Personally I have no issue with enforcing personal space boundaries. Having nerve issues and a compromised immune system requires I set those boundaries regardless of politeness.
Setting boundaries for children, friends and family are a little harder for me. I’m a people pleaser by nature and if I’m able to help someone I try, usually without regard of how it impacts my body and/or brain.
There are blogs, books and articles about setting boundaries for kids that are healthy, so the idea is easy enough with kids but sometimes I’m tired and my body hurts and I give in so I can just be done. My kids know this and usually try to wear me down, obviously that is a problem, I am actively working on that. I’m the grownup so we all know our places in those situations.
All of my friends and family know about my MS and the correlating issues with it. However, sometimes, I agree to something that may be a reoccurring task and unless you tell me I’m done, I’m going to assume you need me to do it. I have to make calendar invites and set alarms so I don’t drop the ball. If something changes, I expect the receiver of my assistance to tell me. Though this doesn’t always happen and causes extra work of verification on my end which causes me anxiety.
That’s where the people pleaser and boundaries needs a swift kick in the butt. I want people to let me know what’s happening, however, because I’ve got it covered it seems to be a low priority on their brains.
My aunt is amazing and keeping me updated on things when I’m helping her with things. If dates change she lets me know as soon as she does. She is organized and knows how taxing the tasks can be on me so she does what she’s able to keep me informed.
So, how does one go about setting boundaries with people after the fact? I’m struggling with this, if I had foreseen all the potential issues I would have set clear boundaries in the beginning. Now that it’s been a thing that I have been proactively checking each time how can I set boundaries without coming off as a bitch?
Turns out, an honest communication works. Thinking worst case isn’t always how it works. Your friends and family will understand, especially if you have a logical reason for your needs.