Overcoming Guilt and Fear When Setting Boundaries

About 11% of the population lives with a sense of guilt today. It’s an emotion that ties into different areas of life and comes back for various reasons. We sometimes even feel guilt when making positive life changes. 

For instance, setting a boundary can drum up feelings of guilt, even when it needs to be done. But what can you do to manage these feelings and overcome them? Use the tips below as a guide to help you when you need help overcoming guilt. 

Go to Therapy

Many people go to therapy once a week to help their mental health. It’s one of the best things you can do to unpack your emotions and learn new strategies for dealing with the things that bother you. 

By talking to a licensed professional, you will have an easier time managing the guilt and will come away with strategies to help. Your therapist will teach you ways to reframe and add some context to why setting a boundary might conjure negative feelings. They can delve into areas of your past and traumas that you’ve been through that might amplify your feelings of guilt. 

Shift Your Thought Process

Next, learn some strategies for shifting your thought process. In many situations, your guilt is misguided based on the thought patterns that you’re stuck in. 

Instead of thinking about the negative feelings associated with setting the boundary, you can shift your focus to a sense of pride and self-love. Setting a limit is about putting yourself first, which might be hard to do if it’s outside your personality or you’re a recovering people-pleaser. 

This shift in thought is the first step toward reframing the boundary, so you won’t have so much trouble the next time one of these situations arises. 

Know Why You Set the Boundary

It also helps to remember why you set the boundary in the first place. Not forgetting that setting this boundary is an act of protection for yourself can make the negative feelings disappear. 

When you set boundaries, it builds trust in yourself and the relationship as a whole. Give yourself constant reminders and journal about it if that helps minimize your guilt. 

Recognize Signs of Manipulation

It’s also easier to overcome guilt when seeing how the other person might intentionally try to make you feel guilty. People often push back when a boundary is set, reminding the other person how much they’ve done for them or making it a more significant or different issue than it is. 

Human beings are flawed by nature, so it isn’t always malicious but manipulative. Recognizing these signs of manipulation will help you see that the other person is also looking out for themselves, so you need to do the same. 

Overcoming Guilt When Setting Boundaries

These tips will help you learn all about healthily overcoming guilt. When you can overcome these guilty feelings, you will become a more actualized person who stands up for yourself and maintains healthy.

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