Adults who do not learn to set healthy boundaries in relationships struggle to have healthy relationships. You need to be comfortable saying no to a request and not feeling guilty or obligated when saying yes neglects your wellbeing. Many people don’t want to face conflict but the truth is you still face the conflict. You face it because internally you become conflicted with yourself and those emotions spill into your daily life. The lack of ability to truly be and do what you want is bondage.
Setting boundaries is not selfish. Saying no is not selfish. Being someone’s punching bag and neglecting your own personal needs is absurd. As a society many people live their lives that way. Being told you are selfish because you don’t do and act the way another person is imposing on you to behave is abuse, control, and manipulation. Most adults have been struggling to set boundaries because they don’t feel comfortable being who they are.
The reality is we teach people how to treat us everyday by everything we do. If you give people the impression that you are a pushover then get ready to be pushed over. If you give people the impression that they can talk to you and treat you anyway they want without consequences then they will. The things you accept and create as a pattern in your life won’t change until you change it.
As you go through life you want healthy relationships. You create them by the boundaries you set. Don’t be afraid to lose people who devalue you in relationships with them. God took many people out of their comfort zone and through many obstacles but they learned to follow God. In following God you have to understand that boundaries matter. They matter because they put a barrier between you and being devalued. You set the standard for how people treat you by what you accept as the norm.
“Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life” Proverbs 4:23
Guarding your heart means your emotions and what you let in or allow to happen to you spiritually. We must remember that things may seem suppressed, but they do come out a little at a time. Deal with the things that bother you and teach people how to treat you in a balanced healthy way. Stop maintaining unhealthy relationships that devalue you as a person.