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  • Writer's pictureSamantha Praus, MSE, LPCC

Boundaries for Anxious Perfectionists: Saying "No" Can Decrease Your Anxiety and Improve Your Mental Health

I love talking about boundaries and this is one of my top focal areas in therapy. 


In this blog, I briefly summarize what boundaries for anxious perfectionists entails and why it's so important.


What are boundaries for anxious perfectionists?


Boundaries are guidelines, limits and rules that you establish to advocate for yourself in a way that is reasonable and safe. These can help you take back control by identifying when to say “yes” or “no.” 


As you learn about boundaries, you begin to better understand ways in which people behave towards you, so you can decide how you would like to respond when someone does or says something that crosses your boundaries. 



Tips for healthy boundaries: 


Know your values

Know your limits

Be respectful of others

Have respect for yourself

Be assertive 



Setting boundaries is also for others.


As much as others should respect your boundaries, it’s also helpful when you are able to honor the boundaries of others. 


Learning about your boundaries helps you better understand the needs of others, so you can feel empowered not only to create, reinforce and persevere your boundaries, but you can begin to advocate for others' boundaries as well. 



Boundaries can help manage mental health.


Your mental health is important and so is your job of protecting it, and boundaries are vital for good mental health. 


Setting and maintaining boundaries is absolutely, 100% crucial for managing anxiety and stress. Anxiety is often linked to perfectionism and people-pleasing habits, and saying “no” will help reduce your anxiety in the long-term as you won’t feel so much pressure to show up a certain way or do things that you don’t want to do.  



Benefits of setting boundaries:


Decreased stress and anxiety

Decreased anger and resentment

Enriched relationships

Increased sense of self

Improved assertiveness and communication

Increased confidence and self-esteem 



Practice is key!


Boundaries can be difficult at first, especially if you identify as a perfectionist or people-pleaser, but it gets easier with practice and experience. 


Start by saying "no" to at least one thing you do not want to do this week. At first, you may feel a little guilt. That's okay. Sit with the guilt for a moment and then give yourself permission to release it. 


*If you are feeling a bit stuck in the guilt, it can be helpful to give yourself compassion by telling yourself that it is okay to say “no” even if it feels difficult or upsets others. You are not responsible for others emotions or wellbeing, and others frustration is just a part of the journey. 


Then keep practicing. Like with all goods habits, boundaries are established through practice and persistence. 



Friendly reminder:


You CAN absolutely, 100% say “no.” Others may not always understand or respond well to your boundaries. Try not to overthink it and don’t fight back. Even if others get upset with you, life will move on. You do not have to live a life that fulfills others wants and needs while putting yourself on the back burner. You deserve to put yourself first, and a wonderful way to do this is through boundary setting. 


Happy boundary setting!


Samantha


Samantha Choudhry, MSE, LPCC

Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor



If you’re thinking about adding therapeutic support to your self-care routine, get in touch using the contact page on my website: prausguidanceandhealing.com to schedule a complimentary 15-minute phone consultation to see if I'm a good fit for you. Anxiety is my wheelhouse and I'd love to chat and discuss how I can be of support!


If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out. I’d love to hear from you!





Wooden sign for a boundary trail
This is Your Sign! Boundaries for Anxious Perfectionists





Disclaimer: 


Praus Guidance & Healing, LLC’s and its counselors blog posts are not to be used in lieu of therapeutic treatment or services. The purpose of our blog posts is psycho-educational, informational and for marketing.


Praus Guidance & Healing, LLC’s and its counselors blog posts may provide information that could improve mental health when applied, however, this is not a guaranteed result. Please understand there are no guarantees of what you will experience and that you apply the information from these blog posts at your own risk.


Praus Guidance & Healing, LLC and its counselors shall not be held liable for any information or insight distributed in Praus Guidance & Healing, LLC’s blog posts.


Please keep the following in mind:

-Blog posts contain generalized information that is not specific to your individual needs, concerns or treatment;

-Blog posts are not treatment, and should not replace therapeutic care or treatment;

-Blog posts do not replace a formal relationship with a counselor or a therapist; 

-Blog posts provide generalized tools for a broad audience. The information from these posts should not be used in lieu of specific evidenced-based treatment interventions provided by your counselor or therapist.


Please consume safely.

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