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  • Writer's pictureLexy Davis

Why We Feel Guilt When Setting Boundaries + How Shift That 😬

You're realizing that you're doing the most, you're feeling depleted, exhausted and overwhelmed. When someone asks, "Do you make time for yourself?" you laugh as if there was ever time for such a thing.

You're so kind, maybe even called too nice, an empath, sensitive soul who feels other people's feelings, you're a healer, light worker, or just someone who just wants to help everyone.

First off, that's dope af + I love you for being connected to your heart. Thank you for being a positive light in this world.

I am also one of these people + with that can come prioritizing everyone else's needs ahead of your own. You give so much more than you receive in relationships, you're on speed dial for 111 different people who call you to be their emotional rock, people tend to walk all over you, and you may lack boundaries.

Today you’re going to learn why you feel guilty and regretful and some tools to overcome guilt when setting boundaries.

Take a deep belly breath with me....

It can be feel brutal being so kind right?!?! DA FUQQQ, it's mighty confusing.

What I realized is being kind, isn't the problem, it's my self abandonment. That's the real area that needs addressing.

Why do I feel it's ok to let people treat me poorly? Why do I let them walk all over me? Why do I put my needs down, in order to care for theirs? Why am I not receiving in relationships? Why don't I get the support when I need it? Why can't I tell them no? Why can't I say what I really feel?

Why why whyyyyy somebody tell me W H Y

Ok I will 🙋🏼‍♀️ hehe

Simply put, we are depending on other people to make us feel loved, worthy, validated, enough, secure and safe. So if we upset them in anyway or don't show up for them, then we might not receive the love we desire from them.

On a deeper, more scientific level, our nervous system is dysregulated which means we don't know how to feel that sense of love, worth and safety from within. Luckily, we can change that and regulate our nervous systems.

When we were children and our caregivers weren't able to show up for us in the ways we needed (and I'm talking basic needs here), so our autonomic nervous system (our bodies electrically wiring system) didn't get circuited correctly. Then we spend our lives trying to fill the voids within us by using other people. Simultaneously we push people away, because we were shown that intimacy wasn't safe. That is a super brief explanation of what's happening, but truly fascinating.

If you're trying catch me riding nerdy, join the waitlist for my group coaching course where we dive deep into this work + I teach you so much more around this -- Embody The Magic Of You

Alright so how does this show up in our lives?

One way is through the yucky, slimy feeling of guilt or maybe even shame.

Guilt is an emotion that stems from how your actions affect those around you. You may feel guilty when you go against your own standards, values or morals. Also when you think you're hurting someone else or making them feel anything but happy. Guilt can serve a purpose by keeping us in line with what we value + help us do the right thing.

However, living with a constant state of guilt is not healthy. When you turn everything into a situation that makes you feel guilty, that gets taxing real fast and brings you into a state of immobility.

American psychiatrist David R. Hawkins used kinesiology to measure the responses of body’s to emotional fields of consciousness. In his book Power vs Force, David R. Hawkins says that there’s a hierarchy of levels of human consciousness, and shame is the lowest level of consciousness that vibrates through your chakras. Followed by guilt, apathy and fear, the lowest vibration causes inaction. In other words, it silences us.

Effects of Excessive Guilt

Some ways it might manifest in your life are:

  • feeling unworhty or self conscious

  • feeling like you aren’t a good person

  • lack of boundaries or unable to stick to them

  • overwhelmed + anxious about how others perceive you

  • feeling stuck

  • give more than you can handle

  • take criticism too personally

  • analysis paralysis aka trouble making decisions

  • a betrayal of personal values

  • don't try new things or take risks, because you don't want to mess up

How To Process The Goopy Guilt!

Feel The Feels Baby

Instead of thought spiraling about what's making you guilty, can you get curious and notice what sensation(s) are in the body? What is present for you within? Allow yourself to feeeeel guilt, instead of avoiding. This can be a difficult experience to navigate at first, so you can set up a free 40 minute call with me or look up a somatic practitioner.

Remember emotions are just ENERGY IN MOTION! Let the energy move through you, instead of making stories about what it means. Be in the body, not the mind.

You're Not Responsible For Their Feelings

Instead of always thinking, “What can I do to make this better?” - start to believe that you are not responsible for other people's emotions. You can validate how they're feeling + let them know that it sucks + then you can allow them to process on their own. You aren't actually helping them when you make it your responsibility to make them happy. That disempowers them by not letting them figure out how to do it on their own. Also when you don't create space for people to feel their full range of emotions, you are continuing the pattern of not accepting people for their whole self.

So if you're worried to set a boundary, because of how they will feel, here are some ideas of what you can say:

  • I can feel that you’re disappointed that I won’t be coming with you and I still need to stay home tonight, because I'm really tired.

  • I can give you a call, but I only have 10 minutes to talk. Does that work for you?

  • It seems you’re angry that I can’t help you on Tuesday. I understand and in the future I need two week's notice if you'd like some support.

  • I love what you're doing and thanks for collecting donations to help out that organization, however I am not interested right now.

