We tend to avoid setting boundaries because we are afraid that they will anger those around us. It’s true that they may cause problems, especially if you’ve never set healthy boundaries for yourself. When people are used to you doing whatever they want, they won’t understand your new limits. If you’ve been a people-pleaser, it’ll feel scary to incur the conflict that will naturally arise when you change your way of moving through the world and relating to others.
Regardless of how others might react, you setting boundaries is actually a kindness towards both yourself and them. By doing so, you are showing them how to set their own. You are also creating a healthy, balanced relationship rather than one supported by the supplication and secret resentment of one party while the other obliviously takes advantage. You are doing what it takes in order to maintain a long, loving, healthy relationship with someone. That doesn’t mean they’ll understand. But it also doesn’t mean that you’re wrong to do so, even if they tell you that you are.
There’s also a chance that, if you explain yourself and what’s going on, the people in your life will support and welcome your new approach. This can be a great way to check in with who is truly on your side and who only likes you because you allow them to use you. If people honestly care about you, they will be willing to work with you and your needs. After all, mature relationships are constantly evolving.
It doesn’t really matter how others react, in the end, as long as you do what is kind for yourself. Knowing that you are setting healthy and loving boundaries as a gift to both yourself and others is all that you need. Trust yourself. Listen to your inner voice. The more you do so, the easier it gets – and the better your life will become. Sending you love.