A lot of times we dread or feel anxious about when we need to set a boundary because we feel like we have to explain ourselves or worry that we’re going to hurt the other person. These are 5 ways to go about setting boundaries without having to explain yourself and saying them in a normal or calm tone should help.
1. When someone asks to go out over the weekend, but you feel tired or like you need to do some self-care.
You could respond like this: “I don’t have the energy to go out right now” or “I don’t have anything planned this weekend, but I would like to rest instead of going out, could we please reschedule?”
2. Someone comes to you to vent about their problems or asks for you to support them through brainstorming solutions.
You could respond something similar to this: “Could we talk about this later? I would like to be able to support you, but I’m not in the right frame-of-mind right now.”
3. When you’re feeling angry or upset about something and need to vent, and also don’t want to cause someone to think that you’re looking for advice.
You could say something like this: “I’m not looking for advice, I would just like to vent.”
4. When someone continues to ask you about something and it’s unnecessary or causing an issue.
Try saying something like this: “I’d appreciate it if you stopped asking about this topic.”
5. When someone asks questions about what is going on and you don’t want to talk about it with them.
Consider responding similar to this: “I don’t feel comfortable discussing this matter/decision/problem/event with you.”
These five examples are ways to set boundaries with people without explaining ourselves to others. We feel like we should explain ourselves, but we don’t have to. Remember, there are some people who don’t expect an explanation, as well, it’s just a “rule” or a “should” that we apply to ourselves because we worry or feel anxious of what a response might be. This is quite stressful.
We also stress about setting boundaries because we think that we will hurt the other person, but boundaries are healthy for both you and them. You can’t control a person’s reaction to setting a boundary, you need to do what’s right for you, and you can choose how to cope or react to a situation.
If you’re feeling anxious about setting a boundary or remembering how you’re going to word it, practice saying it out loud to yourself a few times, first. While you’re practicing, listen to see if your voice sounds normal and calm, this helps with delivering your response, making it clear.