As magnificent as I think we are as Black women, we can be better. Our mental wellness can always be better. I often find that as Black women we are so consumed with appealing to others (we can attribute that to the constant degradation in public atmospheres) that we forego our needs and disregard having a space for ourselves. We literally throw boundaries by the wayside. (Yes, I realize all women have this ability, but I am speaking to the Black women).
We must stop that. It doesn’t serve us nor is it in alignment with our paths. In every manner that we give of ourselves, we must set a boundary-spiritually, mentally, emotionally, physically, and financially. Therefore, however we allow others to take from us, we must have a gauge that limits it.
STATE YOUR BOUNDARIES
Your job is to make people aware of your boundaries so there is no confusion or misunderstanding. Communicate them clearly and often. If you are not going to engage in discussing a decision that you have made for yourself, state that. “I will not explain myself or my decision. My decision is made.” “I cannot loan you money without a written contract.” If you are not lending your money out without some type of insurance to assure protection of your monetary assets, let it be known. One of my biggest boundaries is my availability. Do not call me after 10:30p.m. or before 7:00a.m. unless you are dying. And in that event, you should probably call 911 first, Jesus or your ancestors and then me. I can’t help you medically.
ACKNOWLEDGE THE NECESSITY OF YOUR BOUNDARIES
What occurs when you do not set your boundaries? People will feel entitled. Therefore you need boundaries to curb this feeling. Do not set a boundary and see what happens? You will have people weighing in on your decisions as if they pay bills.
LEARN TO SAY “NO”
“No” will be your best friend. It is simple, quick, and leaves no error for confusion. You are not obligated to be present for anyone nor is it your duty to appease everyone. You deserve a space for yourself that is void of attachments to others or requires you to do things for others. You are not a bad person for saying “no.”
DO NOT EXPLAIN YOURSELF
If ever there is a time to remember you are grown, this is the time. You are only obligated to give explanations when your actions are directly related to someone or something else, i.e. you were paid to create a design and you have not created the design in the allotted time. As far anything else, there is no explanation needed.
DECIDE THE CONSEQUENCES FOR VIOLATING YOUR BOUNDARIES
This seems to be the biggest issue. Many of us feel guilty for how we respond. If you have stated your boundaries and people continue to violate them, that means they do not respect you or your boundaries. At that point, these people do not deserve to be in your space or your life. You can love a person from a far. Cut them off if need be. And if you don’t want to do that, deal with them differently.
It is one thing for me to write a few things down. It is another thing when I speak from experience. People will treat you how you allow them to. Set those boundaries so that you can protect yourself.