Creating and Sticking To Boundaries

Hello and welcome back to The Post-It Note! We are in the middle of the week and I can clearly see the finish line to strut gracefully into the weekend. Today our discussion is about creating and sticking to set boundaries. I feel like a lot of people, more so women than men, have an issue of trying to set clear boundaries only to find that people don’t take us seriously and overstep them consistency.

I have had to learn how to set some rigid boundaries during my self-love journey to protect myself as I put the pieces of my life back together. I found that in order to maintain my sanity and get the respect that I deserved, I had to be ruthless in upholding what I would allow and what I wouldn’t allow, and people learned pretty quickly how serious I was.

Setting boundaries is important

Speaking on the topic of boundaries, I want to share a moment that I had yesterday where I had to deal with someone who crossed a line with his rudeness and demanded my time, in a somewhat aggressive way. Yesterday was a full moon and I swear that all day at work we had to deal with the most difficult people.

I work in customer service and I recently transitioned out of my office to work on the floor which is a really nice change of scenery, but with this change comes face to face interactions with people who are a little more challenging. Yesterday I received a phone call from an architect who needed dimensions for a specific outdoor sconce and the information that he needed was not available on our website.

I was able to go into the back system and find all of the dimensions for this sconce and I ended up putting the specs together and sending them to him in an email. I would say about five minutes after I pressed send, I get a message from a coworker that the client is asking for me on the first floor and he is very, very impatient.

Unfortunately for him, I am on the phone with another guest and he would have to wait a few minutes. He is frustrated and he leaves. I call him back and he says “good you’re there, I’m coming back in!” I thought to myself, “oh no, please don’t.” He shows up a minute later and he is demanding the dimensions and telling me he never received the email. I end up having to show him the email I sent and as I’m trying to confirm his email address, he expresses how he doesn’t have time and I suggest printing him a copy so he can be on his way.

Once the copy of the email is printed, he then had to sketch out the sconce to make sure he has all of the measurements, although I told him that everything that was on the email was all that we had for this fixture. He finally leaves satisfied and I go back to find a nice place in the sun to finish my day. The full moon was alive and well and this client’s actions left me thinking about other situations where people have over-stepped boundaries unnecessarily.

Questioning my level of service and integrity aside, this man showed up unannounced and demanded my time and then through a fit when I wasn’t readily available to assist him. Clearly, he is used to getting what he wants, when he wants it and these are my least favorite people to work with, because they do not respect your time or your boundaries. If you experience situations similar to this one regularly, then this blog is for you.

Why do we need boundaries?

Creating solid and consistent boundaries are important because they protect you, they are guidelines as to how you would like to be treated and lets others know how you are showing up in this world. One big boundary that I set for myself is that I do not like my personal space to be invaded, I would think it’s probably safe to say that most people wouldn’t. Specifically, what invading my personal space means for me is people touching my hair. I’m not about it and it doesn’t take me long to enforce that boundary and I’m quite comfortable doing so.

Who are boundaries for?

I think that people have no issue setting boundaries with people they don’t know, I think it is harder for people to maintain the boundaries they set with people that they do know, like friends and family. This becomes an issue because it can begin to cause problems with the people you care about.

I've learned that friendships need boundaries too

Let’s say that as a rule you don’t lend people money, you’ve had some not so great experiences in the past when giving money to people and not seeing that money given back to you in a timely manner, if at all. You may tend to be a little more flexible with friends because obviously they are your friends and you love them! But, this particular friend is always asking for money or some other financial favor, and never seems to be able to pay you back when they said that they would. Now of course everyone has their situations, but when it becomes a frequent occurrence you must reassess, count what is owed as a loss and the next time they ask for money, let them know that you are unable to help and why.

It will feel uncomfortable to do this. You might even lose that friend, and if you do, then you know that they probably hung around you for reasons other than your friendship and that’s okay, you both can go your separate ways. Little by little you will feel emboldened to stick up for yourself and hold others accountable to the standard of respect you have set. Remember, boundaries are set for the benefit of yourself and to make sure you aren’t being taken advantage of or disrespected by others.


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4 thoughts on “Creating and Sticking To Boundaries

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