Issue 6 June 2006
Sanity Saver #8: Set Limits
In order to restore your sanity you have to know what your bottom
line is. You may be wondering, how do you determine this? Surprisingly
your feelings, especially feelings of anger, frustration and resentment
are messengers that will bring you valuable information.
Anger often signals that you aren’t getting your needs
met, or that you’re overextended. Your feelings of frustration
and resentment, which are anger’s first cousins, let you
know that you’ve compromised or sacrificed too much of yourself.
These feelings often help you to define what it is you want and
need for yourself and your life. When paid attention to, your
anger can motivate and mobilize you to take action, to speak out
on your own behalf and to set clear boundaries. If you’re
going to reduce your stress you have to awaken a healthy protectiveness
and find a balance between the need’s of others and your
As surprising as it may sound, one of the obstacles we often
run into, especially as women, is that the people closest to us
often don’t want us to change. They want everything to remain
the same. Your spouse, boyfriend, partner, children, parents,
friends aren’t going to want you to set limits, and they’re
certainly not going to help you to do it. There’s a certain
amount of comfort in the familiar. Most people resist change,
but the short-term upset that establishing new boundaries may
create is well worth the effort.
When you begin to set limits the people closest to you may think
that you’ve been snatched by aliens. They may not like the
new version of you as much. In fact, those people closest to you
may resist initially, but once they see that you’re committed
to taking care of yourself they will frequently accept your decision
and in time they may even support you.
When you set limits it means that you value yourself enough to
make your needs known and insist that they be met. The truth is
that when you set and maintain your boundaries you’ll be
happier and more fun to be around.
For more information on 30 Days to Sanity please visit www.30daystosanity.com.