly, Brene Brown.

Using the word "painstaking" perhaps seems a little dramatic, but boundaries do require immense effort, practice and compassion and it just seems to fit the feeling. I don't think this should be interpreted as painful, or begrudgingly setting boundaries. What I've been learning about professional and friendship boundaries is that it will upset some people, and it will disappoint and confuse those who don't practice it themselves. But I also have been learning that it requires a lot of vulnerability (which I'm always trying to get better at) because I am in fact choosing to care for myself instead of pushing myself beyond the physical and mental limits I have set for myself internally. When I've asked friends or family how it feels when I set or enforce boundaries I have often heard, "what boundaries?" because they either do not practice boundaries and have no clue what I'm talking about or they feel very at ease with the boundaries I've set and feel mutually benefited by them. I've also heard "f**k you and your boundaries" because again, they don't practice this themselves or it feels like rejection instead of me caring for the longevity and sustainability of our friendship or working relationship.

I just want to encourage you all wherever you are in your journey with setting boundaries, that it's okay to say "yes" to yourself and your needs, and rest, and peace of mind and first priorities and "no" to bending yourself backwards to please someone or avoid disappointing someone. I know it is easier said than done, and I'm here for the struggle too. Just know that you are worth the effort, the respect, and space you need and that you are not alone in this journey.

Tammy Zdunich