There was a time when I was not effective at setting boundaries in my life. I was the push-over that people knew they could get me to do tasks they didn't want to. This wasn't just in one part of my life; it was everywhere. Debbi just couldn't say No.

What would happen is that I would plaster the smile to my face and say 'Sure, I can do that' and that would be the seeds of my resentment. Overtime the resentment would grow until it would get to that boiling over point.

Then the day would come when my badger would make its presence known. This would be a day that I would be simmering on my resentment while working on whatever I agreed to work on. Then some poor soul would ask me a question on something totally unrelated to the project I was working on.

This is when the angry badger would race out of the den; teeth bared, lips curled back and snarling. Believe me when I tell you it was not a very pretty site; let alone not professional. I would make some loud biting comment and the badger would go running back into the den to hide. The poor soul would leave me bewildered, emotionally wounded and would steer clear of me for quite a while.

It was a behavior I was not thrilled with. I couldn't understand why out of the clear blue I would yell at someone. I didn't see the correlation between my inability to set boundaries and my aggressive behavior that would happen down the road as a result. It wasn't until I was working with a coach on setting boundaries that I began to see the correlation.

What I didn't understand is that when I bury a resentment inside me; it was only a matter of time before the emotion comes out sideways zapping someone. What I learned is that I need to deal with the discomfort of saying No and then the downstream behavior would go away.

Boundary setting was hard for me because by nature I am a people pleaser. It was pointed out to me that some people take advantage of that. I am not doing them or myself a service picking up their load of the work. I needed to say No and be firm with my decision.

What I found is that for the chronic abusers when I said No; they shrugged their shoulders and just went in search of someone else who would say Yes. Friends and co-workers were a bit more difficult; but I found that after a couple of times of saying No to requests they got the message.

Unexpectedly, a sense of peace settled in for my soul was content with the new boundaries I set for myself. Life is good.

Author's Bio: 

Debbi Dickinson is a professional woman who knows the struggles of integrating different aspects of
your life. Using her own life as living proof that extraordinary choices lead to an amazing life, she helps
other women do the same. She empowers other professional women not to compromise to live an
extraordinary life. For additional information, please join her at