Boundaries are an assertion. They are guidelines or limits that define how we interact with others, and how we expect to be treated. They are essential for maintaining healthy relationships and personal wellbeing, and help establish personal autonomy, protect against exploitation or mistreatment, and promote self-care.
Asserting boundaries involves communicating your needs, desires, and limits clearly and respectfully to others. And indeed trying to accept when others assert their own boundaries. You can't be mad at someone if you do not tell them what you want, and people will push boundaries so it is your responsibility to reaffirm them.
For example let's say you don't want to answer phone calls on a Sunday - the first scenario is you don't tell anyone that, but someone rings you, you pick up and feel frustrated. That isn't their fault because you haven't actually told anyone that is your boundary so the lesson is make sure they know OR don't pick up the phone regardless. The second scenario is you've told someone you don't want phone calls on a Sunday but they call you anyway and you pick up, feeling resentful. That still isn't (entirely) their fault. Sure they shouldn't have called you when you told them not to, BUT YOU PICKED UP THE PHONE. That is your responsibility. I know what you might think, it could be an emergency. So make sure you're specific - don't call me on a Sunday unless it is an absolute emergency. If they then call you and it isn't, tell them that if they do it again and it isn't an emergency you will just hang up (or something of that sort). Sometimes we need to be firm, sometimes we need to let them get on with it and learn for themselves. Sometimes we have to be "the bad guy" for our own, and their, sakes.
Here are some steps to help you assert your boundaries effectively:
Reflect on your values, needs, and limits. Identify areas where you feel uncomfortable or where your boundaries have been violated in the past. If you don't know, how are they supposed to know?
Determine the specific boundaries you want to establish in different areas of your life, such as personal space, time, emotional well-being, and relationships. This is across the board, don't be afraid to use it in the workplace.
Clearly and respectfully communicate your boundaries to others. Use "I" statements to express how you feel and what you need. For example say, "I need some alone time after work to recharge, so I won't be available for calls or visits during that time."
Stand firm in asserting your boundaries and be consistent in enforcing them. People will test your boundaries so it's important to stay true to your needs and not falter, otherwise they will never respect you.
Taking care of yourself is crucial when setting and asserting boundaries. Prioritise self-care activities that help you maintain your physical, emotional, and mental well-being. This tells yourself that you are worth respect, love and care, and that if people don't show you that then it is their problem and not yours. It can give us the confidence to voice our needs in the first place, and then reaffirm them going forward when we feel good about ourselves.
Some people may not be accustomed to your newly established boundaries and may resist or push back against them. Stay firm and reinforce your boundaries as needed, trying to stay calm and unreactive.
If you're finding it difficult to assert your boundaries or face significant resistance, consider seeking support from a trusted friend, family member, or therapist who can provide guidance and encouragement.
Setting boundaries is a personal decision, and you have the right to establish and maintain boundaries that align with your values and needs. It may take time and practise, but asserting boundaries is an important aspect of self-care and cultivating healthy relationships. In regards to manifestation it makes room when we prioritise our needs, allowing more of what we do want in. It cultivates self-worth and self-esteem, essential for manifesting what we want. It reminds us of what is really important, and what we want to invest in. It gives us the courage to do things outside our comfort zone, and to take a direct approach to the things that matter to us.