Setting boundaries is a concept that sounds like a breath of fresh air, but when it’s time to put that concept into practice, hesitation seeps in, making the quest for peace a bit more complicated and uncomfortable.
In her debut book, “Set Boundaries, Find Peace: A Guide to Reclaiming Yourself, Nedra Glover Tawwab, relationship expert and founder of Kaleidoscope Counseling, weaves together personal and professional narratives, backed with research to unpack what boundaries really are and how advocating for yourself leads to peace in your daily life.
“When I’m talking about boundaries, I’m talking about what defines your relationship. What makes you feel safe, comfortable; and what are the parameters for your particular relationship?” Tawwab says. “In my practice,I started to see these patterns around our inability to ask for what we wanted in a relationship — whether that’s partnership, family, friendships, at work — and lots of people were showing up burnt out, overwhelmed, depressed and resentful because of a lack of boundaries.”
Tawwab points out that saying “no” is only a small fragment of curating healthy boundaries, and that there’s more to the art of self-advocacy and setting the tone for your peace. “It’s also asking for what you want, implementing consequences, saying things that make you feel better, not overloading your schedule,” she says.
And about that feeling of guilt and the emotional tug-of-war that comes with the boundary-setting process, Tawwab shares that it’s an indication that you care and are compassionate about the situation.
“There is no such thing as guilt-free boundaries. If you’re setting a boundary and feel really bad about it, it’s actually helpful to learn some techniques to manage the guilt,” she says. ”When you’re feeling that way, how do you reassure yourself that you’re doing the right thing? How do you lean more into your self-care practices?”
Listen: Nedra Glover Tawwab talks about the actions you can take toward creating healthy relationships with yourself and others.