Setting limits on personal relationships means letting others know that you have desires and needs different from your own. But, in doing so, we also respect each other.

Although setting limits may seem an unnecessary imposition if we have a certain conception of what fluid personal relationships are, the truth is that this kind of strategy based on assertiveness, in practice, allows us to be freer.

Why can it be hard to set limits?

Many different reasons may be involved in the difficulty of setting limits:

A biased view of who wants what

The poor differentiation between oneself and others , which means that one does not know for sure where one’s own needs and those of others begin.

Fear of conflict

The person avoids conflict at all times by feeling unable to defend his or her opinions. As a consequence he avoids expressing his own opinion and disagreement with the other .

3. Emotional blockage in the face of the other person’s anger or rage

For this reason, on many occasions, the person is complacent (very much to his regret) with the needs of others.

4. Fear of rejection by the other person

It consists of the fear of emotional, social, family, and work rejection. There may also be fear of losing the love and affection of the other person, and panic about being criticized.

5. Lack of assertiveness

Learning to say it can’t be complicated.The not knowing how to communicate our limits can cause us to avoid talking about them, thus reinforcing and maintaining the situation of being unable to expose them.

6. Low self-esteem

Feeling disenfranchised inhibits the presentation of one’s needs. Feeling without this recognition, the person may consider that his needs are not as important as those of others, “Mine can wait”.

7.Difficulty in handling frustration and anger

Feeling without emotional tools to manage these emotions, the person may choose to “swallow” them, thus causing the fact that they have provoked them (in this case the need to set a limit) not to be managed, choosing to prioritize the demands of the other.

8. Experiencing feelings of guilt

This can be frequent when we try to defend our wishes. The person may experience guilt in asserting his needs .

9. Difficulty in decision making

Deciding requires accepting and rejecting.

Why does setting limits make us feel better?

Self-esteem benefits, social skills and assertiveness are increased and the feeling of internal security is improved. All this is reflected in interpersonal relationships. The people around you will know where your limits begin and end , this will have favourable consequences on you and your relationships:

1. The people around you will be able to know you better

Paradoxically, always giving in to the expectations of others distances us from the people we are with.

2. Create equal relationships

You give them the opportunity, and you too, to relate to them as equals, without the need to subordinate yourself to their commands.

3. Encourages honest communication

They will be able to take into account your needs and wishes, which will avoid misunderstandings and will favour a sincere relationship based on mutual respect.

4. Prevents stress crises and frustration

You will not feel the obligation to put the needs of others before your own. This will prevent you from experiencing feelings of stress, frustration, anxiety, and burden in personal, family, social, and work relationships.

5. Extend the life of your relationships

All of the above will improve the flow of communication within your relationships, increasing quality and satisfaction with them.

6. You add coherence to your actions

Another benefit of knowing and exposing one’s limits is that you will create a consistent internal discourse, as well as feel coherence between your thoughts, emotions and actions, thus increasing the feeling of control over your life.

The key is assertiveness

Knowing how to set limits for others and communicate them properly allows for the creation and strengthening of feelings related to autonomy, personal value, sociability, expontaneity, creativity and personal well-being. It makes it possible to adequately identify and delimit the needs of each moment, making the person feel the protagonist of his/her choices, thus generating the tranquillity of feeling responsible and confident in the scenario of life.