We rarely set them.
Why is it so important as Empaths that we set our boundaries and be firm in them? If we don't set boundaries, we allow for distractions to run our day to day life and feel remorse or guilt for not getting the things done we said we would get done.
We are people pleasers.
The thought of leaving someone hanging by not responding to them because we sense their urgency serves others greatly, but it detracts from our ability to stay grounded. Without setting boundaries we leave ourselves open to energy depletion.
Look at your personal energy as a battery on a phone. You get your brand new phone and the battery works great, until you have to start carrying your charger and a charger pack around with you because you've installed too many apps, taken too many photos, made system updates, and run the brightness on high.
This is your energy when you don't set boundaries. You essentially allow others to take your battery to recharge themselves while you're left scrambling to find the charger at the bottom of your purse or backpack.
I recently went through and modified the notification settings for 40 apps on my phone at the end of June. Apps that were constantly making my phone buzz taking my attention away from what I truly needed to do. I needed a way to stop reacting to the notifications on my phone, because I assumed all of them were messages (NEWSFLASH- they weren't). Since having my son, it has made me want to prioritize my time more efficiently and effectively. I don't want to be the mom who has her phone glued to her hand while her kid is trying to get her attention.
As an Empath, the constant need to respond was overwhelming and time consuming, to say the least. Meaning, I was overwhelmed with wanting to respond to everything, but I constantly hated that I felt so crippled by responding immediately. Making yourself too available as an Empath can • D R A I N • your energy source.
It consumed me and took me away from doing the things I truly need to do.
Leaving me feeling as though I had accomplished nothing for myself, but so much for everyone else. I sat looking at the piles of things needed to be done in the house (I still do, because I've put it off for so long--I'm good at that) and felt riddled with anxiety.
I have noticed in the 20 days that:
I have changed the notification setting on my phone,
I am less likely to respond to messages as quickly as I once used to
I don't find the need to scroll endlessly through social media
I get to • C H O O S E • when I want to respond to a notification
I have found time to get the things done I said I was going to do
Yet, as Empaths it is the standard we set (to respond immediately), because we don't like disappointing others when we can feel it within ourselves as well. So we give and give and give, then wonder why we feel stretched too thin!
It is more than okay to set your healthy boundaries. Say "no" to something you don't want to go to or do that doesn't serve your purpose. As the saying goes, "The only people who get upset about you setting boundaries are the ones who were benefiting from you having none."
So try it:
Change the settings at the phone level for your application notifications.
Schedule time to check your email and social media accounts.
Say "NO" when you don't want to attend events.
Say "NO" when someone is asking you to forgo your plans just to satisfy theirs.
Now you may be asking, "Well what about emergency situations?" Listen to your gut, a true emergency you will prioritize, and can reorganize other things around, but don't make someone else's drama emergency your own personal emergency.