Setting limits has nothing to do with telling everyone everything you think about every moment. Nor is defending our opinions so that our position is clear.
Nor is showing our weaknesses to others so that they adapt to us. Not at all…
Setting limits is a very complex action that contains in itself many human qualities and, if the human being had them fully developed, he would enjoy 100% of his interpersonal relationships.
Among these qualities are: the capacity for self-knowledge to know exactly what your own limits are; knowing how to expose them when appropriate; and the courage to put you above all your internal resistances that prevent you from doing it wisely and successfully.
The key is that you feel your own voice emitting the sound, but with a feeling of power, because you are saying something that is important. Just saying “no” (without any words added), you can change the attitude of any person.
Do the test, when you are with someone you trust, just say “no” and observe their behavior. You will see how he looks at you with surprise and a little tension until you really see what happens to you.
However, if you say simply “yes”, they will look at you with another attitude, perhaps with curiosity, but not with tension, because it is very possible that you have not interfered in their mood.
This usually happens like this because when we hear the word “no”, an alarm goes off inside us indicating automatically that we have to pay attention to what comes next, because surely it will be important.
When we are children we know that we are vulnerable and that ultimately we depend on others to meet our basic needs. As a survival mechanism we chose to adapt and let the environment mold us.
The problem with all this is that you start from very young to deny your own needs because you consider it more important that the other person is happy, at the expense of your repression, frustration and self-annulment.
And if you had shown yourself as you were, the bad reaction of the other would have generated a complex of guilt, making you believe that you were responsible for the mood of others.
It would be ironic to believe that you are selfish to show your limits, to be as you are, to teach others where your safe space begins and where they do not have to enter.
It’s not reasonable for you to think that you are selfish for respecting yourself when you are taking into account the other’s feelings, the appropriate moment and when you have thought enough to be aware that setting limits will improve your relationships, eliminate friction and the possible conflicts from now on.