Do you have a hard time saying no?
Are you afraid of disappointing loved ones?
Have people told you that you’re too sensitive?
If you answered yes to all the above, there’s a good chance you’re a Highly Sensitive Person or HSP.
Before you start to worry, being a Highly Sensitive Person is not a bad thing! That being said, everything has positives and negatives associated with them.
Highly Sensitive People have an even harder time saying no to others, especially in social situations and in their careers. A lot of HSPs will experience anxiety and fatigue due to pushing their own needs to the side. They often are people pleasers and will take care of others, even if it means they’re ignoring or sacrificing their own time to rest, recharge, and recover.
Setting Boundaries as an HSP
Personal boundaries are defined as “the limits and rules we set for ourselves within relationships.” Here are a few examples of personal boundaries:
- Turning your phone on “Do Not Disturb” at 10:00 PM until your alarm clock wakes you up the next morning.
- Telling your boss you can’t stay at work late.
- Responding to work emails during your normal working hours.
- Declining an invitation for a night out with friends.
If you’re uneasy about the examples listed above or if the word “boundaries” seems like a negative term to you, it’s crucial for you to start setting them.
Make Yourself a Priority
Once you make yourself and your own needs a priority, you’ll have a better sense of the boundaries you should set. Highly Sensitive People may feel disconnected from their own emotions because they’re so consumed with the feelings of others. By working to make yourself a priority, you’ll be able to put some of the energy you’re giving to others back towards yourself.
Start Small and Be Direct
Boundaries can be difficult to set, especially for Highly Sensitive People. Start with personal boundaries for yourself first as a way to ease into it.
Your personal boundaries could look like any of the following:
- No screens or devices in bed.
- Creating a budget for yourself and sticking to it.
- Not responding to work emails on the weekends.
- Limiting your coffee intake.
- Not participating in gossip at work.
Once you have a feel for setting boundaries for yourself, you can create more boundaries with the people in your life. The more you incorporate boundaries into your day-to-day, the easier it will be to create more and stick with them down the road.
Boundaries don’t have to be negative or harsh. If you don’t feel comfortable saying “no”, you can turn down something with a positive spin. Here are some examples of some soft ‘no’s:
- “I already have plans that day, but is there another day or time that week that works instead?”
- “I have to get some of my own work done first, but after that, I’d love to help you.”
You Are the Focus
The point of setting boundaries is to benefit yourself. Read that again. That means that you shouldn’t worry about how others will respond to the boundaries that you set. As an HSP, it’s hard to not consider someone else’s feelings, but you have to care about your feelings as much as you do with others. Here are some things to keep in mind when questioning your boundaries:
- You are enough.
- It’s okay to say no.
- It’s not selfish to focus on yourself.
Setting boundaries is crucial for a healthy balance, especially for Highly Sensitive People. Boundaries can be a form of self-care for HSPs. Make yourself a priority. If you’re having difficulty setting boundaries, I’m here to help you just as much as you want to help others. You can contact me for a complementary consultation call to explore how I can best support you.
Click here to learn more about HSP therapy services in Delray Beach, FL and Sandy Springs, GA.