First, things first, Yes, I am a Romance Writer, but in my previous life, I was a counselor and life coach so not only will you get all things Steamy Reads from me, you will also get a lot of motivation, encouragement and inspiration. It's a passion of mine and one I love to share.
So when it comes to boundaries, I get it, they're hard. But what you need to KNOW is YOU have a right to your personal boundaries. When you get this inside of you and let it settle in, you realize where you have been lacking, who has overstepped their bounds and what changes need to be made in order to establish healthy boundaries.
Second, Recognize that YOUR feelings and needs are MORE important than those of others. I know, you probably think this sounds selfish but in all actuality it's not. If you are constantly putting the needs and desires of others above your own, you WILL burn out and become resentful. You can't fully engage in life if you are constantly deprived of healthy functioning. You can't give from an empty cup. Putting yourself last is detrimental not only to you but also to the functioning of the relationships your in. When you come from a place of fullness and having established healthy boundaries, you will function in a healthier manner in all of your relationships.
Third, SAY NO. This was hard for me. I'm a people pleaser at heart. I like to make people happy but realized I was miserable while making everyone else happy. I'd say yes to everything without taking into consideration how it was going to affect my family and me. Saying yes to everyone and everything impacted me so negatively, resentment became my norm.
Sure, it starts out innocent enough but then you begin to realize you are overcommitted and overwhelmed. Saying no is initially scary. When I started saying no I was WAY outside of my comfort zone. It eventually got easier and now I am able to say YES to things I really want to do and NO to the things I don't. People will respect your boundaries if you establish them.
Finally, COMMUNICATE exactly what you want. Say what you need to say and don't be afraid of hurting other peoples feelings. This too was a big one for me. Being a people pleaser, I never wanted to hurt anyone's feelings. In turn, I was only hurting myself. Communicate how you feel, how things are making you feel and what you want. This leads to a much healthier YOU.
There you have it! Four simple steps to establishing healthy boundaries. Now, you have to implement them! ;)