Last time I shared one simple assertiveness technique The Broken Record to use when someone insists on having you do something that you can’t or don’t want to do. Before you can be effective with assertive techniques, it is important for you to know what your boundaries are.
Boundaries are like imaginary lines between you and others. They protect you from feeling guilty for someone else’s negative feelings or problems and from taking others’ comments personally. In order for you to have healthy boundaries you have to know your feelings and values as they relate to yourself and others.
Here are some examples:
- Psychological – Do you take other people’s comments personally? Do you struggle with feeling responsible for other people’s negative feelings or problems? Are you aware of your own feelings?
- Material– What do you think of lending or giving things to others (e.g. money, car, clothes, etc..) and what does that look like for you?
- Mental – What do you believe in? What are your opinions?
- Physical – Who can give you a hug/kiss/handshake? What are feelings about sharing your space with other people?
- Sexual– What is your comfort level around sexual activity?
- Spiritual– What are your beliefs around a higher power/faith?
Boundaries protect your well-being and can change over time. When you know what your boundaries are, you know when and why you need to assert yourself.