Have you ever wondered how to express a boundary without sounding rude? So many people have this question that’s one of the top searches on Google about boundaries. Are gentle boundaries really possible? Can we voice a boundary without being rude? What do you think?
Why even set boundaries?
None of us have unlimited resources.
Our physical bodies are not unlimited in strength or ability to run in high gear 24 hours a day. We need to eat and sleep in addition to handling our own physical load of responsibilities such as work or tasks in the home.
We each have 24 hours a day, no more or less. Time has natural limits. How we choose to spend and use that time is up to us, but time itself is fixed.
Emotionally we also have a certain capacity. Our nervous system can only handle so much before it needs a break to recover. If we do not willingly honor that limit, it will force us to honor it. That’s how it’s designed. It’s designed to survive and keep us alive, so there is built-in regulation.
Mentally we also have limits. Our brain is a like a muscle and gets tired. Have you ever studied or tried for a long time to work out a problem, and at some point, your mind is just done?
So mind, body and emotions all have natural limits. Recognizing we have those limits is the first step toward healthy, gentle boundaries. Choosing to honor those limits shows modesty and humility. It also helps us not only survive but thrive.
How to voice a boundary
Sometimes it’s even more of a challenge to voice a boundary from a place of gentle peace. Do you sometimes feel that way?
In other blog posts and workshops, I share some straightforward phrases to communicate boundaries without being rude. I highly recommend practicing or rewording these phrases to suit your communication style. It also helps to pay attention to the tone of voice. Practicing them out loud so that your ears are used to hearing your voice speak these words helps immensely.
So the first step is understanding your boundaries and limits. The second step is outlining key phrases that communicate those limits and then practicing those out loud.
What are your physical limits? Emotional limits? What can you do? What can't you realistically do? Then consider – what are your preferences? Wishes? Where is there wiggle room? Can we negotiate another time? Future date? Postpone? What can we rearrange? What areas have no room to adjust?
Once you have considered these simple areas for boundaries, communicating is more effortless. Combine that with key phrases and words; now, boundaries can be expressed gracefully and easily!
Not everyone will be happy about a simple boundary, no matter how peacefully or gently it’s communicated or how kind the tone of voice is. It's human nature. People want us to do a thing we just can't manage to do. That’s not something we can control. We’re not responsible for how others respond. We can only control and are only accountable for how we communicate.
How does EXTRA support for gentle boundaries sound?
Check it out and see if it's a good fit for you:
May Masterclass on May 3
2023 Boundaries Masterclass
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