Setting Boundaries – how saying No can make you happier

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Personal boundaries are the limits or guidelines we set with others to protect ourselves from being manipulated or taken advantage of.  One of the most common challenges I see clients struggling with is setting healthy ‘boundaries’. They don’t know how to say no, or are afraid to say no, so they say “yes”. They often take on too much, then feel overwhelmed, resentful of others and under stress. (Believe me, I understand this issue very well myself!)

The problem comes from a kind place of being a ‘Giver’, wanting to help and please others, and keep everyone happy.

But the bottom line is ….

you cannot please everyone & you cannot make everyone happy.

We all say it and know it, but subconsciously we still try to do it!

In this endless pursuit to please others, all you do is wear yourself out and make yourself very unhappy. (Then, you will probably judge yourself for it!!!)

Here is a list of the signs that you may have trouble with your boundaries
(taken from Neeta Bhushan’s book ‘Emotional Grit’)


  • You don’t like to disappoint
  • You’re a ‘Yes’ person
  • You overcommit
  • You’re a people pleaser
  • You hold honour and respect as very high values
  • You like to keep the peace at all costs
  • You avoid confrontation
  • You have a desire to be ‘liked’ by everyone
  • You live an imbalanced life
  • You operate in a victim mindset
  • You are resentful of others

The hardest thing for most of us is to understand the importance of setting personal boundaries from the outset, which serve us best. Consequently, when we want to change current boundaries it can be difficult for those around us.

We know from parenting, that children work best with limits and boundaries in place because it helps them to know what is acceptable and to feel safe. It’s really not much different for adults either. Outer boundaries provide safety and security internally.

Boundaries help us to honour ourselves, our time and maintain our physical and emotional energy.

It is so important to look after yourself, to ensure you do have the ability to give, in ways that feel good for you and for others. If you are giving out of obligation then you will eventually feel resentful.

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