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Amira McLaughlin

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Setting boundaries is a skill that requires practice. We’re often taught that prioritizing our needs is selfish and that we should be more considerate of others at the expense of our comfort. Hopefully, you understand by now in our series that this is simply untrue. It’s actually quite healthy to take care of yourself and to maintain your limitations. Unfortunately, we’re often left feeling guilty due to societal conditioning when we uphold our preferences and desires. There are ways you can deal with and overcome guilt when enforcing your boundaries, though. Take a look at these suggestions to help you lose the guilt for good. 

Be Your Cheerleader

When you set a boundary, and someone is disappointed by that, try not to let the guilt set in. You can do this by reminding yourself that looking out for your interests isn’t selfish. You’re not responsible for the feelings and comfort level of other people. How they respond to your boundary is up to them. Setting a limit for your own best interests is your right. Don’t forget to remind yourself of these points and be your cheerleader when you start to feel down. 

Remember Your Reasons

We choose to set boundaries for personal reasons. Taking time to remember why you put limitations in the first place can be very reassuring when the guilt starts to creep in. Common reasons for setting boundaries include a desire to limit resentment, wanting more free time to pursue your interests, needing to stop being taken advantage of, or reducing stress from being around difficult people. Whatever your reason, remember that it is valid and necessary. It’s also your right to make decisions to do what is best for you. 

Know You Can’t Please Everyone

Sometimes you’ll need to disappoint people. This is a part of life. When feeling guilty, it’s good to remember that it’s impossible to make everyone happy. Trying to do so will only lead to burnout for yourself. You’ll lose who you are if you give in to the demands and desires of everyone around you. What you want is important, too. Don’t forget to please yourself sometimes. It matters to your emotional well-being and happiness. 

Think of these tips the next time you feel guilty for setting a boundary. There truly is no need for guilt. There’s nothing wrong with putting yourself first. How others think about that isn’t your responsibility. 

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