Boundaries are essential to your health and happiness. They keep you from falling prey to putting the interests of others above your own and help you to make proactive choices. When you don’t have strong boundaries, you’re likely to exhibit some common patterns seen in those who consistently fail to put themselves first. While it’s good to be generous and considerate of others, doing so to the detriment of yourself leads to several negative consequences. Keep reading to discover some common signs of a lack of healthy boundaries.
You’re Always Busy
If you’re constantly overscheduled with tasks and events on your calendar, there’s a good chance you have a hard time saying no. This is a common lack of boundaries that many of us have. Always agreeing to things leaves us overbooked and exhausted. It can also lead to resentment. Learning to say no puts you in charge of your time and other resources.
You Put the Comfort of Others Before Your Own
Another common aspect of being unable to say no involves the need to make others feel comfortable. Unfortunately, this usually means that you’re left making compromises that make you feel uncomfortable. Your lack of boundaries has you bending over backward to meet other people’s needs no matter the cost to yourself. You’ll soon burn out from this pattern.
You Feel Angry or Resentful
When you say yes to things you don’t want to do or agree to compromises that make you uncomfortable, you’re bound to have some negative feelings. You may be mad at yourself for giving in. Perhaps you’ll feel resentful of others for taking advantage of your good nature. Regardless, learning to set boundaries will help you to avoid such feelings.
You Repeat Dysfunctional Relationship Patterns
If you find yourself in unhealthy relationships, again and again, the cause could be a lack of boundaries. This is true in both platonic and romantic connections. Interactions with people who take advantage of you, disrespect your time, or put little effort into your relationship often occur when you aren’t clear about what you will tolerate. These patterns repeat in relationship after relationship.
You Feel Responsible for the Feelings of Others
A sure sign of poor boundaries is when you find yourself enmeshed with the feelings of others. If you feel guilty for the misfortune of someone else or if you often wonder if people are mad at you, these are signs you may feel responsible for another person’s feelings. It’s important to separate your emotions from those of the people around you to set strong boundaries for yourself.
These are just some examples of the signs you may notice if you lack boundaries. Pay attention to these, and you may soon start to be able to identify other ways in which you aren’t setting clear limits on your time, emotions, and resources.