  • Thank you for thinking of me, unfortunately right now I have too much on my plate, so I won't be attending any events for the next 2 months.

Write A Letter To The Feeling

It's so powerful to just speak to the feeling, person or situation on paper. So much relief can happen when we open up a dialogue with ourselves. Our emotions are messengers, remember that! There's always something deeper happening, that we might not see at first.

Practice Self Forgiveness

It's ok to mess up honey. We are human and we ALL make mistakes and fail. The key is to learn how to forgive. You can take some wisdom from the experience + next time you can make new choices! The Hawaiian method called ho'oponopono is a beautiful way to practice forgiveness. All you have to do is say I'm sorry, please forgive me, thank you, I love you. This works for yourself and for others.

Alright cutie, now you have a little more understanding about the emotion of guilt, so let's get into boundaries, because you deserve to take care of yourself.

Why We Don't Set Boundaries

Feeling Selfish To Prioritize Yourself

You were taught either directly or indirectly that it’s selfish to put your own needs first. In other words, prioritizing yourself over others is just plain wrong. And, if you believe you’re a good person in the world (and who doesn’t want to believe that?), then you can’t be doing that! So you continue the cycle of abandoning yourself to please others.

Worried How They'll React

You’re worried about what others will say about you. You might hate disappointing other people. When you say “no” to coming over to help out on Sunday at your parent’s home, you can feel their disappointment and you start to feel guilty. You start saying how sorry you are over and over again. You feel the need to justify why your own needs should take precedence + come up with a lengthy explanation.

You start thinking about how the other person is feeling and whether you’ve upset them. Or maybe now they’re angry and you’re regretting having said anything. Will I Still Be Loved?! Is a question lingering in the back of your mind. If this is you and you’re ready to overcome your guilt and regret when you set boundaries, then you’re in the right place. Keep reading ;)

Want To Be There For Everyone

You're such a yes person and want to be there for everyone. You know people depend on you + you'll always squeeze in time for others.

Create Boundaries (or a bubble) Around Yourself

Boundaries teach others how to love you.

Boundaries allow you to feel safe + relax.

Boundaries are a healthy sign in relationships.

In my 1:1 coaching program Luscious Love, one of the main pillars is communication and boundaries, because they are an essential part of EVERY relationship in your life.

I will help you get confident in speaking up for yourself, get clarity around what your needs are + teach you how to communicate, so they don't get defensive and can actually hear you!

Here are some important reminders about boundaries:

Check yoself before you reck yoself (aka breaking your own boundaries)

Before you go around in your new little construction hat setting up new boundaries all around town, start with setting some for yourself + sticking to them. Are you able to honor your own boundaries? Are you able to respect yourself?

Some examples of personal boundaries: no phone past 8pm, not drinking during the weekdays, only eating sugar once a week, getting work done before social media, etc

Have tolerance for what you tolerate

Honey you are ALLOWED to not like things people do to you. You are allowed to say that's not ok or that doesn't make me feel good. I know you might be afraid to hurt their feelings, but you have feelings too and you must learn to trust + honor your feelings. If you have no tolerance for what you tolerate, then you are going to get walked over, you are going to feel unsafe and have lots of resentment.

Set them and trust people can meet them + also know that not everyone will

Lead with trust. This world is filled with enough fear, how can you love a little more and trust the person will want to honor your boundary. A lot of people have never had boundaries in their life (especially in families), so boundaries will be ignored or bulldozed. You may have to repeat them a few times, so they know you are serious.

My favorite recipe is this "I feel X when you do Y, so if you do Y then I am going to Z and if you don't respect my boundary I will have to O (consequence)" or " I feel X when you do Y, so I ask if you could Z when I'm around and if you can't honor that then I will O." One of mine is, I feel unsafe when you yell, so if you raise your voice, then I am going to walk away until you can speak to me in a calm tone. If you continue to yell when I'm around you then I won't be able to see you as much.

Empathy without boundaries isn't kind

You're not too kind to set a boundary. I know you can feel their emotions + you feel bad for them. However, if you look a little deeper the reason you aren't setting a boundary may be because you are sourcing your worth, validation, love, and safety from that connection. So if you upset them, then you will lose that external validation. Aka that isn't actually empathy, that is your dysregulated nervous system. So instead, it's time to start building safety within your body so you can be with all your emotions + therefore be with everyone else spectrums of emotions too. In my group and 1:1 programs we work on this a lot!


"If you're afraid to set a boundary with someone because of how they'll react, take it as proof that the boundary is necessary."


Boundary examples

I will not answer my phone when I'm feeling upset, exhuasted, drained or frustrated

I will rest instead of say yes to everything that comes my way

I will walk away from arugments before I lose my peace

Thanks so much for getting curious + wanting to understand yourself more. It's so powerful when we can learn new perspectives :) If you feel like it's time to work on your boundaries and relationships, you can book a free 40 minute discovery call here + we can chat about my program Luscious Love :)

Please feel free to reach out to me on Insta, email me or comment on here if you have any questions or thoughts! I always love to chat

Lovin you always + forever,



  • The Lowest Vibration in The Spectrum, Shame by İpeksu Durmaz


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