Women who are naturally kind but struggle to set boundaries often display these 7 behaviors

Having a naturally kind heart is a beautiful trait. It’s like an open door, always welcoming everyone with a warm smile and an understanding heart. But for some of us women, that door stays open a little too much, making it hard to set boundaries.

This is where the struggle begins.

We love helping others, but sometimes we end up feeling overwhelmed, exploited, or just stretched too thin. Sound familiar? You’re not alone. It’s a common issue for many kind-hearted women.

In this article, I’ll highlight 7 behaviors often seen in women who are naturally kind but struggle to set boundaries. 

Ladies, it’s time to take care of yourselves without feeling guilty. Let’s dive in.

1) Overcommitting

We’ve all heard the phrase, “Too much of a good thing can be bad,” right? And it couldn’t ring truer for us kind-hearted souls who struggle with setting boundaries.

Overcommitment is a classic sign. We’re so eager to help that we end up saying ‘yes’ to every request that comes our way. Sound familiar?

From helping a friend move to volunteering for extra tasks at work, or even just being the go-to person for emotional support, we pile our plates high. But let’s face it – there are only so many hours in a day.

This constant juggling act not only leaves us exhausted but also robs us of our personal time. The result? We’re left feeling overwhelmed, stressed, and in some cases, even resentful.

Recognizing this behavior is the first step towards setting healthier boundaries. Remember, saying ‘no’ doesn’t make you any less kind; it simply means you’re taking care of yourself too.

2) Forgiveness comes too easily

This might seem a little counterintuitive. After all, isn’t forgiveness a virtue? Absolutely, it is. But like anything in life, balance is key.

For those of us who possess a gentle nature but find it tricky to set limits, we tend to forgive too quickly without allowing ourselves the time or space to process our feelings.

Whether it’s a friend who has cancelled plans last minute for the third time in a row or a partner who often disregards our feelings, we find ourselves extending forgiveness even before an apology is offered.

While forgiveness is indeed a beautiful trait, it becomes problematic when it’s given out too freely. It can lead to others taking our kindness for granted or repeating actions that hurt us.

What’s the solution here? Remember, it’s okay to take time to process your feelings and even communicate your disappointment before you forgive. It doesn’t make you less kind; it makes you human.

3) Difficulty expressing personal needs

This is a reality many of us face. As women, our instinct to care for others often means we put our own needs on the back burner.

In my conversations with other women, I’ve found that many of us struggle to speak up about what we truly want and feel. This hesitance often comes from a fear of being seen as selfish or too demanding.

But here’s the thing to remember: voicing your needs isn’t selfish; it’s an act of self-care. And it’s crucial for nurturing healthy, balanced relationships.

In my book Breaking The Attachment: How To Overcome Codependency in Your Relationship, I delve deeper into how we can break free from this cycle of self-sacrifice and start prioritizing ourselves.

So the next time you find yourself suppressing your desires or feelings to accommodate others, pause. Remember that your feelings matter too. Expressing them doesn’t make you any less kind or compassionate.

4) Taking criticism to heart

As compassionate individuals, our sensitivity can be both a strength and a challenge. While it enables us to be empathetic and perceptive, it also means we may take criticism more deeply to heart than intended.

We’ve all experienced those moments when a passing remark or well-meaning feedback lingers in our minds, feeling like a blow to our self-esteem.

But it’s crucial to remember that constructive criticism isn’t an assault on our worth; it’s an opportunity for improvement and growth.

The wise Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” This quote has seen me through many tough times, and it’s a powerful reminder that our self-worth isn’t determined by others’ opinions.

5) Guilt over self-care

This rings true for many of us, doesn’t it? As naturally caring women, we often dedicate so much energy to looking after others that we neglect our own well-being. And when we do carve out time for self-care, guilt often creeps in.

Can you relate? I know I can. Putting ourselves first can feel foreign and even selfish. But here’s something important to remember: it’s not.

Consider this analogy: on an airplane, you’re advised to secure your own oxygen mask before assisting others. The same principle applies in life. You can’t show up for others when your cup is empty. 

So let’s make a promise to prioritize self-care without guilt. Whether it’s indulging in a bubble bath, getting lost in a good book, or simply saying ‘no’ to another demand on our time—remind yourself, you deserve it.

6) Constant need for validation

This is a tricky one. As women who are naturally kind, we often seek validation from others to affirm our worth.

Speaking from personal experience, I know how easy it is to fall into this trap. We do something nice and when we don’t get the expected appreciation, it leaves us feeling unvalued.

But guess what? Our value isn’t defined by others’ validation. It’s defined by how we see ourselves.

Maya Angelou wisely said, “You alone are enough. You have nothing to prove to anybody.” These words are a powerful reminder that self-validation is the only approval we truly need.

So the next time you find yourself seeking validation, take a moment to appreciate yourself. You’re doing a great job and you don’t need anyone else to confirm that.

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7) Fear of conflict

I’ll be honest here. As naturally kind women, we often avoid conflict like the plague. The thought of confrontations, disagreements, or tough conversations makes us want to run for the hills.

We’d rather swallow our feelings and keep the peace than risk an argument. But here’s the raw truth: avoiding conflict doesn’t preserve peace; it just delays the inevitable clash.

When handled maturely, conflict can lead to growth, understanding, and stronger relationships.

So let’s embrace those difficult conversations. Let’s set our boundaries and stand up for ourselves. It won’t be easy, but it’ll be worth it.

Remember, you’re not a doormat to be walked over. You’re a strong, kind woman who deserves respect. And it’s okay to demand it.

Reflections and insights

As we’ve explored these seven behaviors, it’s important to remember that none of them are inherently bad. They simply reflect a common challenge many kind women face: setting boundaries.

It’s about understanding our worth and asserting it. It’s about being kind to ourselves just as much as we are to others. It’s about acknowledging our feelings and needs, and giving them the space they deserve.

These are lessons I’ve learned through my own journey, and I hope they resonate with you too.

But don’t just take my word for it. Let’s dive deeper into this journey with some insights from Justin Brown.

In this video, he eloquently explains the illusion of happiness and why chasing it can lead to misery. He touches on true contentment, embracing life’s challenges, fostering meaningful relationships, and staying true to oneself—all themes that align perfectly with our discussion today.

Remember, you’re not alone in this journey. And every step you take towards setting healthier boundaries is a step towards embracing your true self.

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Tina Fey

I'm Tina Fey, the founder of the blog Love Connection. I've extremely passionate about sharing relationship advice. I've studied psychology and have my Masters in marital, family, and relationship counseling. I hope with all my heart to help you improve your relationships, and I hope that even if one thing I write helps you, it means more to me than just about anything else in the world. Check out my blog Love Connection, and if you want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Twitter

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