New Year, New Boundaries

Setting boundaries with time and people can be hard.  I have been told, it is like a muscle that you end up having to exercise to strengthen over time.  I struggle to set boundaries or to say “no” or stand up for myself at times.  I have gotten better but it is a work in progress.  The reason this is so important is that your relationships can significantly impact your own well-being, your happiness, and other relationships in your life. 

I tend to group relationships in three groups starting with the center, which is my closest friends/family whom, I trust, bring me joy, and are loyal.  The next outer group are good friends and family whom I love but have limited contact with or don’t get to see very often.  The last, outermost group are people I know, can visit with, but I don’t know well or those I intentionally limit my contact with for numerous reasons (either due to negativity, non-support, lack trust, drama follows them, etc.). 

When I think about setting boundaries with people (in general), I start with the cell phone test.  Do you know what the cell phone test is?  Well, it’s pretty simple (and can apply to social media).  When that person’s name shows up as a call or a text on your phone; does any of the following happen?

  • Panic
  • Fear
  • Anxiety
  • A heaviness
  • Out-word express such as sighing or eye roll
  • Dread
  • Annoyance
  • Thinking “what now?”

If your initial response is one of these, then that person has failed the cell phone test.  The same goes for social media postings.  Those seeking drama; posting nonpositive or uplifting information; or just pain lying (dramatic, fakeness, bullying, passive-aggressive comments, judging others, etc.) they fail too.  You see their name on social media on your feed and you think “what now?”   These are all people who need to move to the sidelines of your boundaries or to the outside circle.

People/relationships should bring you joy, happiness, and sincere love/respect for the person.  If someone does not bring you joy, then they don’t bring much value to your life.  Especially anyone who bullies you, guilts you, or emotionally abuses you to continue a relationship with them (this comes in the form of threats, aggressive comments, lashing out at you, or making comments like “you are all that I have” which is not true.)  Love and friendship are NONE of these.

So, you are thinking about the New Year and goals or inspiration for 2022.  Think about who you surround yourself with and what do your boundaries look like?  Be wise and cautious about your time and relationships. THESE two factors are so IMPORTANT in life!  Time and relationships.  If you feel pulled, stressed, anxious, when someone is around, then set your boundaries.  If you want to feel more supported, positive, happy, etc. in 2022, surround yourself with positive, loving people.  Set those boundaries and you will not regret it! Be smart with your time, relationships, and most importantly yourself.    

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